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The saying goes that an Englishman’s home is his castle. The newly crowned King Charles can certainly attest to this; with his multiple estates and properties. Whilst we’re not all lucky enough to own properties of such grandeur, any property that you choose to buy is still one that you emotionally and financially invest in. To this end, it’s vital that you take the time to research the property’s condition before you complete the purchase and then become responsible for it.
Here we look at some of the main ways to protect yourself when buying a property.
Have a survey before you buy
Whether you’re buying a modest apartment or indeed a sprawling castle, it is always important to be fully aware of what you’re taking on when buying a property. Proceeding with a property purchase without seeking professional advice is a bit like wearing a blindfold. A typical house viewing lasts an average of 30 minutes, which is unlikely to give you enough time to assess any potential defects or issues with the property. This is especially true if you don’t work within the property industry and therefore don’t have the knowledge or experience of what to look out for. The surveys available for residential purchases include RICS Homebuyer Surveys and Building Survey Reports.
Bring in the professionals
Depending on the condition of the house, or its size, you may wish to undertake a programme of improvement or extension works. With the cost of building materials and labour having increased dramatically over recent months, it can be all too easy for the cost of works to spiral. It can often be worthwhile to seek professional advice or outsource the management of large-scale works to a project manager. This can help to keep costs to a minimum by obtaining a range of quotes and seeing that work is completed within the timescale that has been outlined. A project manager will also be able to keep a track of the works as they progress to ensure the quality of the work and that standards are being met.
Be accurate on insurance
If you do have any significant work completed on a property, you should inform your insurers that this is underway. If you add rooms during the process, your home insurance will need to be updated to reflect the larger size of the property.
In any event, it is important to have an accurate rebuild / reinstatement figure in your insurance premium. This can be achieved by instructing a Chartered Valuation Surveyor to undertake a Reinstatement Valuation. This helps to ensure that you are fully covered in the event or irreparable damage to your property.
Lea Hough Chartered Surveyors are able to help residential homeowners with a full range of property inspections, reports and property consultancy services. To speak to us about a RICS Homebuyer Survey, Building Survey Report, Project Management of a programme of building works or an Insurance Reinstatement Survey, please get in touch.
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