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First Time Buyer Advice

To make buying a property for sale in Westminster, Pimlico, Victoria, St Johns Wood, Bayswater, Paddington, Edgware Road or Maida Vale  more affordable you can consider buying with other people or buying a newly-built property with an incentive scheme or any shared ownership schemes that may be available.

If you are a first time buyer, buying through CityWest Residential we will of course be on hand to guide you through every step and we are able to refer you to quality mortgage brokers, surveyors and solicitors – please see our buyer's guide on our website. Our two estate agency offices in St John’s Wood and Belgravia have many properties for sale you may be interested in. You will also find our staff are happy and able to advise you on the whole process as we are Westminster’s appointed representative of The Guild of Professional Estate Agents.

Help from home ownership schemes

A number of government schemes offer people on lower incomes and first-time buyers financial help. For information on these schemes, see the link 'Affordable home ownership schemes - a guide'.Click Here

A ‘first-time buyer’ is defined differently by different schemes. HM Revenue & Customs defines you as a first-time buyer if you haven’t bought, alone or with others:

  • An interest in residential property in the UK (except property with less than 21 years left on the lease)
  • An equivalent interest anywhere in the world

Some home ownership schemes let council or housing association tenants buy their homes at a discount, if they qualify.

Buying a home with other people

Buying a home with family members, friends or a partner can help make home ownership a reality. You’ll be able to share the costs of the deposit and the expenses of running a home.

Before you buy, decide how ownership and use of the home will be arranged between everyone who is buying. Think carefully about what will happen if circumstances change – this can help avoid disagreements in the future.

You should get legal advice and draw up an agreement as to how property will be divided in case of:

  • One of you deciding to give up their share in the property
  • One of you dying

Arranging legal ownership of the property

Legal ownership of a home can be arranged between two or more people, as ‘joint tenants’ or ‘tenants in common’. The maximum number of legal owners is four.

There are legal and financial rules depending on the form of ownership you choose. For example, if you buy as ‘joint tenants’, you can’t pass on your share of the property in your will. Instead, it will automatically go to the other joint owners.

Get legal advice from your solicitor or licensed conveyancer before you make a decision.

Buying a newly built home

Buying a newly built home in Westminster, Pimlico, Victoria, St Johns Wood, Bayswater, Paddington, Edgware Road or Maida Vale can sometimes be more affordable than buying an older home because:

  • Some developers offer special deals, like offering to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax or some of the deposit
  • You’re less likely to have to spend money on repairs and decorating in the first few years
  • You can often choose the fixtures and fittings, like carpets and kitchen units

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