When you’re buying a new house, it’s all too easy to get seduced by the look and feel of the place – and ignore the ‘shabby-chic’ brickwork or gurgling sounds coming from the boiler.
But new research by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has revealed the shocking truth: Many buyers are unknowingly setting themselves up for an average £5,750 in repair bills on their new home, thanks to whole range of hidden problems such as structural defects, rot and subsidence.
As Peter Bolton King, of RICS, points out: ‘A general lack of understanding about the home buying process is putting many at increased risk because they are not taking out independent, expert advice.
‘Agents can and should offer advice to buyers, however, only a surveyor is trained to identify issues with a property.’
Young and first-time buyers are most at risk – and, even though many stretch their finances to breaking point when they decide to climb on the property ladder for the first time, it is certainly worth making sure you keep aside some cash to ensure the biggest purchase you will probably ever make does not also end up being your biggest mistake.
Mr Bolton King adds: ‘Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions most people will ever make and yet many consumers are doing so blind to the facts. Serious faults are difficult to identify and costly to repair.
‘By not being aware of them consumers are risking a potential home buying time bomb. This can cause extreme stress and financial strain on home-owners who are often stuck with a property they no longer want but cannot sell.’