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How will Stamp Duty affect my move?

We all know that buying property involves various costs and fees and it’s important to do the sums in advance so that you understand your budget and there are no nasty surprises. There are many factors to contemplate and understand, not forgetting about those all-important and unavoidable expenses.

Stamp Duty Land Tax is one of the biggest costs for home movers and questions are often asked about the ins and out of the land tax. So to lend a helping hand, we’ve created this simple FAQ!

Interesting Fact: The name ‘stamp duty’ originates in the 17th century and refers to an official stamp attached or impressed on documents, as proof that they were legally binding.

What is Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)?
In basic terms, Stamp Duty is a land tax payable in England and Northern Ireland. It is payable only by the buyer for all freehold or leasehold property. The current SDLT threshold is £125,000 for residential properties and it applies if you pay outright or by mortgage.

In what circumstances does Stamp Duty need to paid?
You pay the tax when you:

· Buy a freehold property
· Buy a new or existing leasehold property
· Buy a property through a shared ownership scheme
· Have transferred land or property in exchange for payment. For example, you take on a mortgage or buy a share in a house

Does Stamp Duty need to be paid when buying a second property?
We’re afraid it does! Since April 2016 there has been an additional rate of Stamp Duty which is applicable for second homes. This means that if you purchase an additional property, even if it’s only owned temporarily, you will be liable to pay extra Stamp Duty.
The additional stamp duty of 3% is on top of the normal Stamp Duty rate, and is imposed on the whole value of properties worth more than £40,000.
The good news is you can reclaim the extra Stamp Duty if you sell your original home within 3 years.

Do ‘first time buyers’ pay Stamp Duty?
Yes, however in 2017 the Autumn Budget gave first time buyers a helping hand by enabling them to claim a discount so that no Stamp Duty is paid on property valued under £300,000, and only 5% is payable on the portion from £300,000 to £500,000.

When or how do I need to pay Stamp Duty?
You must send an SDLT return to HMRC and pay the tax within 14 days of completion. If you have a solicitor or conveyancer, they’ll usually file your return and pay the tax on your behalf and add the amount to their fees. They’ll also claim any relief you’re eligible for, for example if you’re a first-time buyer.

Does Stamp Duty apply to fixtures and fittings?
Stamp duty does apply to fixtures, as these are part of the property itself. For instance, a fitted kitchen or bathroom is a fixture so is part of the property and no deduction can be made to the Stamp Duty. Free standing furniture and appliances, and even carpets and curtains, are classed as ‘chattels’ and if included in the property price a deduction may be possible, although they may need to represent quite a high value to be worthwhile under the current SDLT banded scheme. Your solicitor can advise you further.

How much will my Stamp Duty tax cost?
Stamp Duty Land Tax depends on property price and a number of other factors. The easiest way to find out would be to get an instant Stamp Duty Land Tax calculation on the government website here:

We hope that’s helped clear up some of the common Stamp Duty question marks… For any other Stamp Duty or property-related queries, feel free to call one of our offices in Ash, Alton, Farnham or Guildford where our friendly, knowledgeable teams are more than happy to help wherever possible!

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Ash Vale’s Newest Estate Agents Are Making A Brilliant First Impression

ME Estate Agents Ash Vale

The new ME Estate Agents branch in Ash Vale officially opened last weekend, making quite the first impression. The new branch is now the fourth ME Estate Agents to open across Surrey and Hampshire, with branches also in Farnham, Alton and Guildford.

But before the doors had even opened, the Ash Vale branch had already sold their first property – within just 5 days of listing it for sale. This follows the recent news that the Farnham branch also sold a town centre property in under 24 hours.

The sellers of the property said, ‘I’m currently buying and selling properties through ME. On both transactions I have found ME to be extremely helpful, efficient and responsive, and unlike any other agents I have dealt with in the past! Joe at Ash Vale and James in Alton have been outstanding, and I would highly recommend ME to anyone buying or selling their house.’

Joe Joyce, Ash Vale Branch Director said “It’s great to start our journey in Ash Vale with such fantastic news, having sold our first property before the doors officially opened. We’re thrilled to be in our branch and to have met so many of our new neighbours who popped in to say hello at the launch weekend.”

This positive feedback paves the way for a successful future for ME Estate Agents in Ash Vale, with new properties already adding to the portfolio. To speak to Joe Joyce, Branch Director about buying, selling, or letting a property call 01252 560838.

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ME Estate Agents Sells Farnham Town Centre Property In Just 24 Hours

Long Garden Walk Farnham

The current misconception may indicate that the housing market is uncertain but ME Estate Agents are proving that this is not the case. A two-bedroom property located on Long Garden walk just off of Castle Street in Farnham was marketed and sold this week within just 24 hours, after a huge amount of interest. ME Estate Agents’ ability to bring a property to market quickly and efficiently with the right marketing has been the key to the success of this sale and achieving an above average selling price.

The property on Long Garden Walk is a beautifully presented, two double bedroom, “Landmark” Farnham town centre character cottage, situated just off of prestigious Castle Street within a short level walk of Waitrose and Lion and Lamb walk. The property has been beautifully extended and remodelled to provide excellent accommodation whist retaining much of the original character and charm of the building.

If you would like ME Estate Agents to value your property, the office sits on Castle Street with its doors always open, and a friendly face ready to assist you with any sales, lettings, or new homes enquiries. Otherwise call 01252 719896 for a FREE no obligation valuation.

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Gorgeous Gardens | 4th May 2018

The warm weather over the bank holiday has been wonderful and has meant plenty of BBQ’s, time outside soaking up the sun, and perhaps a few burnt faces! We have collated all of our favourite gardens that are for sale with ME Estate Agents, get in touch with us to find out more Alton 01420 358 119 Farnham 01252 719 896

  1. Annandale house in Lower Bourne has generous grounds of c.1.2 acres and has the added extra of an indoor swimming pool
  2. Hunters Drive in Alton is a new build property with beautiful countryside views and the perfect spot for a sunny afternoon.
  3. Hambledon House in Lower Bourne has the perfect garden for entertaining with a vast patio area and c.2 acres of land. The wine cellar inside also helps!
  4. Hambledon House’s patio area
  5. Medstead road in Alton has ample space and leads straight from the kitchen out to the BBQ area with an additional area leading out from the lounge
  6. Pheasant Close in Alton is a new build with a fantastic lawned garden with plenty of scope to make this space your own
  7. The Old Orchard in Farnham is a new build property with a really impressive sized garden and patio area for dinner when the weather heats up
  8. The Street is located in the picturesque village of Dockenfield with a quirky multi-leveled garden and remarkable views
  9. Last but not least Wellspring located Four Marks is set in 1.5 acres of landscaped gardens with a beautiful pond and seated area around, and even it’s own little bridge