First time buyers fail on routine checks


New research from AA Legal Services suggests that two-thirds of young Britons taking their first steps on the property ladder are facing unexpected costs in home ownership because they failed to carry out routine checks.

According to the research, 20% of 18 to 29 year-olds new to home ownership omitted to carry out any basic assessments of their property before agreeing to buy it.

As a result, 66% experienced unexpected problems in their first year of homeownership.

Problems with neighbours being noisy or obnoxious came first on the list of unexpected difficulties, followed by structural problems in the property.

Structural defects reported by those surveyed including leaking roofs (15%), rotten windows (15%), draughts (12%), drainage problems (12%) and rising damp (7%).

Other areas not taken into account included traffic noise (12%) and a lack of parking space (12%).

Only 28% of new home owners arrange for an independent structural survey before buying their property and in the case of young people this figure drops to just 7%.

Whilst buying a home is one of the biggest decisions people ever make, the research suggests that young people are rushing to make their purchases because of rising house prices.

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  1. Brian Turner says:

    I fell for this as well – house was only 4 years old so I presumed there would be no significant issues.

    However, since then we’ve had to replace the boiler, found the double glazing needs refitting, a big hole in the roof where it was not properly sealed – and while type this I’m in a phone queue to Zurich home insurance because bathwater hasn’t been draining properly and has soaked the bathroom floor and started leaking through the ceiling below.

    Lesson learned: always get a full survey done!