Worried about missing the stamp duty deadline? There's more to consider.
With just weeks to go before the stamp duty deadline comes to an end many buyers, who are in the process of purchasing a property, could be worrying that time is running out and they will lose out on the savings it was intended to bring – with some deciding to pull out of the transaction. It’s understandable, says Reeds Rains, but if you do, think of what you might lose instead.
Money already spent
As any buyer knows there are numerous costs involved in purchasing a property, not just the stamp duty. You’ll have probably already incurred solicitor costs as well as the cost of surveys and local authority searches. There may also be the costs of independent surveys you’ve organised – perhaps to gain quotes for remedial work that might be required on the property once you own it.
If you are paying rent this could also add to your overall costs meaning you are effectively paying out money to your landlord for longer - instead of putting it ‘into’ your own home.
Your chance to buy what you want
Prices are continuing to rise (*) and, particularly if you started the transaction some time ago, the kind of property you are hoping to buy may have increased in value. Should you withdraw now, you may miss out on the opportunity to buy a property of that kind again and have to settle for less. You might want to question if it’s worth it?
Your dream home
There’s strong demand for property at the moment and therefore increased competition. Whilst you might think that something else will come along if you withdraw from your purchase, there’s no guarantees, and you might find that the length of time it takes to find, and buy, your dream home will run into months. You have to consider if you can wait this long.
As a mortgage offer is only valid for a set amount of time, you could find that it is withdrawn if you choose to buy later. You’d then have the inconvenience, and possible added costs, of renegotiating a mortgage. If the current crisis has impacted, or could impact, your finances in any way, you may also find that your chances of gaining a mortgage are restricted – with less choice in products being available to you or, worse still, have difficulty in finding one within your budget.
Buying a property takes time and effort and can be filled with emotion, from finding your property, having an offer accepted, gaining a mortgage and to the ongoing dreams of what you’ll do with it once you’ve moved in. To withdraw from a purchase is a big decision and can lead to many unforeseen consequences as a result, not just for the buyer but other parties that might be in the property chain too. It’s understandable that, as a buyer, you will be very disappointed if you miss the stamp duty holiday deadline of 31 March (and the tax savings this could bring) but, equally, there’s a whole lot more you could lose if you were to withdraw from your purchase – and they are all worth considering.
(*) Zoopla House Price Index Report – November 2020