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    • Sarah Brooks

    • Partner and Chartered Legal Executive
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Could you identify Japanese knotweed and save your property?

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Springtime is traditionally the busiest time for the property market, but with a knotty problem affecting more homes than ever, it’s worth doing some horticultural homework before you start, whether you’re buying or selling.

No stamp duty for first time buyers

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Chancellor Philip Hammond announced in his Budget yesterday that Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is to be abolished with immediate effect for first time buyers. Sarah Brooks, Residential Property Partner, explains the practicalities of the move from the Chancellor and what happens next for first time buyers.

Southampton named as most affordable location for first time buyers

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A recent survey by HSBC revealed that UK millennials, ie those born between the early eighties and the mid-to-late nineties, are less likely than their counterparts in other countries to own a home. But there lies hope, and it lies in Southampton! Post Office Money recently interviewed more than 1,000 people who have bought their first property in the last two years.

Help to Buy Scheme extended to 2021

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The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has announced that the Help to Buy Scheme, which was launched in 2013, is to continue until at least 2021. The news comes amid rumours that the scheme was to be scrapped, which led to shares in leading house builders falling earlier this month.

Has your EPC certificate expired?

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EPC certificates were first launched on the 1st August 2007, and were introduced as a way to provide energy usage and costs on a property, as well as making suggestions about how the property could be more energy efficient. This is based on a rating between A to G; A being most efficient and G least efficient.

Unexpected positivity in property market following Election

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When the General Election was called in May, possible uncertainty in the housing market was forecast once again, similar to a year ago in light of the EU referendum. Recent research however, and figures from local law firm Warner Goodman, has shown that this has not been the case, and the property market continues to grow apace.

Positive news for the property market as number of first time buyers continue to grow

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The housing market across the UK continues to stabilise since the uncertainty in 2016, as news comes from various sources showing that the number of first time buyers remains on the rise month on month, boosting the overall market for all home owners and potential buyers.

Garden village Welborne to come to Fareham

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As the housing market improves, so does the availability of homes in Hampshire as news comes of a new garden village to be developed in the area, sharing access to a £6million fund over the next two years. Welborne will be situated just outside Fareham as part of the Government’s new Garden Village framework in a bid to provide high quality, affordable housing.

Positive news for Hampshire property market as first time buyer figures rise for first time in 10 years

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Signs of the recovery of the UK property market were proven once again today as new figures show the number of first time buyers in 2016 reached its highest level since the start of the financial crisis in 2007. Sarah Brooks, Residential Conveyancing Partner, here reviews the news across the UK as well as here in the South.

Autumn Statement could bring more property tax changes

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Recent years have seen many changes to property tax and it appears this is unlikely to stop as Community and Local Government Secretary, Sajid Javid, has hinted that more could come in this month’s Autumn Statement.

Hammond makes housing market his priority

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During last month’s Conservative Party Conference, Chancellor Philip Hammond announced his plans to take the focus away from the budget surplus and instead invest in the development of new homes.

Almost 9,000 service personnel have benefit from Forces Help to Buy, why not you?

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Those serving in the Army, RAF or Navy can struggle to get on the property ladder; they are not always based in the UK and can find it harder to raise a deposit. These members of our society make a commitment for our country and so in April 2014, the Forces Help to Buy Scheme was launched. Earlier this year, for their two year anniversary it was announced that loans have reached £100million.

Holiday Home Options Without The Higher SDLT Rate

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As summer approaches and we look into making the most of our valued weekends and potential summer holidays, we weigh up the options of buying a rural or coastal retreat.

Record results for local law firm

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With house prices across the UK continuing to rise, we can also report a record increase in the number of people they have helped buy or sell their home in the past year, both encouraging signs that the UK housing market is improving.

Don't let your dreams of a perfect home sink away

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News of the sinkhole appearing in St Albans last week has prompted many people looking to buy a new home to consider the stability of the land where their future home sits. Sarah Brooks, Residential Conveyancing Partner advises here that purchasers may to wish consider investing in thorough checks as these types of concerns are impossible to identify with the naked eye.

Landlords advised to act soon on heating supply changes, otherwise be left in hot water

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Under new regulations, landlords must comply with the introduction of individual metering and charging on communal heating and other forms of heat networks advises Sarah Brooks, Residential Conveyancing Partner. The Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014 have been introduced in the UK in response to the European Energy Efficiency Directive, and landlords who currently operate a communal heat supply have until December 31st to comply with regulations.

10% of privately rented homes to be hit by new EPC rules

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In a bid to improve EU energy efficiency and reduce emissions across the UK, new laws have been introduced that require all rented properties meet a minimum energy performance standard by April 2018. Sarah Brooks, Residential Conveyancing Partner, advises landlords to start planning for any adjustments that will need to be made, otherwise risk facing a penalty fee or a restriction on renewing contracts.

Law firm support measures to combat property fraud

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As technology and its users continues to become more sophisticated, property fraud is one threat to home owners that is also on the rise. Sarah Brooks, Residential Conveyancing Partner, explains how the Land Registry has taken steps to minimise the risk of property fraud, a system that is whole-heartedly supported by the firm.

Osborne headlines on stamp duty but disappoints on inheritance tax

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The property market was top headline for Chancellor George Osborne in this year’s Autumn statement, with a radical change to stamp duty which should see 98% of buyers better off.

Property buyers play it safe with no-nups

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Savvy property owners who club together to buy a home are turning to no-nups to safeguard their investment. Sarah Brooks, Residential Conveyancing Partner, explains how cohabitation agreements, or no-nups as they are becoming increasingly known, can help fix the outcome if things go wrong between a cohabiting couple or two or more friends clubbing together.

Football team on the rise with support from Warner Goodman LLP

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The Residential Conveyancing Team at Hampshire based law firm Warner Goodman LLP are continuing their support for Under 12 football team Widbrook United Tornadoes by sponsoring their away kit for the second season.

Local law firm support plans to speed up house buying process

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The Conveyancing Association (CA) recently reported figures from their members’ survey showing the significant delay that can hold up leasehold property purchases and the impact this has. Consequently, the group has approached MP’s in Westminster with the proposition to tighten up the process between management companies and solicitors, a move that is welcomed by Sarah Brooks, Residential Conveyancing Partner.

Chancellor's Autumn budget has sting in tail for landlords and expats

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Property owners and landlords caught the eye of the Chancellor George Osborne in his Autumn statement, which included a package of measures designed to stimulate the housing market whilst bringing in more taxes from the property sector. Sarah Brooks, Head of the Residential Conveyancing Team at Hampshire based law firm Warner Goodman LLP here reviews the statement and what this means for the property market.

Warner Goodman LLP help local football team kick off in style

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The Residential Conveyancing Team at Hampshire based law firm Warner Goodman LLP have taken another step in their support for the local community by sponsoring Under 12 football team Widbrook United Tornadoes. The team, who are currently top of the table in the Portsmouth Youth Football League and also play in the Mid-Solent League, have used the sponsorship for their new away kit and here Sarah Brooks, head of the Residential Conveyancing Team, explains why they have decided to be involved with the promising young players.

New high for buy-to-let mortgages

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This quarter has seen the highest amount of buy-to-let mortgages in 5 years according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders, with 40,000 approved compared to 33,000 in the last quarter. But what does this mean for landlords looking to grow their existing portfolio, and for those first time buyers looking to move out of their rented accommodation?

Warner Goodman LLP secures Law Society's new quality mark

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Hampshire based law firm Warner Goodman LLP has secured membership to the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme – the mark of excellence for the home buying process.

Listed Building alterations hit by VAT bill

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Although most of us listened eagerly to the Budget to hear about the increasing cost of fuel and food, those involved in property will have been surprised to discover a proposed tax rise for approved alterations on listed buildings.