Homebuyers hit by £5,750 repair bill

Mortgage Introducer

September 6, 2015

Just a fifth of homebuyers took out a private survey last year despite the UK’s total repair bill coming to £3.6bn.

Homebuyers who conduct a full survey before purchasing not only know what they’re getting themselves into; they may also be able to renegotiate the purchase price based on the cost of repairs.

Richard Sexton, director of e.surv chartered surveyors, said: “As the cost of moving house ratchets up, skipping on a survey can seem very tempting.

“Although commissioning a private report costs as little as £250, many buyers don’t want to accept that their dream house may harbour hidden nightmares.

“But scrimping on this initial outlay can have severe consequences once the keys of the property have been handed over.”

Current a fifth (21%) of homes in England don’t meet the ‘decent homes standard’.

Damp problems affect three in every 100 owner-occupied homes which commonly aren’t flagged by a simple mortgage valuation.

In Scotland, 13.3% of housing stock, amounting to around 320,000 homes, have damp problems including condensation and rising damp.

Sexton added: “A common misconception still remains that a mortgage valuation is enough to arm a buyer with all the information they need about a property.

“However, in this scenario the valuer acts on the part of the lender, rather than directly in the interests of a buyer.

“A mortgage valuation simply assesses value rather than looking at condition and potential problems.

“In order to get beneath the surface and discover potential pitfalls like damp, rot or subsidence, buyers should consider commissioning a private survey.

“This is particularly important when purchasing an older or more unusual building.”

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