Martin Roberts offers his ‘top tips’ for buying a property
A new study from comparethemarket.com suggested that as many as 77 percent of Britons are missing crucial flaws in their homes when they view them. The research suggested 13 percent of Britons don’t feel comfortable carrying out thorough checks during a house viewing. Meanwhile, experienced buyers spend less money fixing issues compared with first-time buyers.
What are the problems buyers are missing?
The new research revealed the most important things Britons tend to miss during viewings and how much it costs to rectify the problem.
The most common problems buyers miss are either damp or mould.
This is then followed by poor electrics, poor plumbing, cosmetic issues and then poor or no central heating.
Other less common issues are not enough or inconvenient plug sockets, poor water pressure and lack of sunlight in the garden.
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Despite seeming like minor problems, these aspects are not cheap to fix.
The average cost of correcting these common problems is £4,936.37.
However, some respondents have revealed they spent between £15,000 and £20,000 while others spent more than £20,000.
What should buyers check during a viewing to avoid these problems?
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Buyers who are comfortable inspecting a property thoroughly before they commit can follow some simple steps to avoid bumping into problems later down the line.
Inspecting windows and frames, asking how much utility bills cost and opening and checking cupboards are the most common inspections buyers can undertake.
This is followed by checking walls for damp and asking about the neighbours.
Meanwhile, buyers are less likely to check under rugs which could be hiding a multitude of stains, move furniture or video a viewing.
The research also suggested established buyers are more likely to probe deeper into a property while first-time buyers look for issues on the surface.
More than a third of experienced buyers spend less than £1,000 fixing new home issues when they move in.
However, just 22 percent of first-time buyers spend this amount.
Mark Gordon, head of mortgages at comparethemarket.com, said the current spike in house prices means the market is more competitive.
He explained: “UK house prices are increasing substantially, and it’s a very competitive time for homeowners looking to sell their home, and for anyone looking to buy.
“We conducted this study to stress how important it is to undertake thorough checks on a house prior to purchase.
“It reveals the most common issues people miss when viewing a property, and how much Brits are spending rectifying these issues when they shouldn’t have to.
“We have also created a house viewing checklist that potential buyers can take to viewings to ensure they don’t miss anything important that will cost them later on.”
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