Many home buyers believe that finding the right property to buy, and negotiating an acceptable price, is the difficult part of the purchasing process, but for many this can be when the challenge really begins. As a property transaction progresses and legal enquires are made and surveys are conducted, a wide range of unexpected hurdles can materialise which stand between you finding the perfect property and securing it with legal certainty.
Acquiring a listed property offers challenges and attractions. The existence of a listing concerns some buyers, who are fearful that this will add significant restrictions and bureaucracy to any plans that they have to change a property. Of course, if you are looking to buy a listed building you need to appreciate that the restriction was put in place to protect the look and structure of the building so this needs to be respected. However, by taking time to understand how English Heritage work, by planning sympathetically and liaising closely with local conservation officers, modern and innovative improvements can built into the oldest of buildings.
The presence of a protected species of wildlife can be an unexpected challenge, particularly if you have plans to renovate. In some cases, the presence of these protected species can jeopardise a deal, as the legal provisions are not be taken lightly. However, do not despair if these creatures are found at your dream home or within its gardens. Specific measures can be undertaken by employing the services of necessary professionals, such as a specialist surveyor who will survey the property and make recommendations of how to mitigate the impact of your plans.
It is not unusual for older properties to have some of their historical documentation missing. In these situations, it’s essential to take expert advice from your solicitor. Despite such circumstances often looking like ‘deal breakers’ there are certainly ways to protect yourself against any nasty surprises at a later date. Always be very clear with your solicitor if you have any plans to develop the property you are buying as this may affect their advice to you.
Some sellers like to build in an ‘Overage Clause’ as a means of clawing back some of the financial gains a future owner will generate from developing part or all of the property or plot. It is therefore critical to gain a good understanding of the parameters of any such clauses early on in order to avoid unwelcome surprises at a later stage. Where possible negotiate these out of the contract at offer stage.
And finally…too much emotion
Whilst buying and selling a property is essentially a business transaction, it is not only a major financial commitment, but also intensely personal. Emotions and personalities often come into play. Do remember that whilst your future home is a long term commitment, the relationship with the seller is not. You are not buying a new best friend!
If you are considering buying a property and would value support overcoming the inevitable challenges associated with finding, negotiating and completing a purchase, contact Kate Vincent for a commitment free meeting.