What will you have to pay to buy your home and what discounts you're entitled to.
You will have to pay the market value of the property, excluding any value resulting from your own improvements such as kitchen or bathroom upgrades or your own central heating system, less the discount you are entitled to.
If you disagree with the valuation assessment of your home you have a right of appeal to the District Valuer who operates independently of us (the council).
If you are applying to purchase your home under the right to buy scheme you are entitled to a discount which is based on the length of your qualifying period. The discount allowed is subject to scheme rules that state:
- Purchasers of houses and bungalows with a qualifying period of 3, 4, or 5 years may be entitled to a maximum discount of 35%
- Purchasers of flats and maisonettes with a qualifying of 3, 4, or 5 may be entitled to a maximum discount will be 50%.
The percentages quoted above are only applicable if the discount does not exceeding the maximum discount allowance in Welwyn Hatfield, which is currently £82,800.
In some cases your discount may be reduced if you have previously purchased a public sector property with a discount, or because of the "cost floor rule". The cost floor rule applies to properties built or acquired before 2 April 2012 and states that we (the council) cannot sell the property to you for less than has been spent in last 10 to 11 years on building, buying, maintaining, repairing or improving it.
For a property built or acquired on or after 2 April 2012, the cost floor rule states that that we cannot sell the property to you for less than we have spent in last 15-16 years on building, buying, maintaining, repairing or improving it.
We will not charge you for processing your application or providing a valuation, however you will have to pay the fees of any agents, brokers or solicitors acting on your behalf. You will also have to pay for any private surveys or valuations that you or your advisors arrange to help you obtain a mortgage, or to help you decide whether or not to buy.
Your purchase will have to be registered with H.M. Land Registry, and a fee is also charged for that. Stamp Duty will be payable on your purchase according to the Inland Revenue's current rules for buying properties.
Regular homeowner costs
Like any homeowner you can expect to have to pay bills for council tax, water, sewerage, gas, electricity or other utility services. You will need to pay your mortgage, if you have one. You should bear in mind that depending on the terms of your mortgage, the payments required from you could go up.
There is a serious risk of your home being repossessed by your lenders if regular mortgage payments are not made; this will be set out in your agreement with your lender.
You should carefully consider to have:
This covers the cost of rebuilding your home in the event of destruction by fire or other hazard. In the case of leaseholders of flats and maisonettes, we may recharge some insurance costs to you through service charges, but you should still consider what additional insurance you might need to cover your own liabilities
Life assurance pays off your mortgage if you die prematurely, so that your family is not left with the mortgage debt
Mortgage protection insurance
This covers your mortgage repayments if you lose your income though unemployment or ill health.
Some or all of the products above may be required by your lenders.
Additional costs to consider
It is advisable to allow for the expenses of keeping your property maintained and in good repair. These will include window frames, wiring, plumbing, heating equipment, gutters and rainwater pipes. It is likely these will all require some attention or renewal during the properties life span. The exterior of your property may require redecoration, and major works such as roofing repairs and other structural works may be necessary, which can be very expensive.
If you buy a flat or maisonette, you will become a leaseholder and we, as your landlord, will be responsible for the structure and exterior of the property. Our expenses in maintaining, repairing and improving the structure and exterior will be passed on to you though your leaseholder service charges.
Leaseholders should therefore expect to pay regular service charges, and from time to time there may be charges for major works and can be expensive.