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Meet the team: Q&A with David Foden, Partner and Head of Residential Property

Tell us a bit about your career background…

I left school with very few academic qualifications and went to work in a local building society in Coventry. I worked my way up to head of lending - reporting to the board - and then left to go and work for a regional building society in branch development. I was asked to go and work for a local solicitor to develop his practice and in return he would teach me the law. I moved to Oswestry in 1986 and qualified as a fellow of what is now the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives over 25 years ago.

What is your favourite aspect of working in the residential property department at Lanyon Bowdler?

I enjoy the client contact we have here in Oswestry. Every day is a challenge, although some days are not as good as others!

What item could you not live without?

I would struggle without a car! Managing five offices from Hereford to Oswestry and all the large Shropshire towns in between would be a challenge without one. More obviously these days, the desktop PC - when it doesn’t work, doing anything is so very difficult.

What is your advice for people thinking about buying a house?

  • Have a survey. Do not rely on the lenders
  • Get your finances in place before making an offer
  • Check out the area at different times of the day
  • Set a realistic budget with a contingency plan, and make sure you’re aware of all the potential associated costs
  • Set a realistic timeframe for completion

What is your advice for people thinking about selling their home?

  • Instruct a solicitor as soon as possible so that the contract pack can be drafted quickly when a purchase is found
  • The market is still fragile, so if you do get a good offer keep your buyer happy, try to be flexible and consider moving into temporary accommodation if necessary
  • Consider several selling agents and ensure you know the fee (including VAT and any extras) before choosing and giving instructions
  • If you have altered the property in any way, make sure you have all the Planning Permissions and Building Regulations paperwork together

What complications can occur when selling land?

There are lots of potential issues but some of the more common problems include:
  • Issues with permissions that haven’t been obtained
  • Boundary issues
  • Difficulties with sales of part and if potential for development
  • Property chains
  • Missing documents

What are the most common legal issues that crop up when buying or selling a home?

Again, there can be a range of issues that can occur:
  • Missing documents, including probates
  • Extent of land issues
  • Delays in mortgage offers
  • Unreasonable expectations regarding speed of the process
  • Delays in getting leasehold information

What trends in the property market do you foresee for 2015?

Hopefully a continued steady market. Affordable housing is likely to be high priority but more thought needs to go into local authority charging for new housing developments, which are stifling that sector. We also predict tighter conditions imposed by mortgage lenders in their attempt to promote sensible lending/borrowing.