Swift house viewings cost buyers

Robyn Hall

August 11, 2014

The research, which surveyed 4,000 homeowners, found that last year’s home buyers had to cope with repair bills 45% higher than anticipated.

Buyers spent £1,094 more than expected on essential repairs once they moved in, while the average bill totalled £3,490.

Many were forced into making a quick decision due to the competitive nature of the market, as one in four (24%) made just one visit to the property before deciding to buy, while 40,000 bought without viewing it at all.

On average buyers devoted under 10 seconds to looking round their property for every £1,000 spent purchasing it.

Heather Smith, marketing director at Aviva, said: “Your future home could be showing symptoms of potential maintenance or structural issues that could cause you trouble down the line.

“Most of these are fixable, you just need to know the signs to look out for and you do need to prepare financially.

“Defective chimneys and Japanese knotweed in particular can be really nasty, with costs to fix running into four or even five figures.”

In order to help buyers Aviva has developed its own interactive checklist, offering advice on common problems that require maintenance and how to spot them.

Smith added: “We believe it’s important to arm yourself with the right information, that’s why we created the house viewing checklist.”

As many as 12% of homeowners were forced to fix plumbing issues including drain blockages, 12% had to fix damp, while 11% had to repair cracks in the walls or ceilings.

However one in three (31%) homebuyers did not make any specific checks for problems, with the least common checks being for blocked guttering, invasive plants such as Japanese knotweed, and defective chimney stacks and pots.

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