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Legal and Financial FAQs


How much can I afford to spend on a home?

In theory, you can afford a property costing no more than the combined total of the deposit that you saved (or can save) plus the amount you can borrow on mortgage. Typically, this is three times the principal income plus one times the second income. But some lenders will lend more, and some less.

There are common areas on the development, what does this mean?

These are the areas within a development which do not form a plot to be assigned to an individual proprietor. They include play areas, landscaped areas, roads and footpaths that are not intended for adoption by any of the relevant local authorities.

Within flatted areas on a development, this may include parking areas, street lighting, and communal stairways, which are not intended for adoption by the local authority.

Miller Homes normally appoint a Managing Agent for the upkeep of these.

What is a valuation survey?

Prior to making a mortgage offer your lender will have the property valued for mortgage purposes. A small fee will normally be payable.

Please note that the value the lender puts on the property is a valuation for loan purposes and may not reflect the open market value of the house. If you order a lot of optional extras for your new home the full value of these may not be reflected in the value the lender puts on the property.

What is Stamp Duty?

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is payable on all homes with a purchase price of over £125,000. The amount you will have to pay will be based upon the selling price of your home. Currently the scale charges are as follows:

Nothing on the first £125,000 of the property price
2% on the next £125,000
5% on the next £675,000
10% on the next £575,000
12% on the rest (above £1.5 million)

For example, if you buy a property for £275,000 you'll pay £3,750 of SDLT. This is made up of:

Nothing on the first £125,000
£2,500 on the next £125,000
£1,250 on the remaining £25,000

Use our Stamp Duty calculator to work out exactly how much you'll pay.

If you are a first time buyer in England, you don't pay any Stamp Duty Land Tax up to £300,000 and 5% on the portion from £301,000 to £500,000.  A first time buyer is someone who has never owned freehold or leasehold interest in a dwelling before and who is purchasing their only or main residence.  Residential property anywhere in the world is counted when determining whether someone is a first-time buyer.  Where there are joint purchasers, all purchasers would need to be first time buyers.  The charges for first time buyers in England are:

Nothing on the first £300,000 of the property price
5% on £301,000 to £500,000
Standard rates from £501,000 and above

Land and Buildings Transactions Tax (LBTT) was introduced on 1 April 2015 in Scotland, and replaces UK Stamp Duty Land Tax. For residential property transactions, the rate of tax is determined by reference to percentages of the chargeable consideration for the transaction falling within the proposed bands below: 

Up to £145,000 = 0%
Above £145,000 to £250,000 = 2%
Above £250,000 to £325,000 = 5%
Above £325,000 to £750,000 = 10%
Over £750,000 = 12%

LBTT is charged at the appropriate rate on the amount of the chargeable consideration within the relevant bands. For example, a house bought for £280,000 is charged at:

0% for the first £145,000, then
2% for the next £105,000
5% for the next £30,000 and
so £3,600 must be paid in LBTT


NB - these figures are set by the Government, and are subject to change.

What is the difference between Leasehold and Freehold?

Leasehold:
Land held under a lease for a specified number of years on which a ground rent is paid. Find out more here.

Freehold:
The full ownership of both the property and the land on which it stands.

When does the sale of the house become legally binding?

Your solicitor will arrange for you to sign a binding purchase contract. At this time your agreed deposit will need to be paid. Miller Homes will also sign their copy of the contract and send it to their solicitors.

Once these contracts are exchanged the transaction becomes legally binding.

If you are selling your present home, the timing of the exchange of contracts is finely worked out. It is up to your solicitor to ensure that both sets of contracts - the sale of your existing home and the purchase of your new one - are exchanged simultaneously and a suitable moving day arranged so at no time are you 'homeless'.

Sometimes it is not possible to co-ordinate the sale of your existing property and the completion on your new Miller Home for the same day. If this is the case you may have to consider staying with friends or family or living in rented accomodation until your new Miller Home is ready.

What are Local Authority Search Fees?

This will establish if your new home is likely to be affected by any planning decisions or other proposals.

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