Property: Home Truths
Sunday 18 January 1998
Due to my recent retirement, my wife and I are now able to afford having our dream home built. What are the pros and cons of having your home built for you?
C Wright, Plymouth
The great advantage of building your own home is that you are able to create something that suits your every requirement. It can also allow you to convert a non-residential property, such as a barn. One drawback is that it can be difficult to gain planning permission. You will also need to keep a regular check of the costs you are incurring as it can be very easy to exceed your budget.
I am a keen angler and intend to buy a house that has a river at the bottom of the garden. Will I legally be able to fish from the bottom of my garden?
P Harrison, Stratford-upon-Avon
Normally, you will own the river bed up to the middle of the river if your property backs on to or faces the river. Under common law, the owner of the river is also presumed to own the right to fish. However, you will need to ask your solicitor to check that the fishing rights of the property have not been sold to a third party. If you do own the rights to fish, you will still need an Environment Agency fishing licence.
Can you tell me what a Deposit Guarantee Scheme is? My solicitor has suggested that this is better than paying a deposit.
D Ryan, Bath
When you exchange contracts on a purchase of residential property it is normal to pay a deposit of 10 per cent. The Deposit Guarantee Scheme is an insurance policy designed to remove the need for a cash deposit and is paid for by those buying the property. The seller receives a guarantee instead of a cash deposit.
The insurance company will compensate the seller if you default under the contract. You can also get similar policies where the guarantee can be passed along a chain of property transactions.
I recently read an advertisement in the press which emphasised the advantages of "shared ownership". How does this work?
B Kearny, Manchester
Shared ownership is an option for people who cannot afford a property on their current salary. A housing association allows you to buy a percentage of the property - the minimum is usually either 25 or 50 per cent - and retains the remaining share of the property. You take out a mortgage for the percentage of the property you are buying and pay rent to the housing association for the part it owns. There are usually other costs, so you must make sure you understand the full amount you will be paying each month.
If your income increases, you may have the option of increasing your share in the property. Not all lenders offer mortgages for shared ownership and those that do have differing lending guidelines. If you are considering entering into a shared ownership agreement, I would suggest you seek advice from a qualified financial adviser.
q George Wise is managing director of NatWest UK Mortgage Services.
q Send your queries on practical property issues to the following address: Home Truths, Travel & Money, Independent on Sunday, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL, fax: 0171-293 2043; e- mail: email@example.com
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
iJobs Money & Business
$200 - $350 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: Managing Producer Office...
$125 - $225 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advi...
Up to £70,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...
Up to £65,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...