Lepista

Things To Do When Buying A House

124 posts in this topic

[quote name='winkie' timestamp='1307371405' post='3011874']
A qualified surveyor has insurance, if they say the roof is sound and it turns out not to be you have some comeback....a roofer may require work so may suggest that the roof requires work.....you pays your money you make your choice....[b]nothing is totally 100% fool proof. [/b];)
[/quote]

Of course. But I would rather trust a roofer to give me an opinion on a roof than a non roofer. Crazy logic huh. :D

[quote name='SarahBell' timestamp='1307371744' post='3011879']
3-500 for a basic
800+ for a full one

They'll both say "get an electrical survey done, get a drains survey done, get a timber survey done etc etc"
[/quote]

Well thanks for that - what I was expecting !! I dont see the point in paying someone £800 to tell you to pay other people - just bypass the shyster in the first place !

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seems a lot of money to me spending £800 pound on a survey. I think a lot depends on the house you are buying. If it's just a £160,000 average housing estate house like mine I think the mortgage survey alone would do. If you are looking at a 200 year old thatched cottage then that's different. When my boiler went in my house it cost less than £800 pound to fix. So paying some one to tell you the boiler is Knackered seems a waste of money.

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[quote name='ccc' timestamp='1307357455' post='3011517']
The problem with neighbours is they can change at anytime - and there is nothing you can do about it. Makes sense to do a wee check before you move in - of course. However you could have brilliant neighbours and in 6 months all could change and they could be a nightmare. And there is nothing you can do about it. Well - unless you want to buy all the surrounding houses too. May be a little costly though.
[/quote]

Reading all the potential pitfalls on this thread, especially the nightmare neighbours, it makes me wonder why anyone would actually want to buy.

Wayne and Waynetta Chav have moved in next door. Oh no, what a nightmare: I've got to give at least 30 days notice before I can move somewhere else.

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Would it be churlish of me to mention price?

Surveyors can easily differ in opinion by 10%.

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[quote name='DrMartinSanchez' timestamp='1307368533' post='3011780']

If it's a flat, how much is the maintenance?

[/quote]

This is A MUST if buying a flat. Most management companies treat this as a cash cow, and pay lip service to the maintenance. I fear that huge problems are in store as the glut of (mostly cheaply built) properties constructed in the 90's reach the end of their serviceable life. What happens when the roof / windows (or any other high value item) needs replacing, and there is barely enough money in the fund to cover the weekly lobby / staircase mopping ?

A colleague who owns a BTL flat recently told me his management company have asked all landlords to advise them of their tenants details. This comes with a £90 processing fee...

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[quote name='monks' timestamp='1307382542' post='3012062']
A colleague who owns a BTL flat recently told me his management company have asked all landlords to advise them of their tenants details. This comes with a £90 processing fee...
[/quote]

Christ! Really?

I'd inform them my tenant was Mr F. Off and I wouldn't be shy about disclosing his first name. Edited by hpc-craig

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[quote name='hpc-craig' timestamp='1307383847' post='3012084']
Christ! Really?

I'd inform them my tenant was Mr F. Off and I wouldn't be shy about disclosing his first name.
[/quote]

His response too, but think of the poor bleeders who own 3 of them. :lol:

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1. Storage. Where will you put vacuum cleaner, ironing board, lawnmower, clothes drier, washing basket, bicycles, tools, books, dvd's & cd's, etc? Is there an airing cupboard?

2. Access to shops and public transport?

3. External tap/power point?

4. Appropriate number of bathrooms for number of bedrooms? WC's against external walls with windows, or internal with fan?

5. Security?

6. Plus second votes for things previously mentioned, south or west facing garden, decent sized kitchen/diner, broadband access, privacy, check for local planning permissions for nightmare developments like half way houses or Wetherspoon pubs!

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[quote name='Goat' timestamp='1307382171' post='3012053']
Reading all the potential pitfalls on this thread, especially the nightmare neighbours, it makes me wonder why anyone would actually want to buy.

Wayne and Waynetta Chav have moved in next door. Oh no, what a nightmare: I've got to give at least 30 days notice before I can move somewhere else.
[/quote]

Very true. The stability of having one place to call home is very attractive. Then again - the same thing could end up causing you no end of issues.

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[quote name='Goat' timestamp='1307382171' post='3012053']
Reading all the potential pitfalls on this thread, especially the nightmare neighbours, it makes me wonder why anyone would actually want to buy.

Wayne and Waynetta Chav have moved in next door. Oh no, what a nightmare: I've got to give at least 30 days notice before I can move somewhere else.
[/quote]

The main reason I'm looking to buy a detached.

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Visit the place at different times of the day/week - to see if you live on a route for thugs or other scumbags etc.

Listen for running water.

Ask when the electrics/roof/boiler etc were last serviced/replaced.

Be aware that no-one is really looking out for your interests except you. The surveyor will turn in a survey littered with caveats. The solictor is looking after you but in a highly specialised way - you can still end up with a crap hole in an area infested with the dregs of humanity. The estate agent isn't your friend and nor is the seller.

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For FTBs, TAKE SOMEONE EXPERIENCED WITH YOU TO VIEW.
It's all too easy to be seduced by superficial 'dressing'.

Ditto X 10 to someone else's mention of storage. Is there actually anywhere to put anything?

Anywhere done up as a show home or recently tarted up to sell, be aware that they often use less than full-size furniture (e.g. small double beds) to make rooms look bigger.

Turn on the shower, make sure it actually works.

If all the lights are on in the daytime (a common ploy) turn them off to see what it's like without.

Open the windows, just to check that they do actually open and aren't stuck up with paint etc.

Take a compass to check which way the garden faces. Even if the EAs know (they often don't) they won't necessarily put it on the details, esp. for obvious reasons if it's N facing.

Above all, do not be rushed by EAs trying to be in and out in 10 minutes flat. If you go back for a 2nd viewing, tell them you will need plenty of time. Take a camera, photograph everything, write down everything you might want to ask/check so you don't forget.

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[quote name='Mrs Bear' timestamp='1307399813' post='3012398']
Take a compass to check which way the garden faces.[/quote]

I use Google Streeview or Bing Maps for that.

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[quote name='Goat' timestamp='1307382171' post='3012053']
Reading all the potential pitfalls on this thread, especially the nightmare neighbours, it makes me wonder why anyone would actually want to buy.

Wayne and Waynetta Chav have moved in next door. Oh no, what a nightmare: I've got to give at least 30 days notice before I can move somewhere else.
[/quote]

Are hypothetical scenarios that may never happen really worth tolerating all the downsides of renting?

You can't live your life in fear, there are ways to deal with wayne and waynetta if it ever comes to it.

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[quote name='Kazuya' timestamp='1307391564' post='3012223']
The main reason I'm looking to buy a detached.
[/quote]

Unfortunately I've known folks in detached properties who still have problems with nightmare neighbours.
All down to risk at the end of the day.

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[quote name='Lepista' timestamp='1298301429' post='2903142']What other resources would people recommend using - either freebies or paid for?[/quote]

Check the altitude? As a kid we used to live in a home at 200m above sea level. Could have been my imagination but I just found it colder and damper and house not as warm, than when we moved to a new area at 50m above sea level. And then maybe to establish levels if there is no option but to buy where there is flood risk.

[quote]A higher elevation means the address is less likely to be susceptible to flooding, which is a bonus for home buyers.[/quote]

Type in and find the general location you want, click centre or zoom to go there, click hybrid, click height, and [i]drag the map[/i] until the crosshair rests on your exact interest point.

[url="http://www.earthtools.org/"]http://www.earthtools.org/[/url] Edited by Venger

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My tips:-

Install the superb Mosaic UK app from Experian. Very informative socioeconomic classification down to street level. Same data as upmystreet I think but in a very accessible form especially on iPad.

Check out your local council's SHLAA ("strategic housing land availability assessment"). This provides a short list of potential deveplopment sites that planning officers consider to be suitable for further consideration when new zoning plans are prepared. This is not tantamount to a planning application let alone a permission, and hence it won't appear on official searches. However, it could indicate that the nice green field behind your dream house stands a good chance of development in 5 or 10 years' time, and there could even be indicative maps showing accesses etc.

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[quote name='ccc' timestamp='1298306390' post='2903272']
[b]Never bought a house myself - however if I do I will be spending a few nights curled up in my car parked across the street. Just to see if there are any obvious issues with mental neighbours etc..[/b]

Not that this is guaranteed to prove anything - but you should get an idea if the area is pretty peaceful or not.

I would also just knock on 5-10 doors in the surrounding area and ask the people. Why not ?

I also read something recently about surveys etc.. Think it may hev been on here ? Someone saying that getting in individual experts, rather than some overpriced generic surveyor makes a lot of sense.

Builder
Plumber
Rot specialist
Electrician
Roofer

Couple of hours each and a basic report. Doubt it would cost much more than one of these 'expensive' surveys you can get done.
[/quote]

From my experience that would only work depending on the time of year, I lived in a street that was pretty quite during the winter, but was a street from hell any other time of year. In the summer I counted 20 kids right in front of my house one night, aged from 5 up to early 20s, yet in the winter you could be fooled into thinking the place was a quiet neighborhood.

Your idea of knocking on doors would be a much better one, bearing in mind that the trouble makers would tell you the place is OK.

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[quote name='bendybogle' timestamp='1307300512' post='3010991']
more tips:

when looking at a property feel free to check inside cupboards etc. (esp around water areas).

look for sound infrastructure all round.
[/quote]

and open windows, make sure they're not old broken, stuck sashes or stuck up with paint etc.

+ it's worth turning on taps, showers, to make sure they're properly functional.

+ always good to take a compass to check aspect of the garden.

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[quote name='ccc' timestamp='1298306390' post='2903272']
I also read something recently about surveys etc.. Think it may hev been on here ? Someone saying that getting in individual experts, rather than some overpriced generic surveyor makes a lot of sense.

Builder
Plumber
Rot specialist
Electrician
Roofer

Couple of hours each and a basic report. Doubt it would cost much more than one of these 'expensive' surveys you can get done.
[/quote]

Might have been this: [url="http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=129824"]Full Structural Survey[/url]

[quote][T]he surveyor is simply someone who is trained to see tell tale signs that then require you to get a further specialist in. [b]If you want to be thorough and save time then get a valuation survey and at the same time pay for a roofer, plumber, electrician and damp specialist to inspect the property (for freehold properties pay a structural engineer as well). You will short-cut the long survey report and you will know the absolute worst case scenario as each specialist going in will be hunting for work. Then you can take a proper quantified view.[/b][/quote]

Has anyone ever done this?

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