The break in stamp duty has sent the property market into a spin and it is no surprise that people are trying really hard to move house before they have to pay again. But there are dangers in moving to fast, no pun intended, and these dangers can be expensive!
The Market is Kicking Off!
Across the UK the property market is certainly active. People are trying to move for two reasons; they have been couped up at home for a long time and have noticed they need a bigger house, and they want to avoid paying stamp duty.
The other reason is that a lot of people have saved money over lockdown and are not planning on a holiday anytime soon so want to invest in a new home instead. It is not just 2020 either, many are saying 2021 is going to be the same!
Check Everything and Check Again
One of the big issues with such a fast-paced market is that people are putting in offers before really checking things out. Then the time frames are so short and the surveying and checking services so busy, people are cutting corners. You may be able to get a home buyers survey but due to time don’t bother with a full building survey.
While on newer homes this might be fine, if you are looking at anything pre 1950s you may miss something really important. Make sure you know the different types of surveys. It’s not just the structure either, electrics, drains and even the location, schools, road noise, potential developments in the location, parking…the list goes on.
While things like traffic noise won’t end up costing you financially it may cost you in terms of mental health and sleep!
What Can Go Wrong?
Here are just 2 examples of expensive things that can be a serious issue and easily missed around the house!
Electrics – in older houses and newer ones plugs can be faulty or outdated, wiring can be dangerous, fuse boxes badly installed and much more. You cannot take risks with electrics and this stuff may not come up on a house survey. Expensive? Well, it can be anything from £3000 to £10,000 and more for a full re-wire. That is not a nice surprise and could easily wipe out any gains made from stamp duty.
Drains – Drains are obviously not on display when a property is viewed. Surveyors may check them but not always. Drain problems can be very expensive indeed! Relatively simple things like old pitch fibre drains have to be replaced and there are lots of companies in Sussex that offer drain repairsbut even the very nicest ones are not free. It can easily cost £2000-3000 to re-line some drains. Worse than that you may have damaged drains from tree roots, you may have a faulty or out of date cesspit too! These things are all serious and they are all costly.
What Can You Do?
Once again, don’t rush! No matter how good that house looks you basically have 2 choices…well 2 sensible ones. The first is to get everything checked, book a drain survey, book an electrician to check everything if things look a bit old or funny. Do all this before committing fully and you will know if you can go ahead or not. The second option is only if you have a lot of spare cash and that is just to go for it and know you can afford pretty much anything. The less sensible one is to just hope its all OK, that is a bad idea!
At What Cost?
Something that is really important to think about is how much is too much? So, you may think, another £10k to fix things is still worth it and that’s just fine. But if you are buying when the market prices are high will you ever see that money back? Does it matter? That is something you should ask yourself. If you find a house and it needs new drains and electrics as well as redecorating it may be worth walking away. That stamp duty saving starts to look very small if you get it wrong.
Knowing is Everything
The bottom line is if you know everything about the house then you can make a decision. Rushing in without fully checking everything increases the risk of lots of extra costs, stress and living in a partially broken house which is not nice for anyone.
It’s not a case of not “going for it” it’s a case of going for it when you know what “it” really is.