Buying a property
How buying a property north of the border differs from the rest of the
It used to be that moving house ranked third on the list of most stress-inducing
situations in one's life (after death in the family and divorce). In recent
years, though, the whole fretful business of buying and selling seems to
have intensified; a survey on most stressful life events by insurance company
Unum found that it drove 44% into a frenzy, compared to 15% who considered
changing jobs as their most stressful experience.
Frequent have been the calls for changes to the England and Wales home buying
system, so as to eradicate or minimise its drawbacks, brinkmanship and general
gut-churning villainy. Frequent, too, have been the comments that the Scottish
system is so much better, as well as being more respectful of blood pressure
indices. But is it?
The bid system
The essence of the system north of the border is the bid; you bid an offer
price for the property you're interested in. All bids are then opened on
the given deadline and the best offer wins. Simple; no gazumping, no
double-dealing, no price reductions for a quick sale, no cash offers that
fail to materialise at the eleventh hour.
But house buying in Scotland has its own problems, the chief one (if you
discount the nail-biting tension inherent in whether your bid will be successful)
being the amount of unproductive money that can be involved. You pay the
cost of surveys, searches and mortgage valuations before you know the bidding
outcomes and there's no refund.
As elsewhere, properties in Scotland are sold under the principle of caveat
emptor, so a survey/valuation report is essential. On the plus side, with
the Scottish system comes a high level of confidence that once your offer
is accepted, the sale will proceed.
Obviously, though, in a buoyant and competitive market, such a system can
result in multiple surveys and valuations being carried out on the same property
and consequent wasted costs for unsuccessful bidders. The tendency, then,
is for many buyers to opt for the cheapest form of survey report and risk
the chance of unexpected repairs and maintenance after the purchase.
Which survey to choose?
There are three main types of report, in ascending order of cost (which also
varies according to location/value of the property). The Valuation Report,
produced for the mortgager and paid for by the potential buyer (circa £150)
identifies any major defects. Next up, the Homebuyers Report and Valuation
commissioned by the purchaser, perhaps though their solicitor or IFA, provides
more detailed information about condition and state of services. Finally,
there's the comprehensive Building Survey, conducted by a chartered surveyor,
architect or builder, which investigates all elements; this does not include
a valuation and costs around £1,000.
In 2002 the Scottish Executive Central Research Unit published a report on
the country's house buying and selling process, the findings of a survey
amongst first time buyers, 'experienced' buyers and professionals e.g. solicitors
involved. The general view: for the first timer it is a huge learning curve;
46% of the survey's house buying respondents (30% of first timers) said they
did not receive any advice.
The survey also revealed that buyers viewed fewer than 10 properties before
making a successful offer. Further, 76% were successful with their first
offer and 67% had only one survey/valuation conducted (12% of all surveys
were not followed up by an offer on the property). Two thirds of all surveys
were of the basic Valuation Report type, at an average spend of £166.
Although 64% said they were generally satisfied with the condition of their
purchase, some 25% found unexpected repairs/work required in the first year.
There was an average time of 14 weeks from 'starting to look seriously' to
making a successful offer, with the cost of house buying averaging £1,340.
NOT OBTAIN OUR MAXIMUM BUILD PLANNING
New simple to understand
Planning Guide... "Puts dozens of strategies & risk assessments procedures
that you should be completing BEFORE you present a scheme for formal Planning
Approval in the UK." (Order your 'ebook' today & find out how the
'Professional Planning Consultant' prepares a scheme for residential development
PRIOR to formally submitting an extension scheme or full site redevelopment
to the Planners!).
Obtaining Planning Permission
for residential development in either extending your property or redeveloping
the site for new dwellings needs careful presentation & a risk assessment
prior to submitting for Planning Consent. A badly presented scheme to the
Planning Department by the Novice home owner can lead to an Automatic Rejection
& a Planning Refusal that could be hard to overturn. Our MAXIMUM BUILD
Guide will assist you in assessing your sites potential & what areas
you can exploit prior to submitting your scheme for Planning
to find out more about our guide
STEP - THE BUILDING REGULATIONS - OBTAINING BUILDING CONTROL
To compliment our Planning
Guide we have also produced a UK specific Specification Manual solely aimed
at the domestic/residential side of building. Are you completing your
own drawing plans for the Building Regulations as well? Why not obtain our
'Specification Manual' to assist you with obtaining Building Regulations
Approval as well. Alternatively you may have already secured Planning
Approval & just need this document.
here to find out more about our Specification
Please note that articles on this site do not constitute regulated
financial advice, which recommends a course of action based upon the specifics
of your personal circumstances. The articles are intended to provide general
personal financial information. We urge you to consult an Independent Financial
Adviser (IFA) before making any important decisions about your finances.
Call 0800 085 3250 for details of IFAs in your local area. Any statement
regarding financial services products and tax liability is based on legislation
and tax practices as at 1 January 2004, which is, of course, subject to
change.The value of any tax benefits or reliefs depends upon the individual
circumstances of the investor.When investment performance is mentioned you
should remember that past performance is no guarantee of future performance.
Where products have an underlying investment content, in many cases the value
of the investment can fall as well as rise. For with-profit based investments,
there is no guarantee as to the level of bonuses that will be declared, if
any. Where mortgages or secured loans are explained do remember that your
home is at risk if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or other loan
secured on it. All mortgages are subject to underwriting, status and are
not available to people under the age of 18.
Return to main Planning