Five things to consider when buying a house

Published: 06/06/2013

When you are buying a house it is very easy to get swept up in the romanticism of it all and overlook elements to the property which could cause problems downstream.

DIY disasters
Buying a house from a wannabe handy Andy when really they are a dangerous Dan can have disastrous consequences. Having a full survey helps you avoid any nasty hidden surprises in the property. However latest figures suggest many homebuyers are shunning surveys as a way to cut the cost of moving house, a gamble which proved costly for one in five.

While some buyers deliberately avoid having a survey, some do so by accident. Many people believe a survey and the valuation conducted by their lender account for the same thing. This is not the case and, in fact, a valuation may not even involve the lender setting foot inside the property, let alone thoroughly surveying it.

Nasty neighbours

According to a survey by Halifax anti social neighbours can shave up to £31,000 off the value of a property. Common complaints include excessive noise, rude and intimidating behaviour and hijacking legal boundaries.

Assessing the relationship of potential neighbours can be difficult. During your visit it is a good idea to ask the seller about the neighbours. They are highly unlikely to admit any issues – they are trying to sell the property for as much as possible after all - so you will need to be on your toes to spot any potential problems or unrest.

Flood fears

It is estimated that 1.7m homes in England are at risk from river or coastal flooding while many more are susceptible to flash floods. Unlike many solicitors, Goldsmith Williams automatically run an environmental search and, should the results reveal the property is in proximity of a floodplain, we will order a flood risk report. A copy of this will be sent to you and we encourage you to show this to your insurer to guarantee the property can be adequately insured.

In the vicinity
While a good pub, nice restaurant or takeaway may be at the top of your immediate local amenities wish list, it is important to think long term. For example, if you are likely to start a family whilst living at this property, you should think about nursery and school catchment areas.

The need for neighbourhood watch
Checking the crime levels of an area may seem somewhat dark and depressing but it really is essential aspect of buying property and not only for the obvious safety reasons. Living in an area with a high crime rate can have a dramatic effect on your home and car insurance premiums so you should factor this into your monthly outgoings too.

If you come through this checklist unscathed and go on to buy the property, we can help ensure your transaction goes through as smoothly as possible. With over 25 years’ conveyancing experience, we’ll do everything we can to get in moved in quickly and with minimum stress!

Free conveyancing quote with no hidden charges >

Content correct at time of publication

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