Landlords are being advised not to panic buy ahead of what may be more difficult lending conditions as the cost of living crisis grows.
Personal finance experts at comparison website QuoteZone say buyers must remain cautious and undertake due diligence to make sure their purchase is a secure investment.
For example, a recent study found that an invasive and resilient weed, like Japanese knotweed – as well as other invasive species – costs the UK economy £41m a year by damaging buildings and risking their structural integrity.
QuoteZone is advising inexperienced landlords and owner occupier homebuyers to be on the lookout for potential risks;
1 – Look for signs of woodworm - such as fresh, existing holes and tunnels in wood, normally in the roof space
2 - Look up pictures of Japanese Knotweed and where it likes to grow beforehand
3 – Take pictures of any noticeable cracks inside and out
4 – Always go back for a second viewing and at a different time of day, to highlight any other potential risks, preferably with company
5 - Check local ordinance survey maps for risk of flooding
6 – Use online tools that highlight crime, neighbourhood watch schemes and alarms in the area
7 – Chat to local neighbours about the area and see if they have any insights
8 – Worth spending some time in the local area, separate to the viewing – can be helpful to do this with company, in the evening, to see if you notice any significant changes from daytime
9 – Write down a list of questions beforehand and take them with you, the excitement of the viewing often means key elements aren’t discussed
10 – And of course, invest in the best homebuyers report you can afford to weed out any serious issues such as damp and subsidence
QuoteZone founder Greg Wilson says: “Competition in the housing market is becoming fierce and while it’s easy to be blinded by the positives, it’s important to know what to look out for before rushing into a purchase.
“By doing their research and knowing what to be on the lookout for, buyers can make the stressful process of buying their forever or indeed first home, a lot more straight-forward, and help prevent potential issues with mortgage approvals and homebuyer surveys, by being able to spot issues with their new house from the outset.
“It’s also important for buyers to think about life after the purchase. As restrictions get lifted, it’s likely that crime will rocket to pre-pandemic levels. Buyers should consider purchasing homes in areas that are safer and better prepared in terms of burglar alarms and active neighbourhood watch schemes.”
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