Martin Roberts discusses couple buying property without driveway
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While it is easy to fall in love with a property, you must also take a view on how any future buyer might see it, to ensure it has resale value and keeps up with rising property prices. For example, buying a property at risk of flood or with structural problems could make it harder to sell in future, as lenders will be reluctant to grant buyers a mortgage. It could also impact your ability to raise finance against your property, say, through a remortgage or equity release plan. Even if you have spotted a bargain property, you still need to keep a cool head or risk storing up problems for later.
Later life adviser More 2 Life has listed the common reasons why equity release applications were declined in 2020, and chief executive Dave Harris said these fundamental issues are likely to scare away buyers as well. Any property with asbestos is hard to resell but this is less of an issue as most homeowners have now rectified the problem, but foam insulation is a growing problem.
Foam was a popular way of insulating the loft, but it sets hard which means it can put pressure on wooden roof timbers and may also restrict air circulation, causing condensation and rot.
Harris said properties with the following issues may be hard to resell, remortgage or get approval for equity release, so approach with caution.
• Close proximity to commercial property. Homes near a busy goods yard or noisy pub could deter future buyers. They could also perform worse than average local properties. For example, a home next to a petrol station may take longer to sell, and attract a lower price.
• Clutter. Beware buying a cluttered property as this could make it difficult for your valuer to check the building’s structural integrity. If you are selling or applying for equity release, give your house a tidy first.
• Ex-local authority buildings. Some mortgage lenders are wary of granting loans on ex-local authority blocks, as their future value will depend on other tenants maintaining communal areas. Owners may also face large collective bills for issues such as roof maintenance.
• Flat roofs. If more than 25 percent of the roof is flat, lenders may get cold feet, fearing leaks.
• Flood risk. Properties that have been built on a floodplain or flooded in the past can be difficult and dear to insure, a growing worry as the UK faces more extreme weather.
• Timber-framed buildings. Many lenders are wary of non-standard building construction, making them harder for buyers to get a mortgage.
• Single skim homes. Properties that do not have a cavity wall, make it difficult and dear to fit insulation. A cold house and higher energy bills will deter buyers and lenders.
• Structural issues. Think twice if your surveyor raises concerns, as any future buyer’s surveyor will also highlight these unless you fix them. Also, your property may not be safe.
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