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Your Property Buying Worries Revealed

Nov 17, 2007
Buying a house can be a really stressful time. It's the biggest purchase you'll probably ever make, plus it's a difficult process to go through. And when you have found the right home, there's sometimes a little voice at the back of your head saying "what if something goes wrong?"

Are you justified having these fears? Or is buying a house actually no worse than trying to sell property?

We look at some of the worries you have and what you can do to fix them.

First off the obvious ones, caused by the seller. They may gazump you, which is where they accept your offer for the house then later accept a higher offer and reject yours. This is perfectly legal as the price of the property is only fixed on the day contracts are exchanged.

The seller can also throw a spanner in the works by withdrawing their acceptance of the offer, for example if they have changed their mind about moving. They can even accept more than one offer, in what's known as a contract race. The first buyer to complete gets the house. Amazingly, this is legal.

Another concern is that there will be something wrong with the actual structure of the building itself. The fear of subsidence or damp is a genuine one - it happens and can be financially ruinous if it strikes your property.

The answer of course is simple and relatively inexpensive. You should get a full property survey done on any building you are thinking of buying. Surprisingly, it's estimated only one in five people do this when buying a home, perhaps because they think the mortgage survey is enough.

But the mortgage survey is there just to establish that the house is worth at least as much as is being loaned on it. For full peace of mind you should consider getting a homebuyer's report. If your property is of conventional type and construction and was built in the last 30 years, this will probably be fine for you.

The survey will establish if there are any major problems to be worried about, and whether or not the property is worth what you have agreed to pay.

If it's an unusual house, you will need a building survey, which is much more expensive but considerably more detailed (and will spot any serious structural defects).

Another fear of people buying a property is that they will move near the neighbours from hell. And for good reason. A survey by the Halifax out this week revealed that a quarter of us have had neighbourly disputes.

The biggest problem quoted was noise, topping the poll with more a quarter of people blaming it for a dispute.

A disagreement over boundaries was the next biggest complaint, affecting 14 per cent of people. And then pets and parking were considered issues.

These are one thing, but here's a statistic likely to strike fear into anyone buying property. Eight per cent of complaints in the survey were caused by antisocial behaviour, other than noise. The behaviour of children caused seven per cent of complaints, while rubbish was only an issue for two per cent of complaints.

More women than men admitted having a dispute with their neighbours in the last 12 months - 34% of women compared to 29% of men. And women were more likely to complain about antisocial behaviour, whereas almost three in ten men who had disputes admitted it was because of noise.

Scared you yet? There are ways to fix the problem of falling out with your neighbours. There are free mediation services available, and you can also ask your local authority's environmental health officer to look into noise problems.
About the Author
Visit http://www.propertytoday.co.uk for more tips on how to buy property
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