Question: What are the basic searches when buying a house?

What do property searches include?

Property searches are made up of a local authority search, environmental search and drainage search. They will need to be budgeted into the total cost of buying a house. These will then highlight any issues to do with the area and local authority that could cause disruption or damage to the property.

How long are house searches taking?

Official Searches

The environmental search usually takes between 24 and 48 hours. The slowest local authority at the time of writing is Camden in Greater London, taking on average 50 working days. It is not however uncommon for searches (especially personal searches) to take 24 hours to process.

How long do searches take to complete?

The time between conveyancing searches and exchange of contracts is typically between 1 and 3 weeks. Although this may seem like quite a long time, you’ll be pleased to know that you’re on the home straight!

Do you need searches when buying a house?

Whilst searches are required if you are purchasing with the aid of a mortgage they are not mandatory if you are a cash purchaser, as it is your own funds that will be at risk and not a mortgage lenders…. so it is your decision. But remember lenders ask for searches for a reason- to protect their investment.

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Can I do my own property searches?

You can also conduct a personal search yourself for free, but this is not recommended as local reports require specialist knowledge to execute a search properly.

What happens after house searches are done?

What Happens After the Searches Have Been Done? Once the searches are complete, your conveyancer will examine the details of each search and send you a detailed report highlighting any potential issues you should be concerned about.

What Enquiries do solicitors raise after searches?

The standard enquires to be raised include: Local authority search carried out with the borough council to check for planning permissions, building control sign-offs and rights of way. Checking your mortgage offer to ensure that any specific requirements that the lender insists on are adhered to.

What do local searches reveal?

The local search will reveal whether the property is located in Conservation area. Should this be the case then it could permit any further development at the property. This could be an issue if you are planning any future works at the property. If the property is a listed building this will be indicated on the search.

What do solicitors searches include?

They typically include aspects such as whether planning permission may be granted for a future development that would negatively impact your property, the quality of the ground on which your house is built, or details of common drains and access rights.

Who decides completion date?

The date of completion is one that is agreed by both parties prior to exchange, commonly one or two weeks later. It is the date on which full payment is made to the seller, ownership transfers to the buyer and moving day takes place.

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Can you exchange before searches?

Exchanging contracts is legally binding, so be certain you want to go ahead before signing anything. Use our helpful checklist to make sure you haven’t missed a step: check the searches are complete.

What goes wrong between exchange and completion?

The house could burn down, fall due to structural issues or be vandalised. Between exchange and completion, the house could burn down due to a fire, be vandalised by thieves or simply fall down due to structural issues.

Can you exchange contracts without searches?

We would advise that no binding agreement to purchase a property is entered into without the relevant searches being undertaken and results reviewed. If you require a mortgage to fund your purchase then searches must be carried out to satisfy your lenders.

How long do Enquiries take after searches?

Generally, you’ll be looking at around 1-4 weeks. Naturally however, the more enquiries that are raised, the longer it may take. However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing – an extra week or two here could save you a big headache long-term if a major issue you were unaware of raises its head.