Considering that the end result of a home purchase is generally an exciting event, anyone who’s gone through the process will testify to just how slow and frustrating it can be to reach that eventual goal.
From local authorities that take forever to return searches to conveyancers who don’t respond to emails or phone calls, there are countless delays and hurdles to be overcome. On top of these, there are many uncertainties that need to be made certain before you can finally exchange those contracts and move on to completion.
It all starts very easily. You’ve found the home that you’re looking for and had an offer accepted. You’ve also managed to get an outline agreement on a home loan, which can be made easier by using the services of an online mortgage broker such as Trussle as they scour the market to give you personalised recommendations. Hopefully, it then continues just as smoothly as the service you’ve received.
But, as many potential homeowners have found, there are a number of unexpected stumbling blocks that stand between them and picking up the keys, which are often revealed when everything else seems to be heading in the right direction.
The first word to strike fear into a purchaser is flooding. With increasingly unpredictable weather patterns this has become a more common problem. According to official Environment Agency figures, around 5.2 million homes are at risk of flooding – that’s one in six properties. What’s more, they don’t necessarily need to be a river or the sea to be affected. Surface water flooding is also on the rise as drainage systems struggle to cope with increased rainfall.
If a home has ever been flooded it should be disclosed on the Property Information Form that sellers are obliged to complete. Not only will this mean that getting building and contents cover much more expensive, some lenders will even refuse to fund a purchase.
Even if there are no other reasons that could stop the purchase, you also have to consider if you could live with the worry that would inevitably arise whenever heavy and persistent rain is forecast.
Next up on the list of words to strike a note of caution is radon. This is a radioactive gas that is in the rocks and soil throughout the UK but is particularly concentrated in certain areas. Local searches will reveal whether a property is in one of these areas and further tests can show whether it’s a real cause for concern as very high levels have been found to cause lung cancer. But there are measures you can take to make an affected home safe and you’ll find plenty of good advice from the UK Radon Association.
Last, but not least is knotweed, especially of the Japanese variety. An invasive plant that can undermine foundations, damage drains and demolish walls, it’s very hard to get rid off and most lenders will refuse a mortgage on an affected property.
But, hopefully, none of these issues will presents any problems in your next property purchase – and, if they do, at least forewarned is forearmed!