It is only natural for a potential buyer to know more about a home or a property before even deciding to avail of it.
The thing about purchasing any type of property is that they often come with a caveat—underlying conditions that you wouldn’t be able to see at first glance! This is the reason why the buyer has every right to inspect the entirety of the house, as well as to inquire about its former owners and the other possible contents of the “fine print.”
With that being said, conveyancing searches would be their viable option if they hope to have comprehensive knowledge about the house they’re planning to buy. Not only would it give an actual view into the real condition of the house, but it would also provide the potential buyer with an honest insight into all of the possible conditions that may affect it in the long run!
What Are Conveyancing Searches?
Also known as property searches, they are inquiries done by your local conveyancing solicitors. These queries would be forwarded to the local authorities, water and drainage personnel, and environmental authorities. Their contents would mostly probe about the house’s condition and the other legal and environmental factors that may affect it over time.
While it isn’t really necessary to do this most of the time, there are occasions in which you may not be sure about the quality of the home that you’re planning to avail of. If that’s the case, you have an option to push through with the conveyancing searches!
What Can You Learn from the Local Authority Search?
The local authority search would focus more on the property’s surrounding areas. It would also determine whether or not the property is a part of a conservation area, situated in a mandatory tree habitat, requires an improvement or renovation grant, and is in a smoke control area.
These are asked since you wouldn’t want to risk your home being torn down due to road schemes and strict tree preservation laws!
What Can You Learn from the Water and Drainage Search?
The house may look good from the outside, but does it have a sufficient amount of pipes and drainage on the inside?
No one wants to live in a house lacking the appropriate water supply, nor would anyone want to live in a house riddled with sewage problems due to the absence of drainage systems. You may assign your solicitor to communicate with the local water company to confirm that everything is set in place and that the pipes and drainage are regularly maintained and cared for.
What Can You Learn from the Environmental Search?
This inquiry focuses more on the forces of nature that may affect your potential new home. The indicators for this would be the various bodies of water near your location, the potential risk of landslides during heavy rains, the contamination of your land due to possible nearby landfills, and the subsidence or the sudden occurrence of sinkholes in your land.
Are There Other Significant Searches Regarding a Property?
Yes, there are. As with the first few searches, they are as important in providing valuable information to the potential buyer and the conveyancer. Namely, they are the Title Search, the Flood Search, the Chancel Repair Search, and the Mining Search.
What Can You Learn from the Title Search?
This is more focused on the seller of the property in question. This would determine whether or not the seller is really the legal owner and if they have the authority to sell it. This search also aims to indicate a couple of important details, such as the name of the previous owner of the property, how much it was bought for, if it currently has any debt, and its location.
What Can You Learn from the Flood Search?
The flood search is somehow connected to the environment search. We’ve mentioned before that the latter aims to point out whether or not there are any bodies of water near the property.
If it is near a body of water, then there is a potential risk of flooding, especially if the house is located on a lower ground level. Learning about this is critical, especially if the potential buyer is planning to move in with a family. They may need to evacuate each time there’s a heavy rainstorm, so be wary of this information!
What Can You Learn from the Chancel Repair Search?
This search would determine whether or not you are liable for the maintenance and repair of a nearby church. While this may seem a bit unfair, take note that your property may be getting in the way of the religious gathering. There is a tendency that the property is causing damage to the church as well; that is why you are being charged for its maintenance.
How Long Would It Take for My Representative to Finish the Conveyancing Searches?
The length of the process would depend on whether or not everyone’s willing to cooperate with your solicitor. If all of the information were to be provided, you might get the result in a couple of days! However, if the information isn’t complete by then, you can expect the searches to last for at least a few more weeks.
Take note that you are looking at a process wherein the results of the searches would come from various sources—so even if nine out of ten would give you the information that you’d need, you may still need to wait for the tenth result to ensure your prospective property is 100% free from issues!
You may have to thank your hardworking conveyancer after this, as definitely, the whole process isn’t easy to accomplish. There is a lot of coordination and communication that they may have to go through just to present all the completed searches by the end!
Would Conveyancing Searches Cost Me a Lot?
No, since conveyancers would usually offer their services as a package deal! Depending on the extent of the searches, you may have to pay more per increased package. Of course, the most comprehensive search would cost you more—but if you really want to get a feel of the property without even stepping foot on it, you can have your solicitor handle it all.
Conveyancing searches should be at the top of your list if ever you’re planning to buy a home with a mortgage. You have the right to know about its pros and cons in the same way that you have the right to inquire if you’ll be getting your money’s worth! Get the assistance of a solicitor or a conveyancer and see to it that you wouldn’t be facing any external problems with your newly-purchased home.
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