Things that go bump in the night – our top 10 post Halloween, property moving tips.
With Halloween just just gone, and people rushing to complete on their new properties and move in before the Christmas holidays, here is a salient reminder of the things that can go wrong with your new purchase as well as the steps you can take to make sure that your dream property doesn’t turn into the Amityville Horror House.
- Room with a view – make sure you view your proposed new property at a few different times of day/days of the week. It might seem like a quiet, idyllic spot, but does it get very congested in the mornings? Does the school on the other side of the road mean that the street is full of monsters and aliens between 8:30 and 9:10 ever school day? Is the garage down the road a lot louder than you’ve been led to believe? If the agent says you can only view the property at a particular time or only at weekends, see if there is a reason for it that you should be aware of before you sign on the dotted line?
- Driving disaster – parking issues are not just reserved for school runs. Difficulties we’ve seen include people who buy properties with a garage, only to find that the dimensions are much smaller than normal, and our clients cannot get their hearse in, or if they can, they can only get out via the sun roof! If parking in the garage is essential for you, get the exact dimensions or better still, have a practice run to see that you can drive in, and still have room for the children’s bikes or broom sticks.
- Parking peril – It’s more and more common these days for properties to be built without a garage or even a driveway, so that you have to park in the street. That might be fine, if it wasn’t for the fact that there are more and more restrictions on where and when you can park. Check on what the current parking restrictions are in your road, even if it’s just for your visitors – if the local witches cavern turns up for tea and can’t get parked, you’ll be the one that they will cast a spell on. If you are going to need a permit, find out what the permit restrictions are and if they are likely to change any time soon. You may find that the local council are not issuing any more permits, or will only issue one per household, which means that one of you is going to have to park your broomstick down the road every night. That might not put you off buying the property, but it might mean that you want a reduction in the price to that that into account.
- New Build Nightmare – If you’re buying a brand new property, make sure you measure everything carefully. It’s quite common to look at all the lovely furniture in the show home and assume that that means you’ll be able to fit your standard sized furniture into the house that’s still being built. However, sometimes, show homes are made to look more spacious by having furniture specially built for them, which is smaller than normal. New houses are expensive enough as it is. They’re even more expensive if you have to go out and have a new cauldron built specially for it, because yours won’t fit through the door, let alone enable you to dance around it without climbing over the furniture to get in.
- Connectivity chaos – as the world revolves more and more around the internet, have you checked that your new property can connect well to all the relevant services, and does it have good reception for mobile phones? There are apps you can use to check how good the services are to the property before you commit yourself to a life without the latest instalment from Instagram or your kids threaten to move out and go and stay with grandma for her wifi and take the black cat with them. Mind you, perhaps that has certain advantages!
- School skirmish – speaking of children, if you are buying a property specifically to be in the catchment area of a particular school, check their entrance criteria very carefully and don’t rely on what you are told. Local estate agents are often very knowledgeable on these things, but they can make mistakes in their haste to do a deal, and if you buy a property believing that it practically guarantees you the chance to get your kids into a particular school, and then after you’ve bought the property they don’t get a place, you’ll have wasted your money and you won’t be able to sue the agent for misrepresentation. Do your own checks for school criteria as well as for monsters under the bed.
- What’s in ….. – often when you’re buying a property, there will be negotiations with the sellers about what fixtures and fittings they are leaving. Make sure there is a clear agreement about what’s included and what’s not, and make sure your solicitor knows what you’ve decided on so that they can include it in the contract so that it’s binding. A hand shake agreement can be as much use as a skeleton mask at an Easter Party, as it’s much harder to enforce than something that’s in the paperwork and it doesn’t have to be written in blood.
- And what’s out …… -it’s just as important to know what they’re taking, as what they are leaving. If they leave things behind that you were not expecting to take responsibility for, you may find that you then have to pay to have it all removed which can get expensive. A clear agreement that the property is being left empty (subject to anything you’ve specifically agreed is going to be part of the purchase) will avoid the horrors of extra costs. If they are taking anything with, check it carefully after they’ve moved out to make sure they haven’t done any damage, and if they have, take pictures straight away and send them to us as we might be able to make a claim for you.
- Screaming surveyors – if you’re buying with a mortgage, then your mortgage company will insist that you have a survey done on the property, but often they will only want something quite basic, just to check that the property really exists, is still standing, and that the valuation is correct. If you want a more in depth check, you’ll need to pay the extra. Depending on the age of the property, you might want to consider looking for ghosts, ghouls, and other hidden problems, such as damp behind the washing machine and subsidence at the back of the house.
- That cold clammy feeling – might not just be down to a spell having been cast on your property. If the heating is not up to standard, you could be hiding under a duvet until spring. Your solicitor will check for things like up to date boiler certificates and when the system was last serviced. If it hasn’t been serviced recently, you might want to invest in a report on the whole system to make sure that the strange noises in the night are not your teeth chattering.
At Express Conveyancing, we try hard to ensure your next big property move is as hassle free as it can be. With average completion times of 4 weeks on most freehold cases, we are on your side.
Contact our New Business team or obtain a conveyancing quote to how we compare and how much we can offer.
Disclaimer – our articles are designed to give you guidance and information. There is no substitute for proper direct advice, particularly as everyone’s circumstances are different. If anything in this article may affect you, please contact us for advice that is specific to your circumstances.