Buying a property can be challenging, even for seasoned property owners and can be especially daunting for first time buyers. Our Buyer’s Guide contains everything you need to know about purchasing a property in Jersey, so that you can be confident throughout the whole process of buying your dream home.
The first step to buying your home should be a visit to your bank or a reputable mortgage advisor. This will allow you to identify how much you can afford to spend on your new home. There is a wide selection of mortgage brokers in Jersey, which gives you the opportunity to shop around and get the best deal for you. You will need to explain your income and financial commitments, so ensure that you have these details ready for the meeting.
When considering your finances, remember to take into account the extra costs you will incur such as bank fees, surveyor’s fees, legal fees, stamp duty, moving expenses, and any other costs that may occur.
For a trusted local mortgage provider, contact:
The Mortgage Shop
To start your search for the right property, register with us here, call us on +44 (0) 1534 888855, or visit our offices on King Street, where you can discuss your property requirements with one of our experienced agents.
With hundreds of properties in Jersey to choose from, you can rest assured that we have what you’re looking for, and if we don’t we can certainly help you find your dream home.
When you are searching, take some time to think about your ‘wish list’ and once we have a clear understanding of your requirements we will keep you constantly up-to-date with the latest properties.
You can also keep in touch with your Negotiator by phone, text or email so they can alert you as soon as they hear of a property matching your criteria, before it even comes on the market!
Under the ‘Control of Housing and Work (Jersey) Law 2012’ there are four categories which determine where you can work and live.
The current qualifying period for obtaining housing qualifications is ten years, which means that you must either have been born locally and have lived on the Island for a combined period of ten years or, if born outside of Jersey you must have been permanently and continuously resident on the Island for the last ten years. Qualifications can also be gained through marriage to a residentially qualified person, through essential employment, or on social, economic or hardship grounds.
View our Jersey Housing Qualifications guide to find out more about residential statuses and what they mean:
A first time buyer is someone who has never owned property before. If you’re a first time buyer, you can receive certain perks that help get you on the property ladder.
You are a first time buyer if you:
There are certain circumstances where you might be considered a first time buyer, even if you already own property.
If you own a flying freehold flat you will count as a first time buyer if you:
If you own a share transfer flat you will count as a first time buyer if you:
If you have owned land your circumstances are considered individually by the Housing Minister, for example if you have:
If you have property that was owned by a spouse / ex-partner:
Your circumstances are considered individually by the Housing Minister.
In all cases, before you consider making a purchase, contact us to discuss your status as a first time buyer.
First time buyer stamp duty
If the property you’re buying is under £400,000, you’ll pay a reduced amount of stamp duty. You’ll also pay a reduced amount of land transaction taxes if you are buying a share transfer property.
First, use our handy Stamp Duty Calculator to work out how much you will need to pay in addition to the asking price. You can find the calculator on each of our property listings.
On top of this amount, there is an additional £80 registration fee in all cases and a £20 Jurat’s fee applicable to freehold rather than share transfer purchases (since you do not need to pass share sales through the Royal Court). It is the value of the property that is assessed, rather than the price, so transactions for an undervalue will incur Stamp Duty at the rate applicable to the open market value of the property.
It is important to remember that Stamp Duty or Land Transaction Tax (LLT) is also payable on the amount of any mortgage taken out to finance the transaction (either by way of what is known as ‘hypothec’ over a freehold property, or a ‘security interest’ over the shares relating to the share transfer property).
The stamp duty or LLT rate for such borrowings is generally 0.5% plus an £80 registration fee.
We’re available at times to suit you, convenient after work and on weekends:
Our offices are open 8.30am – 5.30pm Monday to Thursday, 8.30am – 5pm on Fridays and 9am – 1pm Saturdays. Our negotiators are also available on their mobiles, 7 days a week.
In order to secure a property, we recommend an early viewing. We will always accompany your viewings, ensuring that we are on hand to answer any questions immediately and advise where necessary.
Inspect each property thoroughly, don’t be afraid to ask for a second or third viewing at different times of the day, taking into consideration how the sunlight or traffic may affect the property.
Rarely does a property have a ‘fixed price’. Consider the price you wish to offer and your Negotiator will then put your offer forward to the vendor. Don’t forget to mention if you have a mortgage agreed in principle, if you are a cash purchaser, or there is no ongoing property chain in the transaction, as your offer could be more appealing to the vendor. Please remember that your offer must be made ‘subject to contract and survey’.
The bank will require a valuation survey of the property, however, if you obtain a full surveyor’s report this will ensure that there are no hidden defects with your new home. Speak to a Surveyor recommended by the Bank, or your Lawyer, and discuss with them the type of survey you require. There are different ‘levels’ of survey and consequently different costs.
There are three different types of surveys available, and it is at your discretion which you choose:
There are no legal obligations until contracts are signed.
For a trusted local surveyor, contact:
The successful purchase of a property can be reliant on the instruction of an efficient and experienced property lawyer, who can guide you through the legal and conveyancing process.
These local law firms specialise in Property Law. Click the links to find out more:
Le Gallais & Luce
Once your offer is accepted, we will ask you to provide your lawyers details and also provide your ‘know your client’ (KYC) documents including a copy of your passport, a current utility bill and a copy of your registration card. We will then prepare a memorandum of sale and send it to all parties.
You will now need to instruct your lawyer to proceed with the conveyancing process, and your mortgage broker to proceed with your application.
Conveyancing is the legal term for the team involved in the transfer of the property from the vendor’s ownership to you. This is the principal part of the work that your Lawyer will undertake for you. It is important that you find an Advocate, Solicitor or Conveyancer that you can trust, and communicate with in language that you understand. Prices for conveyancing can vary.
The legal team you instruct will receive a draft contract for sale from the vendor’s lawyer. They will check the terms of the contract and make a search at the Public Registry to verify ‘title’ to the property.
In case of Share Transfer purchase, they will also check the good standing of the company which holds the property. They will carry out a site visit to identify the boundaries at the property and make searches of the utility companies, the Parish, and States Departments to ensure that all is in order.
Once all the enquiries are satisfactory and complete they will meet with you to go through the terms of the purchase contract and complete the registration requirements for your mortgage. When all has been agreed you will be ready to complete your purchase. As part of the conveyancing process your lawyer will do the following:
We will assist your lawyer and negotiate throughout the process, keeping you informed every step of the way.
Completion usually takes between four to six weeks.
The Jersey conveyancing process for a Freehold property occurs when all enquiries have been confirmed and agreed, and ends with a contract being passed before the Royal Court on a Friday afternoon. You are welcome to attend, or one of the Conveyancers can attend on your behalf through Power of Attorney. Many clients enjoy the tradition of going to court to participate in the completion of their transaction.
You are now the legal owner of your new home, congratulations!
There’s a lot to remember when moving house, so minimise stress by staying organised. The first thing to remember is to change your address – here’s a helpful list to get you started.
It’s often hard to know where to start when selling your home, so we’ve compiled a list of simple steps to help make your selling journey an easy and enjoyable process.