In-Deed is a countrywide network of conveyancing solicitors offering highly efficient legal services for Kent home-buyers and -sellers, or if you are planning on remortgaging or transferring equity from your property.
In-Deed works on a 'No Completion, No Fee' basis, meaning you won't need to incur any legal fees unless you actually move home successfully. Whether you live in Ashford or anywhere else in Kent or the UK, our property lawyers will make your home move simple and hassle=free, while you can be assured of a quality service at a competitively-low fee.
Why not try our quote calculator to see how competitively low our prices are? Or you could call us on 0800 038 6886 to talk to one of our advisers, who will guide you through the process with the minimum of fuss. Or you can drop us a line by emailing [email protected].
Living in Ashford
Ashford, an international terminal for the Eurostar, is located in Kent in South-East England and is roughly eighteen miles from the county town of Maidstone. Standing on the River Great Stour, Ashford has a growing population of around 118,000 (according to the 2011 census).
Davies Family Bakery and M.M Cash & Carry butchers are some of the useful grocery options in the area, although Ashford is served by branches of all the major supermarkets, and experiences the so-called 'Waitrose Effect' (a phenomenon where people perceive an area to be better if an upmarket supermarket is built there, thus pushing up local house prices).
The Kent Downs, Belmont House and Garden, and Doddington Place Gardens are listed among local days out for Ashford.
Local Authority and Council Tax for Ashford
Ashford is administered by the Ashford Borough Council (which is Conservative-controlled by a significant majority as of the 2015 local elections; next elections on 2 May 2019). Council Tax brackets for the tax year 2019/2020 (unparished areas) are:
- Band A - £1,155.22
- Band B - £1,347.76
- Band C - £1,540.29
- Band D - £1,732.83
- Band E - £2,117.90
- Band F - £2,502.97
- Band G - £2,888.05
- Band H - £3,465.66
This means that council tax charges are 3%-4% higher than the average for the rest of the country.Information retrieved on 25 April 2019 from the Ashford Borough Council website.
How your property lawyer completes the conveyancing in Ashford
Deciding on your quote - Whilst there is no legal impediment why you shouldn't do the conveyancing procedure yourself, the vast majority of us will not have the expertise or time, and instead instruct a solicitor for the conveyancing. Besides which, any mistakes you make will follow you and you won't have the indemnity insurance that solicitors are obliged to carry for such events. Look for quotes that have a 'No Completion, No Fee' guarantee, so that you're protected from paying any of the fees if the transaction fails for any reason, but also check the terms for any hidden additional fees.
Instructing a solicitor - At the point you have decided which conveyancer's quote you would like to go ahead with, it will be necessary to formally appoint them on the formalities for your Ashford home move. You should peruse the solicitor's terms in detail for any further conveyancing costs (e.g. costs for acting on a leasehold purchase) before approving them. However, note that recent legislation on fee transparency should eventually eradicate this unfair practice.
The draft contract stage - Pre-contract enquiries are carried out, including investigating rights-of-way over the property, as well as an identity and bankruptcy check to verify who you are. The draft contract itself will be drawn up.
Booking an RICS Home Survey - An RICS chartered surveyor with experience of working on property in Ashford will spot any defects in the building, including dry rot, condensation problems, or evidence of asbestos, as well as a host of other issues that might affect the home you want to buy.
Ashford searches - Environmental, Drainage and Water, Chancel Liability, and Local Authority are the four standard searches that mortgage lenders will require to ensure they understand the risks associated with the property before making you a loan offer. These searches look into a variety of factors, including details of conservation area controls, and the risk of flooding in the area. Possible additional searches for property in Ashford could include a Coal Mining Search, but your solicitor will discuss this with you before ordering them, providing you with the cost of the additional disbursement.
Exchanging contracts - Once the purchaser's deposit is arranged, contracts are exchanged. The two sides are now legally obliged to go through with the transaction (or incur financial penalties).
Completion - The remaining funds due are paid to the seller's conveyancing solicitor, and the purchaser collects the keys to their purchase from the agent, and they will receive the title deeds.
Tools including case-tracking and email updates are often marketed as the primary key to fast, low-cost conveyancing by some lawyers' firms, seeking your custom by making such promises.
However, important though these are as supporting tools, the key to a less stressful transaction is appointing a solicitor who is both efficient and who provides regular updates, regardless of the software they use. With In-Deed, home-movers get the advantage of both online conveyancing and the support of a dedicated property lawyer with a breadth of local knowledge and experience.
To discuss your moving and conveyancing needs further, why not give us a call on 0800 038 6886? And why not try our quote calculator to see how competitively low our prices are?
Ashford solicitors' legal fees
Sometimes conveyancing solicitors hide charges in the terms of their conveyancing quote, but, often, these fees are plain from the beginning when generating a solicitor's quote, so there is no justifiable reason for concealing them. New legislation has been introduced pushing for greater transparency in conveyancing fees in an attempt to eradicate such practices.
But, in spite of this, you should always check the fine-print of the terms of business for specific items that might include extra solicitors' fees for acting on a shared ownership file, or for bank TT's. At In-Deed, we offer a fixed-fee solicitor's quote for your Ashford purchase or sale, which guarantees that what you see on the quote for the fees is precisely what you'll be invoiced for but only on successful completion of the transaction.
Read more on our fixed conveyancing fee promise. Want to get your conveyancing under way today? Call our waiting team of advisers now on 0800 038 6886; our lines are open 7 days a week.
Remortgaging a property in Ashford
Are you intending to remortgage a home in Ashford? Or simply wishing to transfer equity out of the property? Our solicitors at In-Deed have a proactive approach that can lead to quicker completions, which can save you a monthly payment at your higher mortgage rate.
Our home-moving lawyers can take instructions for all building society and bank panels, which is of great benefit to you since you won't be required to pay the lender's legal bill on top of yours.
To discuss your remortgaging or equity transfer needs further, call one of our waiting advisers on 0800 038 6886.
Purchasing with the Help to Buy scheme in Ashford
This government-sponsored scheme aims to assist homebuyers with three ways of purchasing a property:
- Help to Buy ISA - if you are a first-time buyer and don't own any other property (anywhere in the world), and you don't have another cash ISA opened in the same tax year, when you buy your first home, the solicitor will apply for the government bonus on your behalf when closure of your Home to Buy ISA used to buy the property is confirmed.
- Help to Buy: Equity Loan - if you have no other property and are buying a newly-built home, the government will provide 20% of the cost of the house (up to a maximum of £600,000), leaving you with the saved 5% deposit and a 75% mortgage to cover the remainder. This is open to current homeowners and first-time buyers, and the home cannot be sublet nor can it be used in a part-exchange deal.
- Help to Buy: Shared Ownership - if your household earns less than £80,000, you could be eligible for this scheme, which allows you to buy between 25% and 75% of the home's value, while the government pays the remainder on which you would then pay rent.
(information retrieved from HM Government's Help to Buy website on 16 April 2019).
Contact the Money Advice Service, the government's Help to Buy website, or your local 'Help to Buy' agent for more information.
To find out how In-Deed can help with the legal side of the various Help to Buy schemes and what it means to your planned property purchase, give our helpful advisers a quick now on 0800 038 6886 and get your conveyancing kick-started today.
Ashford property prices
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Being in the commuter belt, Ashford in Kent generally enjoys higher than average house price rises than many parts of the country, and this has been the case since 2016. However, in the year to February 2019, the local market has stagnated with most property types experienced price drops on average. This may be due to weaker market conditions, and the uncertainty surrounding the future with Brexit.
- All properties - £285,320 (a fall of -0.2% since February 2018 but a rise of 14.8% since February 2016)
- Flats, apartments and maisonettes - £162,506 (a fall in value of -2.9% since February 2018 but a rise of 13.1% since February 2016)
- Terraced houses - £226,374 (a fall of -0.6% since February 2018 and a rise of 14.1% since February 2016)
- Semi-detached houses - £275,315 (a rise of 0.1% since February 2018 and 15.6% since February 2016)
- Detached houses - £448,807 (a rise of 0.1% since February 2018 and 15.4% since February 2016)
House price data retrieved on 19 April 2019 (©2019 HM Land Registry)