Home Buying Tips 21-25

It’s the biggest purchase of your life – Let’s make sure that you get it right!

21. Fixtures & Fittings

Make sure you let your Solicitors know what fixtures and fittings are to be included in the purchase and get written confirmation of this. Do not assume the light fittings, window blinds and such will be included in the sale, always ask and always have the solicitors tie this up otherwise you may find you have bought considerably less than you thought you have.

22. Surveys

Basic Valuation

This is paid for by you but carried out on behalf of the lender. Major defects such as subsidence should be picked up because they will affect the value but other minor defects may be missed. (Minor defects can still cost £1000’s to put right)

Expect to pay –  £0 – £350 depending on the lender and mortgage deal.

Homebuyers report

Much more detailed and looks at areas such as electrics, heating and plumbing. You will be able to get a detailed idea of the costs of any remedial work and may be able to use this information to get a reduction in the price!!

Expect to pay – £450 – £600

Full Structural                                  

Advisable on older properties and those of unusual construction. This is the most comprehensive of all surveys. It costs more but you will get no nasty surprises and you may well be able to recoup the cost if it gives you ammunition to knock down the price.

Expect to pay – £800 – £1000


I know buying a property seems like a never ending set of bills and it may seem best to go for the cheapest, but…. rewiring a house might cost £5000….underpinning a property £30,000+.

If money is that tight then try and take someone around who knows a thing or two about what to look for.

23. Get quotes for work

The surveyor is offering an opinion. Get an “expert” in to quote for any remedial work that is recommended, this will make sure you have no financial surprises but also can be used as a tool for renegotiation on the price.

24. When can you pull out?

You can pull out any time before exchange – after this the costs are massive.

Just remember if you have paid out for a survey or search fees, these are property specific so you will have lost these. You may also lose your booking fee with the Lender.

A good point to remember is that a seller can also pull out at any time before exchange.


25. Protect your family and your belongings

Life cover

There are many types of protection – Life cover/ Critical illness/ Income protection. Whatever is the right package for you…. MAKE SURE IT IS ON RISK BEFORE YOU EXCHANGE CONTRACTS. This may sound simple but some insurers will require a medical/ GP report (I have had it take over 3 months to get a report back from a Doctor’s surgery). That’s why I start pushing and chasing these applications from day one – because I don’t want my clients’ families homeless if the worst should happen.

Building & Contents Insurance

This is an easy one to let slip with everything else that’s going on….(Well – unless I’m looking after things….)

But think about it, you are moving into a new home with all your “stuff” nicely boxed up for a burglar to swipe. You may be moving into a vacant property which has had the water turned off and springs a leak the moment you move in causing the downstairs ceiling to collapse.

And yes both of these things have happened to clients of mine. In fact, one called me at 10pm on a Saturday for the insurance claims phone number because he didn’t know which box the insurance documents were packed in.


Get a copy of the Gas Safety Certificate. If there isn’t one, get appliances checked by a registered engineer.


Carbon monoxide and Smoke alarms. If they are in situ – test them. If they are not – buy them. Don’t put this off. It’s a few quid to potentially save the lives’ of your loved ones.

Ok, that’s it – I’ve run out of house buying tips for now……but don’t despair, next week we move on to House Selling.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

Your initial mortgage consultation is obligation free. There may be a fee for our mortgage service of up to £395 though in some circumstances this may be waived. Being independent we also offer a “fee only” option which is typically 1% of the amount borrowed and any commission derived from the lender is returned to you. The precise amount will depend on your circumstances and mortgage loan amount, and will be discussed and agreed on before you make a mortgage application.