Prenuptial solicitors Cork

First Time Buyers – what you need to know

Buying your first home is an exciting time.  It’s also one of the biggest steps you will make in your life and certainly one of the most, if not the most, expensive thing you will ever buy.  Here are some important issues to bear in mind when purchasing your first home:-

  1. Instructing a solicitor:-

Your solicitor will guide you through the legal process of transferring the ownership of the house from the vendor/builder to you, the purchaser.  Your solicitor will review the contracts for sale, raise pre-contract queries with the vendor’s solicitors and investigate the title to make sure you become the registered owner of the property, and that your mortgage lender’s interest in the property (i.e. the mortgage) is registered in the form of a “charge” on the property.  Your solicitor may look to insert or amend special conditions in the Contract to ensure your best interests are protected.  Your solicitor will provide you with details of their professional fees together with all fees due to third parties such as the Revenue Commissioners, law searchers, government agencies and commissioners for oaths.

  1. Engineer’s report:-

Whether you are buying a new or second hand house, it is strongly recommended that you engage the services of an engineer to inspect the property and prepare a report for you.  This will help to identify any issues with the property that you may not have been aware of when you made your offer.  If you are buying a house “off the plans” or a newly built home the engineer will review the planning documentation, identify the site you are purchasing, carry out inspections and prepare a snag list.

  1. Mortgage Lender’s Requirements:-

Before you even go house hunting you should engage with your mortgage lender to ascertain the extent of the mortgage which will be offered to you and the likely conditions attached to the loan. It is important that you are fully informed of any special conditions and deal with same promptly as certain special conditions such as life assurance cover can lead to a delay if there are any queries regarding medical evidence submitted.  Your solicitor should also ensure that the contracts for the purchase of the house include a special condition protecting you in the event that you are unable to fulfil the requirements of your lender.

  1. Insuring the property:-

Once you sign contracts for the purchase of your first home, you should put a policy of insurance in place to protect your interest in the property.

  1. Buying alone or with someone else:-

Are you buying alone or with someone else?  If you are single and buying alone you will be the sole owner of the property.  If you are buying alone but you are a married person there are potential legal issues arising in respect of the ownership of the property in respect of which you should receive legal advice.

If you are buying the property with someone else you have two ownership options:- to own the property jointly or with each of you holding a distinct and separate share in the property.  There are different legal consequences when purchasing a property with for example your spouse than there are when purchasing a property with a family member.  At Douglas Law Solicitors we will advise you fully in respect of this and all other matters relating to the purchase of your new home.

If you are in the market for your first home and require any further information please do not hesitate to contact us on 021 489 7256 or by email to