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House Hunting – Doing Your Homework

Buying a property is a huge decision. It’s natural – and very sensible – to want to find out as much about a property before you commit to one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make.

A number of online resources are available which can provide some basic but useful information on any property you are considering purchasing. Here are three of our favourite, free to use, resources…

Gov.uk Flood Warning Information Service – Anyone can use the ‘Long Term Flood Risk’ section of this website for a quick and simple indication of whether a property lies within an area at risk of flooding by river, sea or surface water.

Properties in areas of high flood risk can suffer from poor resale prospects and expensive insurance premiums, which makes this an essential tool for the prudent house hunter.

Access the Flood Warning Information Service here: https://flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/long-term-flood-risk

Local Authority Planning Website – Another ‘free to use’ resource is the planning section of the website for the local council. This allows you to search for planning applications – submitted, approved and declined, for any given property. Some council’s websites also allow you to search for building regulations applications.

Not all planning and building regs records are available online, but you can often obtain some very useful information such as when a property was extended or whether alterations received building regulations approval.

Searching for applications on nearby land and property can also tell you whether that lovely view from the back of your dream home is about to be replaced with a new tower block!

Access this resource via the planning website of the relevant local authority.

Rightmove – You may be well acquainted with this incredibly popular website, but there’s a lot more to Rightmove than the simple ‘property search’ function.

‘Rightmove Sold Prices’ displays information from Land Registry on selling prices for any given street or postcode area. Doing some basic research on selling prices nearby can put you in a far more informed position when deciding how much to offer for a property.

Other features include functions for checking proximity to local schools and train stations.

Access this useful part of the Rightmove website here: https://www.rightmove.co.uk/house-prices.html

But most of all…

These online resources are a great place to start if you want more information about your prospective new home, but of course there’s no substitute for professional advice!

It’s essential to appoint the services of a professional conveyancer to guide you through the legal process. Online resources can be helpful, but you risk leaving a lot of stones unturned without having your Solicitor/Conveyancer undertake all the necessary searches and enquiries.

And finally, of course, a thorough survey by a RICS qualified Surveyor is an absolute must! There’s no other way to ensure that you have a full and accurate picture of a property’s condition before you commit to a purchase.

Lea Hough offer a choice of surveys for would-be house buyers, and our team would be happy to discuss your requirements on a no obligation basis. Please contact us here.

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“We had a Schedule of Condition carried out on a Commercial Property. From vacant possession to our proposed completion date we were really tight on time. Gary managed to carry out the inspection and write a very thorough report in the time needed to ensure we hit our completion date. The price of the report was also extremely competitive. I would recommend Lea Hough to anyone looking for a Professional Surveyors with excellent service & communication at a competitive price.”

Danny Ambler - Fuse Contract Furniture, Blackburn