Guide to buying property in Alderney
Properties on the island can vary from a modern one bedroom apartment, to a comfortable modern bungalow, to a grand Georgian town house to a most stylish Victorian Fort. We have a wide variety of properties to suit all tastes within St Anne or with spectacular sea or country views. We can offer excellent family homes in some stunning locations set within the Bailiwick of Guernsey, yet at Alderney’s affordable prices.
Step 1 ~ The Offer
Once an offer is put forward, whether it is unconditional or dependent upon survey, bank finance or the sale of another property etc, the offer is submitted to the Vendor and once accepted, standard Condition of Sale are then drawn up in our office.
Step 2 ~ Questionnaires
There is a purchasers questionnaires which has to be completed. This will include a source of funds statement which will require documentary evidence of the source of funds or wealth. As part of the Customer Due Diligence process, estate agents are required to ascertain the source of funding for any property purchased.
Step 3 ~ The Deposit
The deposit is ten per cent of the purchase price. This amount is held in our company’s property sales account at HSBC with interest accruing to the Purchaser until the registration has taken place at the Alderney Land Registry.
Step 4 ~ Conditions of Sale
This standard document is usually formulated in our office (an example of one can be forwarded on request). The Purchaser signs first and places the deposit. The Conditions of Sale are then signed by the Vendor. It is only at this point that the contract becomes legal and binding upon both parties.
Step 5 ~ Stamp Duties
Document Duty and Registration Fee.
These duties are paid by the purchaser on completion.
Document Duty is on a grading scale charged by value.
5% payable on the part of the value up to and including £250,000,
6.50% payable on the part of the value between £250,000 - £400,000,
7% payable on the part of the value between £400,000 -£750,000,
7.5% payable on the part of the value between £750,000 - £1,000,000
8% payable on the part of the value between of £1,000,000 - £2,000,000
8% of any part exceeding £2,000,000.
The Registration Fee for all transactions amounts to 0.05% of the Realty with a minimum
of £60 and a maximum of £500.
Step 6 ~ Transfer Document & Proof of Identity
The Transfer Document (Form B) needs to be signed in front of the Alderney Land Registry or a practicing solicitor. Recent regulations require Vendor and Purchaser to complete a Form C (for individuals) or Form D (for companies) as Proof of Identity. This form also requires a copy of your passport, a recent utility bill and two passport size photographs.
Step 7 ~ Forfeit of Deposit
Once the Conditions of Sale become binding (as referred to in section 3) the deposit is non-returnable. Unlike England, our Channel Island system of Conveyancing is quite positive. Should the Purchaser renege, the deposit is passed to the Vendor, and should the Vendor renege, the deposit is returned to the Purchaser together with a like sum from the Vendor.
Step 8 ~ Transfer of Funds
To ensure that completion can take place at the due time, we request that the balance of the monies (the full purchase price less the ten percent deposit already lodged plus the applicable stamp duties) are transferred by electronic transfer to be as cleared funds in our Property Sales Account for at least the working day prior to completion. A letter setting this out is forwarded in advance of completion. Should the necessary funds be transferred early, interest would be paid to the Purchaser on this amount.
Step 9 ~ Leasehold
Leasehold transfers are on a different set-up regarding Stamp Duty. Within the Duty of Long Lease Law, the duty is 5% where the value of the dealing does not exceed £250,000 and 6.5% where the value of the dealing exceeds £250,000. Leases of less than 21 years cannot be registered.
Step 10 ~ Completion
This takes place on the date within the signed Conditions of Sale (or before if mutually agreed). It is imperative that completion of the property takes place on or before this agreed date or the default clauses come into play. Following the transfer, the Purchaser will receive a Land Award (Alderney’s version of Deeds as in the UK) showing the new registration including the capacity of ownership and date of registration.
Step 11 ~ Mortgages
It may be advantageous to borrow monies for the purchase. If this is the case, the bank or finance company in question would enter this as an Adverse Interest on the Land Award on completion of the property. We would be pleased to offer the names of our local bank, and chartered accountants who are always ready to pass on their professional guidance.