A Foreigner’s Guide to Buying Property in UK

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There are many reasons to buy property in the United Kingdom. A lot of people want a home for themselves and their family, while others may be looking for investment opportunities. Whatever your reason is, it’s important that you know what you’re getting into so you can make an informed decision on where to buy your next place.

You’ll need to consider things like how much money you have available, whether or not there is public transportation nearby and what type of area would best suit your needs. What kind of lifestyle do you lead? There’s no one size fits all answer when it comes to buying property in the UK because we’re all different and our lifestyles vary from person to person. The technical aspects of property purchase in the UK, however, is what you should learn beforehand.

1. Can foreigners buy property in the UK?

Buying property in the UK is easy for foreigners. With no legal restrictions, you can buy a house with a mortgage even if you are an expat or a non-resident. You’ll need some qualifications though: foreigners must be at least two years into their residency before they become eligible to purchase property.

If not yet residing permanently then there are stiffer requirements which may include higher deposits or more stringent criteria on income levels required due to financial stability concerns.

2. Same tax rules apply for foreigners buying UK property.

The same taxes apply on property for non-residents as UK residents. Stamp Duty is paid at the same rate, while Capital Gains Tax will be faced if you sell your home or investment with profit.

However, there might be some exceptions depending upon if an individual pays their own country’s taxation regarding rental properties in addition to paying British ones too. If your home country has a double taxation agreement with the UK, then you may have to pay less taxes when purchasing property.

3. Financing assistance for non-UK residents.

Mortgage lenders will offer you financing regardless of your citizenship, and they can even provide assistance for those who don’t speak English. They require a deposit that ranges between 5 to 40%.

Loans in the UK are often available at both fixed rates as well as variable ones with an interest rate determined by how much risk the bank believes one poses based on their credit history or income level (the higher these two numbers seem relative to each other).

4. Other upfront costs.

Aside from Stamp Duty, there are other upfront costs when buying property in the UK. These include:

  • Deposit – You’ll need to put down at least 5% towards costs, but some people opt for 40%.
  •  Mortgage costs – There are fees associated with taking out mortgages that can add up to thousands. A mortgage arrangement fee, booking fee and valuation charge may run you about £1-2k for each of these transactions; not including conveyancing costs or legal advice if needed during the purchase process.
  • Legal fees – You will need to hire a solicitor if you want to take out any type of mortgage. These fees can be at least £1,000 or even higher.
  • Land registry fees – These are paid to the UK government to transfer a property’s legal deeds.
  • Removal costs – Should you transfer your possessions to the UK from your old home, then you have to pay a removal company to do the job. Removal costs range between £300-600, depending on where your things are coming from.

References:

https://www.expatica.com/uk/housing/buying/buying-a-house-in-the-uk-103191/
https://privatebank.jpmorgan.com/gl/en/insights/investing/buying-residential-property-in-the-uk