Expert advice for a Channel Hopping move to Guernsey

Article by Adobe 2

Relocating to Guernsey offers a number of financial incentives, but knowing the steps to take and the pitfalls to avoid can be challenging, Stephen Penn from Abode2 finds out more.

Regarded by many as one of the world’s best places to live, Guernsey has all of the qualities to call it home. 

Stunning scenery, friendly people, lots to do, a wonderful climate and an interesting history, all combine to give the island its unique character and charm. So how do you embark on the process of moving to this small island, just a 40-minute flight from London? 

Expert help is essential with any move, and when it comes to moving the Channel Islands, Locate Guernsey is here to help. Below is a step-by-step guide from Andrew Carey, head of Locate Guernsey, designed to take you from wistfully dreaming about relocating, to making it a reality.

  • A proportion of the housing stock in Guernsey – around 1,600 properties – forms the ‘Open Market’. For individuals who don’t have an existing connection to the Island, the route to living in Guernsey is buying or renting an ‘Open Market’ property. 
  • Go online to find a house or apartment that works for you (Guernsey Estate Agencies have details of ‘Open Market’ properties which are available to newcomers) 
  • If not an EU passport holder, make contact with Locate Guernsey: we can explain about alternative Immigration routes
  • Once you’ve found a suitable property, the Estate Agent will assist you and arrange a visit; after which you’re free to put in an offer
  • With a price agreed, you can move to conditions of sale, which will be prepared by the Estate Agent. This confirms the sale price; the completion date (when the property becomes yours) and indicates the deposit figure (usually 10% of the property price) to be paid to the Vendor’s agent 
  • You will then need to appoint an Advocate who will act for you and assist you throughout the conveyancing process, (the actual legal transfer of property ownership from the vendor to you). The law firm’s conveyancing team will confirm that the title to the property is good. They will visit the property to ensure the particulars of the title match the reality on the ground, liaise with the Estate Agent, your lending bank and the Vendor’s Advocates. They will also draft the necessary legal conveyance document 
  • Guernsey has a number of mortgage lenders and your Estate Agent can advise you on providers, should you need to borrow funds to make the purchase 
  • Arrange for a property survey – mortgage lenders will expect this, but it’s a good idea in any case
  • Ensure you have a full understanding of costs associated with the purchase. Your Advocate can explain these and certain (tiered) costs such as document duty, and the fees payable to your law firm 
  • Catch up with Locate Guernsey while you’re on the island; we’re keen to welcome you and answer any questions you may have 
  • On completion date – always a Tuesday or Thursday morning which is when Guernsey’s conveyancing court sits – the property legally becomes yours, with the title deeds being registered later that day 
  • The funds are transferred that day, you’ll get your keys and you can move in and enjoy your new home. 

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