Investing in a new home is a major undertaking and you have to be sure you are getting value for money – but don’t be misled by a bargain buy cheap property.

With 40 year’s experience to draw on, Xtenda’s building advice is to always do your research and don’t be too easily swayed by a bargain that, in reality, could become a ‘money pit’.

As time-served builders, we know that if something sounds too good to be true it very often is – huge reductions in price are usually made for a reason.

 

When to seek building advice

Incredibly cheap houses often prompt homebuyers to seek building advice from a reputable builder to get an idea of how much it will cost to renovate or extend a property.

While taking building advice at this point may seem like a sensible option, reputable builders will generally not agree to free speculative quotes because the property is not yet in your possession.

The best time to seek building advice is when contracts between the buyer and seller have been exchanged and everyone knows where they stand.

Reputable builders will be wary of giving advice on a property without carrying out a detailed assessment, as a thorough approach is the only way to flag up serious underlying problems.

The list of potential problems in a home that has been forced to drop its asking price is endless. Pitfalls could include:

  • A house riddled with botched DIY
  • A house that hasn’t been looked after for years and is in disrepair
  • Electrical problems
  • Plumbing problems
  • Boundaries including party wall agreements with neighbours, such as shared garden walls

Such problems should be flagged up if you pay for a building survey – but that can be costly, particularly if you end up not buying the property.

Instead, it pays to carry out your research and protect yourself from the outset, rather than waiting and relying purely on building advice after you have committed to buying. Every registered property has a title plan drawing which may provide more information.

 

DIY and cheap property is no match for reputable builders

Google Earth view of Stone, Staffordshire

Be sure to check potential new homes and the surrounding area on Google Earth.

Trustworthy constructors are all too aware that DIY enthusiasts can be problematic as the craze for doing up homes to make a profit, continues to be popular thanks to television programmes dedicated to home renovation. It’s always as easy as they make it look!

While this can work for some people, it really isn’t for everyone and there is a good reason tradesmen are certified as it vouches for the standard of work, ensuring a level of safety.

Other issues buyers need to consider are not always obvious, such as disputes with neighbours, environmental issues and what the local area is like.

Always look a house up on Google Earth and review the surrounding properties to see if they have had extensions, what the backyards look like and to get an idea of the general upkeep.

Xtenda believe good research is invaluable but many homebuyers fail to carry out basic checks. We can’t express enough how important it is to protect yourself with a bit of diligent research before making a commitment.

A relatively unknown circumstance to be aware of is the back garden of an end terrace. It may be that the neighbours occupying middle terraced properties have access rights through your garden but more astonishingly, the original builders may still own the land beneath the grass!

 

Check, check and double check

Before buying a property some checks are essential and can prove costly down the line if missed during the early stages.

These include inspecting the electrics and wiring, making sure the boiler is certified and that the sewerage system is in good working order.

Should you encounter any problems, Xtenda offers a comprehensive approach, managing all projects rather than relying on separate tradesmen and will liaise with the relevant bodies regarding sewerage issues. This combined approach saves you time and money.

 

Trust is everything – go with your gut

Trusting your instincts is vital when investing in a home and alarm bells should be ringing if a house is being sold incredibly cheaply – particularly a family home.

There is no such thing as a cheap deal when it comes to property – you will end up paying the price somewhere down the line. Unfortunately, we’ve seen it before.

For building advice for your new home or to discuss creative ways to extend your existing property, please contact Xtenda today.