You have found the perfect property, the viewing has gone brilliantly, and now you are all set to go ahead with the next steps and prepare moving into your dream home. But how much do you really know about the property? It is not uncommon for buyers to move into a home without knowing some details about it, information which may have caused them to rethink the property had they known beforehand.
Most people are able to avoid the distress of this happening by instructing a conveyancing expert or solicitor. There are many things a conveyancer will do, but one of their most important jobs is to conduct a number of searches to guarantee there are no dangers with the property. It is generally a requirement that a conveyancer does this if you are borrowing the money to pay for the home via a mortgage. It protects both you and the lender.
However, more and more people are choosing to handle the legalities of property exchanges themselves in order to save money. This is especially common for people who are not buying their home via a mortgage as there is no requirement to use a conveyancer. As a result, many are unaware of potential liabilities that could exist with their seemingly perfect home.
So what kind of things should you be looking for if you are doing the conveyancing by yourself? You may think you have a pretty good idea of what is on your property after a few viewings, but there could be hidden problems you only discover weeks, months or years after moving in. These are the things to look out for. They can include public drains that interfere with your ability to extend the home, hazardous materials on the land or troubles with ground stability that might damage the structure.
It is not just existing problems you should be aware of though; you should also be mindful of issues that may occur down the line. You have to be conscious of planning that could interfere with your home including road proposals intended to run through your property. There may also be extra land that needs maintaining at your own expense. These are all things that might cause a potential buyer to rethink their decision about a property.
Local authority search
It might sound impossible to find these things if you are just an ordinary buyer, but they are do-able if you have the time to approach your local authorities, land registry and organisations that deal with environmental searches. For instance, a local authority search, allowing you to find any problems with your land, is possible for less than £400 and usually takes around 2 weeks. Similarly, a water authority can investigate your supply for around £50.
It can be an expensive, complicated and lengthy process. However, whether you approach a professional or choose to handle it yourself, investigating your desired property will help ensure there are no nightmarish hidden secrets with your dream home.