Over a third would ignore a structural fault to get on the property ladder

Posted on Sunday, October 6, 2019

According to a new survey from Atom Bank, over half of British house buyers don’t even check for major issues such as rising damp central heating and electrics, with a third admitting to turning a blind eye to serious structural issues, risking losing thousands.

The average house deposit in the UK is now north of £33,000, but house buyers are risking their investment by overlooking serious issues in their eagerness to purchase a home.

The survey of more than 2,000 Brits revealed that 32% of would buy a house or flat knowing that it had a major issue, such as damp or structural problems.

Worryingly, the research also revealed that buyers are not checking for a number of potential issues that could end up costing more money further down the line.

More than half of those surveyed admitted to not investigating common issues such as damp (54%), central heating (54%), electrical (58%) and roof (59%) problems, while asbestos (67%) and structural concerns (61%) were overlooked by around two thirds of potential buyers.

Common issues like these can often clock up major bills if not flagged during the buying process. The cost of damp proofing a single wall costs around £500, a new boiler is on average £1,995, a house requiring a rewire would be around £3,000, while the cost of a new roof can be in excess of £8,250.

What’s more, a massive 82% of buyers admit to not looking out for Japanese Knotweed in the garden, which can cost as much as £20,000 to rectify.

David Castling, Director of Intermediary Lending at Atom bank, said: “With over a quarter (26%) of Brits prioritising decor over serious issues like structural problems or rising damp, it’s clear more education is needed for house buyers to highlight the items they should be looking for when viewing a house.

It’s easy to be drawn in by lovely decor, but questions about the history and integrity of the building should be asked from the very first appointment, and investing in a reputable surveyor and solicitor may well be the best investment you can make when it comes to your new home. We hope this research helps to highlight the issues - yes, house hunting should an exciting and enjoyable experience, but it pays to make sensible enquiries from the off.”

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