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How to Sell a Home with a Short Lease

If you need to know how to sell a home with a short lease, we’ve got you covered. The process is fraught with complications and potential for delay.

Mortgage providers are very strict on this issue. After all, they won’t be prepared to loan you a large amount of money to buy a house unless they know it’s definitely going to be yours for a lifetime.

What is a short lease?

A leasehold home is one that sits on land that is owned by someone else. The leasehold permits you to occupy the land for a predetermined period.

The owner of the land is known as the freeholder. And that person or organisation can decide who occupies the land — and for how long. But most leases are long-term, lasting anywhere between 90 and 1,000 years. Once the lease runs out, legal possession of the land returns to the freeholder unless an extension can be agreed.

Find out the length of your lease

Sell a house with a short lease

Access the Land Registry website to obtain a full copy of your title deeds. This document will tell you whether you own a leasehold or freehold property. You should do this before you list your house for sale.

If you have less than 80 years remaining on your lease, the value of your property could be significantly lower than the local average. And buyers will find getting a mortgage on the property very difficult indeed.

Extending your lease

If you can extend your lease, you can make your home a lot more attractive to potential buyers. It’s important to remember that owners of a property aren’t able to apply for an extension until they’ve lived there for two years.

There are two ways to apply for a lease extension when selling a home:

An extension before a sale

The buyer can make the obtaining of a lease extension a condition of sale. The owner then applies to the freeholder for the extension. But this process can take several months. And if a homeowner needs to sell a house fast, this may not be a viable option.

Seller serves a statutory notice

To speed things along, the seller can serve the freeholder with a statutory notice requesting the extension. The notice would then be passed on to the new owner upon completion. However, most sellers would only do this after contracts have been exchanged.

Selling a short lease home fast

Sell a home with a short lease

In most cases, the pool of buyers potentially interested in a short lease home is low. And this means the price can be adversely affected. Traditional estate agents will sell short lease homes, but they’ll highlight the lease issue on all their marketing materials. This will slow the process down and reduce your property’s price potential.

You also have the option of selling at auction. Once the hammer falls, a sale at auction becomes legally binding, so there’s a lower chance of the buyer pulling out because of a short lease.

But you might need to sell your home quickly. You might also want to avoid all the hassle that comes with selling a short lease home. And that’s where Flying Homes can help. We buy homes directly from their owners — in partnership with cash buyers. This means you can avoid marketing, property viewings, negotiations and collapsed property chains.

Call us today for a free, no-obligation quote. We might be able to complete the purchase of your short lease home within a matter of days.

How Do I Value My Home?

Not even an experienced estate agent can value a UK property with total accuracy. This isn’t an exact science — it’s educated guesswork.

Estate agents buy and sell homes every week, so they’re often best placed to estimate local property values. But this doesn’t mean you stop doing the guesswork yourself. Search the Internet for ways to “value my home,” and you’ll find plenty of resources.

Knowing the potential value of your home is essential. After all, if you don’t know how much your property will fetch on the open market, how can you decide whether listing it for sale is the best course of action?

Five ways to value my home

1. Research trends in the area

Take a look at recent house sales data on the Land Registry web portal. Look for details of houses similar to yours in design, age and size. Is there a trend in your neighbourhood? Does your house possess advantages others in the area don’t?

Once you have the sale price data you need, work out an average range.

2. Look for market forecasts

Property experts continually monitor the housing market for signs of upturns and downturns. Using current and historical data, these experts can make some pretty accurate predictions about where house prices are headed. The Financial Times, Hometrack and the Land Registry are great places to start your forecast research.

3. Assess local factors

Value my home

The housing market is volatile and reactive. And it can differ from street to street in certain regions. In many cases, external issues beyond your control are responsible for these differences.

A new school, for example, could dramatically push up house prices in the catchment area. The addition of a new train station or a new road could also have a positive effect on house prices.

When valuing your home, think about what is happening in the area — and what is expected to happen in the future. If you can demonstrate to buyers that your area is going to benefit from new amenities and infrastructure in the future, you might be able to extract a premium for your property.
The most common issues that affect UK house prices include:

  • Crime levels
  • Environmental issues such as flood risk
  • Transport links
  • Local schools
  • Local amenities
  • Localised subsidence issues
  • The neighbours

4. Get a free valuation on the Internet

There are several online resources that offer free, no-obligation house valuations. And in many cases, all you need to do is enter your postcode and the number of bedrooms your home has. This isn’t very accurate, but it’s a good way of starting the valuation process.

5. Ask an estate agent

Value my home

Estate agents want your business. If they think you’re serious about selling your home, they’ll give up their time to value it. And their experience and knowledge are irreplaceable in this regard.

Only by using all of these five steps together can you hope to value your home accurately. And once you know what your home is capable of achieving, you can start to formulate a personalised house selling strategy.

But what do you do if you need to sell a house fast? What if quick cash is your priority? This is where Flying Homes can help. We buy houses directly from their owners for up to 100% of their market value. And because we allow you to bypass the traditional housing market, you may get the proceeds of your house sale within just two weeks.

Do I Need Indemnity Insurance When Selling a House?

Imagine you sold a house six months ago. Now imagine you received a legal letter this morning about possible defects with the property. The buyer is claiming thousands to cover repair costs. What do you do?

If you didn’t inform the buyer about the defects before contracts were exchanged, you might be liable for their costs. Indemnity insurance covers you against this type of scenario.

Indemnity insurance usually involves a single payment. And cover lasts forever. This type of insurance is also a viable alternative to fixing a major defect with your property before it’s sold.

What does indemnity insurance cover me for?

Indemnity insurance covers you against a range of potential issues, including:

Restrictive covenant

A restrictive covenant forbids certain alterations to a property — such as an extension. Indemnity insurance covers and legal costs you might incur as a result of a covenant breach.

Building regulations

If a home you sold is found not to have the necessary building regs documentation, indemnity insurance covers the costs of altering the property for compliance. The insurance also covers the administrative costs of putting things right.

Absence of easement

If a neighbour prevents you from accessing drains that serve your home, indemnity insurance covers the costs of legal action.

Planning permission

Indemnity insurance for planning permission isssues

Building without planning permission can lead to legal action. In certain circumstances, this action might culminate in the demolition of a building or extension. Indemnity insurance covers all the costs associated with a non-compliant property.

Missing particulars

Indemnity insurance covers the seller for the costs of updating title deeds with missing or incorrect information.

No build-over agreement

If you decide to build an extension within three metres of a sewer, you might need to acquire a build-over agreement from the local water authority. Homes without such an agreement might be forced to remove all or part of the offending structure.

Adverse possession

If you can’t prove you, as the homeowner, own all of the land on which your property sits, you might need to take steps to prove legal ownership. Insurance covers you against the costs associated with someone else claiming ownership of the land.

Is indemnity insurance expensive?

In most cases, indemnity insurance is well worth the expense. The cost of dealing with the issues raised above can be astronomical. Yet the cost of a good indemnity insurance policy can be as little as £20.

If you want cover for the costs of dealing with a lack of planning or building regulations, however, the policy will cost a lot more. Don’t be surprised to find quotes of between £300 and £600.

Is indemnity insurance for property sellers necessary?

Indemnity insurance

The chances of running into legal issues after you’ve sold a property are low. Most indemnity policies never pay out — as problems are rare. But for your peace of mind, parting with £20 or £30 for a basic policy makes sense.

If you suspect there may be problems with building regulations, planning permission or land ownership, get indemnity insurance. But be prepared to pay a hefty premium.

Taking out indemnity insurance is a good way to sell a house fast. This covers you for a range of legal issues, so you don’t have to waste too much time searching for missing paperwork, certificates and permissions. Indeed, a lot of conveyancers and mortgage providers insist the seller takes out indemnity insurance at the earliest opportunity.

Having indemnity insurance can help you to sell a home quickly — but not that quickly. If you need to raise cash in a hurry, it might be best to avoid the market altogether. And that’s where Flying Homes comes in. We buy houses fast. In some cases, we’re able to complete a purchase within a matter of days.

Can I Sell a House with Asbestos?

While asbestos is widely regarded as a construction evil of the 20th century, it’s been around far longer than most people realise. Asbestos was, in fact, used by both the Roman and Persian Empires. The substance is a great insulator and fire-resistant. It also conducts electricity well.

This cost-effective material was used to provide safe and relatively cheap insulation in buildings for several decades. But when the link between asbestos and a degenerative respiratory condition was established, the substance became synonymous with ill health and life-threatening conditions.

Asbestos creates dust — both during the manufacturing process and when it’s disturbed. In this dust are tiny and very sharp shards. Then they get into the lungs these shards can cut and scar tissue relatively easily. And when that happens, diseases such as tuberculosis and fibrosis become more likely.

Following hundreds of thousands of asbestos-related deaths around the world, the substance was banned from construction during the 1970s and 1980s. But the sale of buildings containing asbestos remained legal. And to this day, you can still sell a house with asbestos. But whether you inherited the property or bought it several years ago, there are a few things you need to know.

Do I have to disclose the presence of asbestos when selling a house?

Asbestos in a roof

You must inform potential house buyers that your property contains asbestos. Of course, you may not know that the substance is present. But even the most basic of surveys will detect it.

If your home was built before 1978, there’s an excellent chance that it contains asbestos. Any surveyor or mortgage provider knows this, and they will look for the material before a house sale goes through.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that failing to detect the presence of asbestos could result in criminal proceedings against the surveyor. If there’s even the slightest possibility your home contains the material, expect surveyors to move heaven and earth to find it.

But a surveyor is only expected to detect asbestos by reasonable means. Asbestos used as insulation in a loft is easy to identify, for example. But authorities wouldn’t necessarily expect surveyors to find asbestos inside solid walls or in hidden areas.

Can I sell a house with asbestos?

Surveyors are rarely experts in asbestos. They know what to look for, but they aren’t usually qualified to assess the risk and manage the removal process. If asbestos is found in your home, you’ll have to enlist the services of a qualified professional.

One of the issues an asbestos expert will look for is the state of the asbestos. If it’s in a bad way, it poses a serious health risk. But if it’s intact, it won’t be regarded as a threat. Even if the asbestos is in good condition, you must still disclose its presence to anyone who wants to buy your home.

Selling houses with asbestos

Sell the house fast or deal with the issue first?

The decision on whether to purchase a home with undamaged asbestos is fully down to the buyer. If they want to proceed, that’s up to them — although they may expect a reduction in the sale price. If your home contains damaged asbestos, you’ll probably need to address the problem yourself. If you want to sell your house fast, however, you can. But you’ll be forced to accept a substantially reduced final sale price.

The removal of asbestos is a highly skilled and painstaking process. It requires special equipment, sophisticated precautionary measures and specialist knowledge. Expect to pay between £50 and £100 a square metre for removal of the substance. Even in an average-sized home, the final bill could be well in excess of £2,000.

Or maybe you just want to cut your losses and sell a house with asbestos as fast as possible. Flying Homes can buy your property as it is right now. This means that you can leave the problem of asbestos to someone else. We buy UK homes for up to 100 per cent of their market value. And in the right circumstances, you could have the proceeds of the sale in your bank account within just a month or so.

My Ex Has Stopped Paying the Mortgage — What Next?

A divorce is usually a stressful and emotional event — more so when it involves joint home ownership. If your ex has stopped paying the mortgage, it’s important to understand your legal position and your responsibilities.

We’ve put together a short guide on what to do when a joint homeowner neglects their financial obligations.

Who is liable when a partner stops paying the mortgage?

If your name is on the mortgage, you’re liable for the repayments — whether or not you’ve been responsible for them in the past. If your partner suddenly stops making payments and you fall into arrears, your credit rating will be affected. And you’ll be jointly liable for any interest charges and fees.

Couple managing the debt. Ex stopped paying the mortgage

I want to stay in the property

If you want to live in the property even though your partner has stopped making mortgage repayments, your options might be limited. Contact your lender to explain the situation. There may be the option of a payment holiday or reducing the monthly repayments somehow. As long as you’re honest and communicate regularly, your lender might respond to your requests favourably.

But this is only a short-term solution. Sooner or later, your mortgage company will demand monthly repayments in full — along with any arrears due. If you have a steady income, you have the option of taking on the mortgage repayments yourself. However, doing so without a legal agreement in place regarding ownership of the property doesn’t improve your claim to it.

The best course of action is to appoint a solicitor to deal with the issue of property ownership. If you’re determined to stay in the home, you have the option of making an offer for your ex’s share.

I want to leave the property

My ex has stopped paying the mortgage

If you can’t afford the repayments on your own, or you want to move on, you can sell the house. However, you’ll need the permission of your ex — even if they’ve stopped making repayments.

Sell your house fast, and split what’s left after the mortgage has been settled. But remember: you might have to pay an early settlement fee. And you’ll need to pay any arrears and penalty charges using the proceeds of the sale.

Exactly how the proceeds of a house sale are split depends on the circumstances of the divorce. You can either agree on percentages between you or go to court and leave the decision to a judge. If you’ve been paying the mortgage on your own for several months, you might feel you’re owed more than half the equity.

What happens to my home if we have children?

If dependent children under the age of 18 are involved, the process is a little different. In most cases, the primary caregiver will get the right to remain in the property until all of the children turn 18. A judge might decide this even if your spouse wants to sell the house. The court will usually force your partner to contribute to the mortgage during this time. Alternatively, you might be in a position to buy your partner’s share of the property outright.

Dealing with property ownership during a messy divorce is often complex and very stressful. If you’re determined to sell up and move on as quickly as possible, we can help. We buy houses fast — and for up to 100 per cent of their value.

5 Reasons Property Downsizing is a Great Idea

Downsizing involves selling a larger home to buy a smaller property to free up cash for retirement or other things. Whether you want to buy a second home or have more money in your pocket for leisure activities, trading down this way can change your life for the better.

While there are some drawbacks — including having less room to live — downsizing your home delivers several positive outcomes. Here are five of the most exciting.

1. Remove the clutter from your life

The more space we have, the more we tend to hoard. Many of us could quite easily move to a smaller property if we removed unwanted and unused possessions from our home.

Downsizing makes de-cluttering your live a necessity. You don’t have the space for all the items you’ve accumulated over the years, so you give them away or sell them. And that’s a very liberating experience. Having fewer possessions in your home means less cleaning — and less stress.

2. Generate cash

Downsizing property

If you can easily move to a smaller property, you have a great opportunity to generate cash for large purchases or lifestyle changes. If you have a lot of equity in your home, downsizing can free a lot of it up. And that’s money you can spend on holidays, the purchase of a car, putting your children through university or simply living a more fulfilling life.

You might want to pay off your debts and leave yourself with more disposable income every month. Unlock the value in your property by selling it, and use the cash to settle your loans, credit cards and hire purchase agreements.

3. Slash the cost of living

A large home is always more expensive to run than a small one. Take your energy bills, for example. A lot more gas is required to heat a four-bedroom house with large rooms than a one-bedroom apartment. And a lot more electricity is required to light the big spaces in the larger property.

Downsizing your home should result in lower maintenance and repair costs. And the cost of decorative works and renovations should be a lot lower, too. If all this isn’t impressive enough, you can also look forward to greatly reduced Council Tax bills.

4. A fresh start

Downsizing home for a new start

Living in a large home for several years doesn’t always give you the chance to create your personal space from scratch. You add to the property over many years. And then one day, you realise it’s nothing like the home you initially imagined.

Downsizing is an excellent opportunity to choose a home that suits your requirements. Perhaps your children have grown up and moved out. Or maybe you’ve decided to work from home now. It may be that your tastes have changed. Whatever the reason for downsizing, it’s a chance to start your life with a blank canvas.

5. Help the environment

If you own a large, older property, the chances are it’s not as environmentally friendly as it could be. And to make it so might cost several thousand pounds. But choose a smaller, new-build property, and those energy-saving features you want will probably be in place from day one.

A smaller home requires a lot less energy. And it’s built to modern standards of efficiency and energy preservation. You get to save a lot of money and reduce your own carbon footprint at the same time.

If you’re looking to downsize a home as quickly as possible, Flying Homes can help. We buy homes in the UK directly from owners, so you don’t need to waste time marketing, negotiating, and drawing-out legal processes.

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