House buying (and selling) can be a stressful time, and that’s just when things are going right! The perception is that it’s a simple process that the lawyers make complicated — what can be simpler than buying a house?

True enough, if you were buying a car you would just buy it. You don’t want to know how the ‘things’ under the bonnet work. If you liked the feel of it, that would be it  – a few pieces of paperwork later and ‘hey presto!’ it’s yours. So what’s so different about a house? Good question.

Apart from the obvious differences, one is largely made of metal and moves, the other is made of bricks and doesn’t move (or at least it shouldn’t!). They are both things that are made to a specification and have certificates of ownership, albeit given different names.

What you get with a house that you don’t get with a car is that with a house you need to know about the land it sits on whereas with a car you don’t much care about the road you drive on, unless it’s full of holes in which case you do, but for different reasons!

With land law, you get a few centuries of statutes and often inconclusive case law. Mix it all together and what you get is a rich blend of uncertainty, incomprehensibility and an archaic language which requires a degree in Shakespeare to decipher — and this is just for the lawyers! Now try translating that to the modern day and in a language which the average person on the street can understand! All this in an age when information is expected to be at your finger tips, accessible by the mere touch of an ‘application’. I wish!

For the uninitiated this can soon become a frustrating experience with an ever increasing despondency to match. Not much consolation for those who ‘just want to buy a house’. Is there a solution to all this? A bespoke legal process often needs a bespoke service. The focus is often on ‘service’ but this equates as much to quality of advice than speed and consistency of process. How often we see the quality bit of this missed off the client’s tick list? Possibly because ‘what’s under the bonnet’ is assumed to be a given — how little could they imagine!

See here for more information on residential conveyancing and how Jordans can help you.


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