Marches Conservation Services

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Buying A House: The Importance Of Pre-Purchase Surveys

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Buying a home can be an incredibly exciting and stressful experience in equal measure. On the one hand it’s fantastic to be on the journey to create a new home, but on the other hand the logistics of making sure everything goes swimmingly can be incredibly daunting.

One nightmare scenario is that you buy your dream house and structural issues or poor renovation work cause major issues for you – leaving you to organise repair work and pick up the potentially hefty bill. That’s why here at Marches Conservation we stress the importance of having a building survey carried out before you buy a property, as it can avoid potential headaches later down the line.

Avoid Hidden Structural Issues

Both modern and older buildings alike can have structural or safety issues, whether it’s due to poor renovations and construction or simply a state of disrepair, and it is vital that you’re aware of these problems before you buy a property. Assuming that a modern or recently converted property will have no faults is a fatal mistake, as issues may have cropped up since construction and renovation work may have been carried out to poor standards or with low-quality materials.

Even something simple such as badly installed windows can cause problems with insulation, water penetration and security. Having a pre-purchase survey carried out will make you aware of these issues before committing to buy, and ensuring that the current owners address the problem either with repair work or a reduction in price.

Essential For Older Buildings

Due to the age of some buildings, as well as their often non-standard constructions, a full building survey is absolutely vital to ensure that you know what you’re buying. In the case of listed buildings, you inherit the legal responsibility for maintaining the building’s structural integrity. You will also become responsible for correcting inappropriate repair or alteration which had no formal consent.

Once you own the building, its liabilities become your own and it will be up to you to organise repair work – and pay for it, too. That’s why a professional survey is absolutely imperative before you buy an older or listed property; it is the responsibility of the current owner to bring the building up to scratch. By having a building survey conducted on an older or listed property before you buy, the current owners can be required to have any necessary repairs carried out, or allow an appropriate sum off the price to cover it. Where alterations to a listed building are identified, the Vendors can be asked to provide confirmation from the local authority conservation department that the work is formally approved by listed building consent or by letter from the conservation officer. In this way you can be assured that you’re not going inherit any major problems with your ‘new’ old property.

If you’re looking to buy a property, new or old, in the Shropshire, Herefordshire, Powys or West Worcestershire areas then give us here at Marches Conservation a call. Our building surveyors in Leominster are able to carry out professional surveys to make you aware of any potential problems, big or small, with your prospective new home. Call us today on 01568 780761 to discuss how we can help you.