PLEASE READ BEFORE POSTING

Hello Forumites! In order to help keep the Forum a useful, safe and friendly place for our users, discussions around non-MoneySaving matters are not permitted per the Forum rules. While we understand that mentioning house prices may sometimes be relevant to a user's specific MoneySaving situation, we ask that you please avoid veering into broad, general debates about the market, the economy and politics, as these can unfortunately lead to abusive or hateful behaviour. Threads that are found to have derailed into wider discussions may be removed. Users who repeatedly disregard this may have their Forum account banned. Please also avoid posting personally identifiable information, including links to your own online property listing which may reveal your address. Thank you for your understanding.

Do I need searches?

I have finally found a house that I wish to buy and legals are just starting. A few months ago I was due to buy a property a few yards down the road and paid for searches on that property. The sale fell through for a variety of reasons. The searches were so generic they appear to apply to this property too so I’m thinking that I may as well not bother paying for new ones. The solicitor has agreed that I can do this as I’m a cash buyer but they have sent a lengthy letter advising me against not getting them. Is there any reason for me to be concerned?

I’m entirely comfortable with the references to flooding, contamination mine shafts, rail / road proposals etc. as the previous searches cover the whole of that area. The property has never been altered or extended (and I guess any enforcement action by the council would show on the planning portal anyway) so is there anything for me to be concerned about? Thanks. 

Extract from the letter received. 


This is because should you become aware of anything after you are committed to the purchase which would have been revealed by the relevant searches (such as financial charges or orders against the property registered by the Council, flooding or contamination issues, enforcement proceedings for breach of planning or other regulations, mine shafts, road or rail proposals etc) which might have affected your
decision to purchase or restricts your ability to sell the property in future, you will have no recourse to this firm as the decision not to do searches rests with you and is against our advice to you. Please remember that a future buyer from you may well choose to have searches done (or have no choice if they are having a mortgage). This could reveal an issue pre-dating your purchase which you are then left having to try to resolve.
Our ability to comprehensively and effectively investigate the title to the property on your behalf will be limited to the documentation and information provided by the Sellers. You should bear in mind that under
English property law, the principle is “buyer beware” - the responsibility rests with you as buyer to carry out appropriate investigations before purchasing, not for the seller to volunteer information which is readily available elsewhere such as that contained in search results or which would be revealed in a
survey. This is particularly important if you believe the property has been extended or altered since original construction.

If you are certain that you still do not want us to carry out any searches on your behalf, you need take no further action.


Comments

  • RHemmings
    RHemmings Posts: 3,467 Forumite
    Name Dropper Combo Breaker First Post First Anniversary
    I paid out for new searches even though I had searches that were over three months old, from an auction pack because the property had been marketed by auction. It seemed the 'safe' route, but I'm not sure that it advantaged me any having the new searches done. Of course, in scenarios involving risk, it doesn't mean that it would have been a good decision to not repeat the searches back at the time given the information available then. 
  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 13,967 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    In all the thousands of threads I've read on this forum, I can't recall any where there was a fundamental problem which was revealed by a search (or which would have been if a search had been obtained).

    If you want a money-saving compromise, you can get search insurance, which will pay out if something terrible showed up, is cheaper, and is also instant rather than having to wait for actual search results.
  • Green_hopeful
    Green_hopeful Posts: 626 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Name Dropper
    Many years ago I did my own personal searches at the local authority offices. It was quite interesting but I was a relatively newly qualified lawyer and I was buying without a mortgage. 
  • FreeBear
    FreeBear Posts: 14,592 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper Photogenic
    kjs31 said: This is because should you become aware of anything after you are committed to the purchase which would have been revealed by the relevant searches (such as financial charges or orders against the property registered by the Council, flooding or contamination issues, enforcement proceedings for breach of planning or other regulations, mine shafts, road or rail proposals etc) which might have affected your
    decision to purchase or restricts your ability to sell the property in future,
    Bit in bold would be the one to give me any concern as this is specific to the property. Also any planning or building regulation enforcement notices that have been issued. But if no work has been done to the building, this is unlikely.
    Her courage will change the world.

    Treasure the moments that you have. Savour them for as long as you can for they will never come back again.
  • Grizebeck
    Grizebeck Posts: 2,755 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper Photogenic
    Many years ago I did my own personal searches at the local authority offices. It was quite interesting but I was a relatively newly qualified lawyer and I was buying without a mortgage. 
    Same ! I did my own last year definitely a bit interesting 
    Advocate in the County Court dealing with a variety of cases, attending the courts in the North East and North Yorkshire
  • chanz4
    chanz4 Posts: 10,889 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post Xmas Saver!
    solicitors have to cover their butts
    Don't put your trust into an Experian score - it is not a number any bank will ever use & it is generally a waste of money to purchase it. They are also selling you insurance you dont need.
  • kjs31
    kjs31 Posts: 175 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Name Dropper
    user1977 said:


    If you want a money-saving compromise, you can get search insurance, which will pay out if something terrible showed up, is cheaper, and is also instant rather than having to wait for actual search results.
    Thanks! I didn’t even know that this was a thing. I found a policy for £130 but then this one popped up at (apparently) £68 so could be a good compromise. 

    https://www.propertysearchesdirect.co.uk/product-page/no-search-insurance-existing-residential
  • kjs31
    kjs31 Posts: 175 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Name Dropper
    Solicitor can provide one for £53 so I just need to decide whether to go for it. Seems worth it TBH as risk mitigation albeit low risk mitigation. 
Meet your Ambassadors

Categories

  • All Categories
  • 343K Banking & Borrowing
  • 250.1K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 449.6K Spending & Discounts
  • 235.1K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 607.8K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 173K Life & Family
  • 247.8K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.9K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards