The property market is currently filled to the brim with flats and properties which are not exactly first-rate.
There is also an atmosphere of urgency, causing a big rush to buy and sell. However, the consequences of this attitude can lead to gaining a property that isn’t suitable for you.
Many property owners are taking the opportunity in the current market to offload poor quality and unwanted properties. Often the properties have hidden problems such as unsatisfactory leases or legal title, or maintenance problems. We saw similar problems in the last great property boom in the late 1980s.
First time buyers are particularly vulnerable here. Often they are the most eager to gain access to the property ladder and can overlook some important details.
If the property you are buying is at the lower end of the market it is even more important to make sure your solicitor checks everything carefully and that you seriously consider having a property survey. Because less-expensive properties are often bought by individuals on a tight budget or by property landlords who will not live in the property it means that the corners may have been cut on getting the legal title and the property condition checked properly.
Don’t forget that lenders only really care if the property is worth more than they are lending – which is not the same as saying it’s worth what you are paying. And with lower loan-to-value lending it means they are protected more against a fall in value or maintenance problems arising after you have bought.
The key point is to make sure you use a solicitor who has the expertise and time to investigate properly and look after you. Also think hard about getting the property surveyed. Non-local Solicitors recommended by estate agents (and who may well be paying the estate agent for the recommendation) may not be your best option. Cheapest is rarely best for one of the biggest financial investments you’ll make.
If you would like friendly help or guidance – and we have been looking after local people in Brighton and Sussex buying and selling property for over a 120 years – then please contact us.
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