Important checks to make when buying a property

Important checks to make when buying a property
Important checks to make when buying a property
Buying a property can seem like a race against time in the current competitive climate, but you must take time to conduct checks before committing. Touring gives you a surface view of the property, but it's easy to miss things at first glance and potential problems may lurk just out of sight. Jumping in too quickly could land you with a home that has costly issues and is difficult to resell.

Won't I get the information I need from my estate agent?

While estate agents play a key role in facilitating property transactions, remember that they represent the seller's interests and may gloss over less attractive aspects of the property.There's also the risk of agents providing incorrect information or misleading guidance to get the sale. You can claim compensation in cases of professional negligence but safeguarding yourself against bad advice by doing independent checks will save you money and time in the long run.

3 Vital pre-purchase property checks

Vital pre-purchase property checks
Vital pre-purchase property checks
1. Structural integrity
The structural integrity of a property is paramount. This ensures your home is warm and dry, secure against burglary and not detrimental to your health. Visible signs of damage, such as cracks in walls, sagging ceilings, or dampness, can indicate deeper issues.

Bear in mind that some issues are not easily spotted with the naked eye. Enlisting a professional surveyor to conduct a thorough check is advisable, regardless of the property's age and the results of previous checks. This could save you from unexpected repair costs in the future and will give you assurance regarding the quality of the building.
2. Legal documentation
The correct legal documentation is critical to proving your ownership of the property and protecting you in the event of future disputes. Ask your solicitor for a list of the documentation you can expect to receive throughout the process and tick off each as it is completed. The most important documents are:
  • Title deeds
  • Property information form (leasehold properties)
  • Fittings and contents evaluation
  • Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
  • Risk reports
  • Warranties/proof of services
  • Stamp duty receipt (if applicable)
Your solicitor will chase up these documents, but you can also search for land and property information in the UK government's online database.
3. Energy efficiency
Due to rising energy costs and environmental concerns, property energy efficiency is increasingly important.The UK has some of the leakiest housing stock in Europe, and if you buy a poorly insulated property you could be landed with sizeable heating bills. It will also add to your carbon footprint.

Request the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to evaluate the property's energy efficiency.Homes with higher ratings (A or B) are more cost-effective to run. E is the minimum acceptable standard, so steer clear of buildings awarded F or G which may need unavoidable upgrades.
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