In spite of property rates in London (and in the United Kingdom in general) higher than other countries, expats still find it lucrative. It is the reason; the demand didn’t drop in last decade. Though there has been a decline in the recent past due to socio-economic factors, experts feel that it will bounce back again.
If you are an outsider who wants to acquire a property there, then it is the right time to invest. Yes, you don’t need a large mortgage if you are investing in a property outside London. Though you have plenty of Greeks, Spaniards, Italians and French people standing in the queue, it is still very much easy to find a great house that gives the best value for money.
Can you buy a property in the UK if you are a foreign citizen?
Yes, it is very much possible. Foreigners are allowed to buy properties, and they are eligible for investment loans as well. The number of banks is limited, though. You need to submit the proof of income and pay 40 percent money in advance. Mortgage rates, repayment terms, and foreclosure procedure vary from bank to bank.
It is important to know the tax liabilities and implications beforehand. Experts say that hiring a consultant is a better idea in case there is some confusion.
Steps you should follow
When you are in the process of buying property in the UK, make sure you are aware of the policies and procedures. Gather the required information by talking to relevant people. Here are some important steps to follow. Mind it; the list is not comprehensive.
- Set the budget first. Calculate how much you can pay from your pocket and how much do you need to lend.
- Make the necessary arrangements of arranging a mortgage.
- A conveyance solicitor is required as you are an expat.
- Once you decide on a property and receive consent from the agent, the next step is the submission of the offer to solicitors.
- A Memorandum of Sale is prepared by both solicitors.
- Both seller’s and buyer’s solicitors meet and exchange the copy of seller’s title. Inquiries on the title will be raised by the buyer’s solicitor. A list of fittings and/or fixtures may be asked by the solicitor.
- Any of the parties can withdraw from the transaction till this moment.
- Mortgage processing is a slow procedure. It takes typically five to six week depending on the complexity of the case.
- Once you get the mortgage approved, the completion dates will be discussed by the solicitors.
- The exchange of solicitors’ contracts takes place. Expat is supposed to pay the 10 percent of the purchase price at this juncture.
- Once the contracts get exchanged, the deal becomes final, and none of the parties can withdraw.
- In the case of withdrawal of any of the parties after this juncture, a complex legal process follows.
These steps would help in understanding the process of acquiring a property in the UK. All the best and happy buying!