Old houses can have a charm that makes them popular amongst buyers. However, there are certain things to watch out for when buying a property with history. Here are just several checks that could help to save you money and hassle in the long run.
Get the property surveyed for wear and tear
Older properties are more likely to suffer from wear and tear such as broken plumbing or cracks in the walls, which could cost you a lot of money in repairs. Whilst you may be able to spot certain signs of damage when viewing properties, there could be more hidden damage lurking within the four walls that may require a professional to spot. Hiring a company such as Allcott Associates Surveyors could help you to identify this damage and give you an idea of what kind of repairs may be around the corner. Getting a property surveyed can cost a few hundred pounds, but could be worth it if it prevents you buying a property that needs thousands of pounds worth of repairs.
Read the energy report
Many older homes have poor insulation, which could result in high heating bills. All sellers are now required to obtain an energy performance certificate – you should always ask to see this when buying a property. This could prevent you buying a property with a low energy performance, or it could allow you to factor in the cost of installing insulation.
Budget the cost of improvements
When considering buying an older home that needs work, make sure to factor in the cost of restoration. This could involve researching into the cost of new bathroom fittings or a new roof or cavity wall insulation. You don’t need to have specific figures in mind, but it could be worth at least having a rough estimate. This will stop you spending all your budget on a property and then not being able to restore it.
Research the heritage of a building
It could also be worth using a service such as House Detectives to look into the history of the property that you’re thinking of buying. This could allow you to know the period of a home and whether it’s likely to be protected (all buildings built before 1700 are protected). Conservation rules could affect any potential remodelling that you want to do, so it’s worth looking into the age.
Look into planning permission
If you’ve got plans to extend an old home or raise the roof, you may also want to look into planning permission beforehand. You don’t want to buy a property in the hope of remodelling it only to find that there are restrictions in place preventing you from following through. Planning permission may also be needed when it comes to removing trees or walls.
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