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A Guide to Buying Property in Jersey

Thursday 21st April 2022

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.

Mortgages & Finances

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 finances, remember to take into account the extra costs you will incur such as bank fees, surveyor’s fees, legal fees, stamp duty and general moving expenses.

For a trusted local mortgage provider, contact:

The Mortgage Shop

01534 789830

www.mortgageshop.je

Octagon Finance

01534 744900

www.octagonfinance.co.uk

Skipton International

01534 509501

www.skiptoninternational.com

Follow These Easy Steps to Find your Dream Home

Kick start your search by registering with Thompson Estates today. By registering with us you can rest assured that we’ll help you find what you’re looking for.

Start thinking about your ‘wish list’ and once we have a clear understanding of your requirements we will keep you up-to-date with the latest properties.

You can also keep in touch with your assigned 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.

Call us on: 01534 888855

Visit our offices on King Street

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Jersey Housing Qualifications

Under the ‘Control of Housing and Work (Jersey) Law 2012’ there are four categories which determine where you can work and live.

Under the control of the ‘Housing and Work Law’ there are four new categories which determine where you can work and live. The current qualifying period for obtaining housing qualifications is 10 years. All existing qualified categories are known as ‘Freehold, Flying Freehold, Leasehold & Share Transfer.’ All other property is ‘Registered’ which is also known as ‘Non qualified.’

Regulations are broken down into the following categories:

Entitled: This is an individual who has lived on the Island for 10 years or more, who can buy, lease or sell any property.

Licensed: This is an individual who is an essential employee, meaning they are critical to the essential functioning of work involving the safety of human life or the protection of property. They can buy, sell or lease any property apart from assisted purchase or social rented housing.

Entitled for work: This is an individual who has lived in Jersey for five consecutive years immediately before the date the card is issued, or is married to someone who is ‘Entitled’, ‘Licensed’, or ‘Entitled for work’. They can buy property jointly with an ‘Entitled’ spouse / civil partner and can lease ‘Registered’  property as a main place of residence.

Registered: This is an individual who does not qualify for any of the above categories. They can buy or lease a ‘Registered’ property as their main place of residence.

View our Jersey Housing Qualifications guide to find out more about residential statuses and what they mean.

First Time Buyers

What is a first time buyer?
 

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:

What if you already own a property?
 

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 or 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:

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 £500,000, 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.

Stamp Duty & Land Transaction Tax

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. 

The Key to Successful Viewings

We’re available at times to suit you, convenient after work and on weekends:

Our offices are open at the following times:

Monday – Thursday 8.30am – 5.30pm 

Friday 8.30am – 5pm

Saturday 9am-1pm

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.

Making an Offer

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’.

Obtaining a Property 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:

1. Valuation Survey

An inspection of the property by your lender’s representative to ascertain how much the property is worth as security for the mortgage loan.

2. Homebuyer’s Survey

This survey provides slightly more detail about the structure and condition of the property.

3. Building Survey

A full structural survey providing an in-depth analysis of the condition of the property. The cost for each type of survey varies largely dependent upon the size of the property.

There are no legal obligations until contracts are signed.

For a trusted local surveyor, contact:

Wills Associates / Chartered Surveyors

01534 285192

Instructing a Lawyer

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:

 

Appleby

01534 888777

Bedell Christin

01534 814286

Benest & Syvret

01534 875875

Bois Bois

01534 480480

Carey Olsen

01534 888900

Collas Crill

01534 601700

Le Gallais & Luce

01534 760760

Mourant

01534 676215

Ogier

01534 514000

Parslows

01534 630530

Steven Slater

01534 755755

Viberts

01534 888666

Voisin Law

01534 500300

When Your Offer is Accepted

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 Explained

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.

What will my Lawyer do for me?

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 Day

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!

Moving Checklist

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 – take a look at our Moving checklist in our Buying a Property Guide below


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