Potential Pitfalls when Buying a House
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Buying a house, for most, is the biggest investment we will ever make in our life. So, to help make that investment a little easier, we have compiled a list of the most common pitfalls you might face when purchasing your home.
Location is key! If you are really interested in a property, don’t be afraid to visit it a few times, and at different times of the day too. This will help you get a feel of what the location is really like. While you’re there take some time to stroll around, visit the local shops - a coffee shop perhaps. Talk to the residents, they will help you to get a true insight into the area.
If you’re looking to make this your family home, take a look at the local schools and if there are nearby parks for the children and travel links.
As your solicitors, we will carry out thorough property searches for you. But, it’s worth looking into any nearby plans for development. Is the field behind the quiet cul-de-sac of your dreams soon to be disturbed by the shopping complex about to be developed?
As part of our searches, we will make sure your investment is safe. We will check land registry records, carry out a local authority search – this covers things like whether the roads and sewers are maintained by the council – as well as any upcoming planning permissions such as roads or shopping complexes.
Don’t be afraid to ask if those fitted wardrobes have been done professionally or if they were a DIY project. My top thing to check when viewing houses is the plumbing. Run the shower or bath for a few minutes - something very few people think about, but costly to fix if it isn’t right.
You’ve found your dream home, it ticks all the boxes and complies with everything above – so what’s next?
You may already have your mortgage arranged before beginning your search, but there are a few issues that can occur at this point too. Different lenders have different criteria for mortgage acceptance, so it’s always worth shopping around. Also, it’s worth noting that some lenders will only work with selected Solicitor firms.
Sellers have the right to withdraw their offer at any time before the contracts have been exchanged. Reasons for this may be that they decided not to sell or received a higher offer. Unfortunately, there is nothing you, as a buyer, can do about this; however, depending on the circumstances, you can request the seller to contribute towards any losses that may have occurred.
Another unfortunate instance that can occur is known as “gazumping”, where the seller accepts your offer and then informs you they’ve received a higher offer from someone else. You have the choice to offer the higher price, but there is no guarantee this won’t occur again. There is nothing illegal about gazumping, as legally the purchase price of a property isn’t set until contracts have been exchanged. However, you can enter into an agreement whereby the seller cannot consider any other offers during a set period before the contracts are exchanged.
This can assist the seller when they want their sale to be quicker if one or more offers have been accepted. The seller will instruct their Solicitor to send draft contracts to all potential buyers, who must inform you more than one contract has been sent out. The first contract to be returned, signed and ready for exchange will continue with the purchase of the property. Known as a contract race, this is very much legal, and as a buyer, you have the right to withdraw should this occur.
This list is by no means exhaustive, however, with Eatons on your side, you can be sure the purchase of your new home or property will be as smooth as possible. With years of experience, we will you navigate through the property buying process with ease. Try our online conveyancing estimation service today and see how Eatons can help you.
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