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Right to Buy

Costs of buying your home

There are many costs associated with buying a property. As well as finding the purchase price (upfront in cash or with a mortgage), you will also have to maintain the property.

If you buy a leasehold property you will have to pay additional service charges.

Norwich City Council and the District Valuer won’t make any charges for processing your application to buy your home.

Mortgage

Unless you are going to buy your home with cash, you will need a mortgage (a loan to buy property). There are various kinds of mortgage which a bank, building society or an independent adviser can tell you about. You may have to pay for the cost of arranging the mortgage and will also have to pay a valuation fee.

The government has published a guide for tenants considering applying for a mortgage - Right to Buy Mortgages - Know the Facts.

If you cannot keep up the repayments on your mortgage, the lender may go to court and ask to take over your home. We do not have to give you another tenancy if you lose your home in this way.

If you lose your income through unemployment, you will need to get information from Job Centre Plus about claiming income support against your mortgage.

Legal advice

You should employ a solicitor or a licensed conveyancer to look after the legal side of buying your home. The Citizens Advice Bureau can advise on local firms, and your local public library should have a list of the solicitors in your area and the type of work they do. Before employing anyone, always ask how much their advice will cost.

Survey

You should have a survey of your home carried out after you receive notice from us informing you of the sale price and conditions of sale. Make sure you find out the cost before you go ahead with the survey. You should consider either:

  • A Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Home Buyers’ Survey and Valuation. This is a report and valuation in a standardised format outlining all significant defects.
  • A building survey. This involves a detailed examination of all the visible parts of the property. It is a good idea to undertake such a survey if the property is old, obviously in need of repair, or if you are considering making alterations. This type of survey may not be available if your home is a flat.

You can obtain more information about both of these surveys from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Registering ownership

When a sale is completed, you must pay the Land Registry to register you as the new owner; this will cost around £40.

Insurance

You will need to consider taking out insurance cover for your home and mortgage. There are four main types:

  1. Buildings insurance - This is essential as it covers the full cost of rebuilding your home if it is destroyed by fire or some other incident. In the case of flats, we arrange this insurance and you will make a contribution. If you need a mortgage to help buy your home, the lender will insist that you have buildings insurance.
  2. Contents insurance - You should insure the contents of your home against theft and other risks. If you currently have your home contents insurance from us this will end and you will have to arrange your own cover.
  3. Life assurance - This will pay off your mortgage if you die before the end of the mortgage period. It means your family is not left with the heavy burden of mortgage debt.
  4. Mortgage payment protection insurance - You need to think seriously about how you would meet your mortgage repayments
    if you lost your income, for example, through unemployment or ill health.In many cases, mortgage payment protection insurance will give you the security you need.

There are various insurance policies offering cover against these risks. The terms, level of cover and costs vary. It is a good idea to shop around for policies that best suit your needs.

Other regular costs of home ownership

Council Tax
This is a separate charge which we will bill you directly for whether you are a tenant or home owner. A small amount of tenants pay Council Tax as part of their rent. In these cases Council Tax will be paid as a separate bill when you buy your home.

Water charges
You may pay water charges as part of your rent, but if you buy your home you will have to pay directly to the water services company.

Gas/electricity charges
You may pay gas or electric charges as part of your rent. If you buy your home, you will have to pay directly to the services company.

Stamp duty
First time buyers will pay no stamp duty on properties worth up to £300,000.