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First time buyers

If you are part of the minority and have managed to save enough to get your foot on the property ladder may we say firstly, congratulations! Buying for the first time is an exciting and sometimes daunting process but a good estate agent will hold your hand through the process.

A good mortgage broker is also the key to a problem free purchase. They will have helped get you through the maze of mortgages out there and guided you to the best product for you. Once you have an agreement in principle you will be off and running to look for your ideal property knowing what you can comfortable afford.

With property prices in Beckenham and surrounding areas being buoyant, most first time buyers are securing leasehold properties. Freehold properties are available but do command a premium price.

When looking at leasehold properties there are certain things to consider:

Length of lease: These can be pricey to increase if they fall too low. Anything below 70 years is going to be a problem with the mortgage company. Have a chat without mortgage broker if you need some free no obligation advice.

Service/maintenance charges: These can be something you can forget to factor in. They range from property to property but is something you need to look at. They will be higher if the block has a lift or communal gardens etc.

Stamp duty: This has recently changed and does affect the amount you will ultimately pay. Please see the table below.

Property or lease premium or transfer value

SDLT rate

Up to £125,000


The next £125,000 (the portion from £125,001 to £250,000)


The next £675,000 (the portion from £250,001 to £925,000)


The next £575,000 (the portion from £925,001 to £1.5 million)


The remaining amount (the portion above £1.5 million)


Example If you buy a house for £275,000, the SDLT you owe is calculated as follows:

  • 0% on the first £125,000 = £0
  • 2% on the next £125,000 = £2,500
  • 5% on the final £25,000 = £1,250
  • Total SDLT = £3,750


Solicitor’s fees: We can recommend our trusted solicitors who will give you a no obligation quote for their services. We have all used these personally and know what a great service they provide.

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