a couple buying a house

Home Buying Explained

As with anyone about to embark on a new adventure, the first-time buyer will usually be a mixture of excited and nervous. Buying a home is by far and away the biggest purchase most people will make, so a few nerves are more than understandable.

As with any legal process, there’s a lot of jargon surrounding buying a home, which can only increase the anxiety of the new buyer. What do conveyancing solicitors in Portsmouth do, for example? It’s actually very simple. Conveyancing is the term given to the work carried out by the Solicitors when buying or selling a property.

What about disbursement, completion, Stamp Duty and freehold and leasehold?


This is the term for when conveyancing solicitors in Portsmouth pay a fee on behalf of their client. This might be to an estate agent or the Land Registry.


For the uninitiated, the process of home buying may seem a little strange. It seems logical that once an offer is made and accepted, both parties are committed to going through with the sale. Not so. One or both can still change their mind until contracts are exchanged by the conveyancing solicitors in Portsmouth. Is this the end of the process? No. It isn’t possible to withdraw at this point however, without losing the deposit. The buyer will be given a date for completion at the exchange of contracts. This is when the house is legally theirs and the keys are handed over.

Stamp Duty

This is for properties above a certain value, and the government charges an additional tax, known as stamp duty.  This goes up in bands, starting at houses worth £125,000.00.

Anyone who has played Monopoly will know that on properties above a certain value, the government charges an additional tax. This goes up in bands, starting at houses worth £125,000.

Freehold and Leasehold

House buyers will most likely enter into a freehold contract. This means they own the entire building and the land it stands on. For flat buyers, it’s likely that it will be leasehold, though some houses are also sold under this arrangement. It means that the land and the overall building is owned and maintained by a landlord. and they are responsible for its upkeep. Leasehold tenants are charged ground rent and a service charge to pay for this maintenance.

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