What specific things do I need to look out for if I’m buying a house on the coast?
With worsening weather and floods now becoming increasingly commonplace, with the media remarking on it in depth, buying a property that has a likelihood of flooding is a difficult decision to make. Not only is there the issue of cleaning up if it does flood, but insurance premiums will be much higher (and perhaps even prohibitive).
For homes in coastal areas, there is also the problem of coastal erosion, where some properties have been seen to literally fall into the sea.
However, the good news is that picking a home in a coastal region doesn’t automatically mean that it’s going to be subject to flooding or that it’s eventually going to slip into the sea. The searches ordered by your conveyancing solicitor will identify the level of risk associated with the property and, based on this, your solicitor may recommend that you take out specialist reports (e.g. from Landmark or other organisations) to get a more in-depth description of the risks and options. These are in addition to the standard set and will be charged to you as a disbursement at cost.
Your surveyor will also be able to identify evidence of previous floods and other problems during their inspection and provide advice in their report. If the problems are considered sufficiently severe, the surveyor may also note the specifics for further investigation by your conveyancing solicitor.
In what ways can my Abersychan conveyancing solicitor report on the potential risk of flooding to properties in Abersychan for an Edwardian maisonette I am wanting to buy?
Your residential property conveyancer will conduct formal environmental searches that should include Abersychan historical flood risk information. A substantially more thorough flood risk search (e.g Homecheck) may be advised by a Abersychan property solicitor, if in the event that the initial searches indicate a risk of flooding. The most recent (27/02/13) publication on the Environment Agency do not show any active flood warnings in the Abersychan area.
Where can I uncover more information the status of the conservation areas in Abersychan?
English Heritage have created records of the state of conservation areas. Local Abersychan conservation area issues for example upkeep of paths, rear extensions or neglected buildings are regulated by the local Blaenau Gwent planning authority.
What do I get for my money from an estate agent?
A good estate agent will be able to bring their local knowledge into your transaction and reduce the amount of stress you might experience as part of the whole moving experience.
Although it might seem that agents do very little for their clients, they will help you set the sale price for your home by using their knowledge of similar properties, a large part will involve marketing your home by expressing it in its best light online and through fliers, phone calls and emails, etc., they will conduct viewings with ay interested potential buyers, manage the negotiations on the offers as they come in and, by law, they will also have to take all necessary steps to ensure the buyer is serious about entering into the contract to purchase the property when an offer is made.
However good you believe your chosen estate agent to be, you should take time to read through the terms and conditions thoroughly to understand what you’re paying them and what you’re going to get for your money.
The survey revealed that no planning consent was obtained for an extension: What are the issues I’ll face?
The chartered surveyor inspecting the property will check any extensions or works that have occurred and highlight any concerns for the attention of your conveyancing solicitor, who will make enquiries with the local authority to establish whether the consents and building regulations are in place.
If the building regulations agreement is not in place, the vendor is not legally allowed to sell the property until they are, since the title deeds cannot be transferred to your ownership. If building requiring planning consent is present at the property but without proof of consent approval, the local authority might be willing to accept a retrospective approval, although this could take a long time, and, even then, they may instruct you, as the new owner, to return the building to its former state, which could be very costly.
Your solicitor will be able to advise you on the most appropriate course of action to take, including whether the retrospective planning or the reversal of building works can be renegotiated from the agreed sale price.
What are searches, and how do they differ from a survey?
Searches are a set of enquiries carried out by your surveyor to various authorities such as the local council, HM Land Registry, etc., and focuses on the impact of the local area on your potential enjoyment of living at the property, while a survey (a HomeBuyer Report or Building Survey) is focused on the structural integrity of the home and its permanent outbuildings and constructions.
While each may throw up similar issues (such as missing planning consents or boundary issues), they are very different and achieve very different purposes.
Our solicitors at Homeward Legal are willing and happy to explain anything you don't understand in the conveyancing, because you need to know what you're getting for our competitively-priced fixed fee. Call our team on 0800 038 6699.