Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Crucial to Search out Facts before Buying; Conveyancing Solicitor Toni Spencer Answers Some of the Questions She Is Most Commonly Asked by People Buying or Selling Homes

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Crucial to Search out Facts before Buying; Conveyancing Solicitor Toni Spencer Answers Some of the Questions She Is Most Commonly Asked by People Buying or Selling Homes

Article excerpt

Question: What are searches and why do I need them? If you are purchasing a property with the assistance of a mortgage then your lender may insist that you obtain searches to protect their security.

However, it is important to have searches undertaken even if you are not buying with the assistance of a mortgage. The three most common searches I deal with are: Local authority search This involves asking the local council about such things as new roads, road proposals, road widening, compulsory purchase orders, whether there are any planning or building regulations permissions affecting the property, and also whether there are any notices which the council has served on the property, which could cost you money if you complete your transaction without having this information.

Mining Search This involves asking the coal authority about past, present and future coal mining operations. In certain areas of the country, this would not be necessary.

The mining search will generally reveal if there are any mineshafts, subsidence claims or proposed mining which would affect the property or the surrounding area.

Water/drainage search This will reveal if the property has mains drains, sewers and mains water, or if there are private arrangements. It will also reveal if there are mains running through the property, which either could prevent you building an extension, or make it more expensive.

Without obtaining these searches it would be very difficult for me to advise you on any possible problems as this information will not ordinarily be revealed through the title documents provided to me from the seller's solicitors.

While the seller is usually under an obligation to provide you with information about the property, there is a possibility they could be incorrect or simply forget to provide important information. If the searches identify potential problems it can allow your solicitor to raise further enquiries on your behalf.

Question: Do I really need a survey? …

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