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What are Property Searches?

What You Need to Know About Property Searches

An ideal property has been found in the perfect location for you. The property has just what you’re looking for, with the right number of bedrooms and the perfect garden, so you make an offer. However, once you begin the conveyancing process, there is more to it than simply how the house looks or feels. When you are deciding if a property is a good option for you, there is much more to it than what you see from the outside or from the inside.

In addition to surveys that are needed to determine a property’s structure and condition, you will also need to conduct searches about the history of the property, its land, and its location. These searches are meant to ensure that you are aware of anything that might negatively impact the property, either during the time you live there or should you decide to sell it. Buying a house without conducting a property search puts you at greater risk of running into problems in the future, some of which could even be more costly than the value of the whole house.

What are property searches and when do I need them?

When a conveyancing process is undergoing, various kinds of searches will typically be performed. Additionally, depending on where your property is located in the UK and what is nearby, you may need to conduct additional searches.

In Affluent Areas of London, Local Authorities Search:

A local authority search is likely to be required by your mortgage provider if you decide to purchase a home in London with a mortgage. Although it’s still strongly recommended, even if you’re a cash buyer. If you wish to purchase a property, you will need to conduct a local authority search to determine whether information about it exists. The process involves obtaining information about any nearby planned roadworks or schemes.

Any previously approved or rejected planning applications, whether or not any development is permitted near the property, information about public rights of way in the area, whether or not the property is classified as a listed building, and whether the nearby roads are the responsibility of private residents or the council.

Searches for Thames Water properties in the environment:

An environmental search is recommended, particularly around the Thames area because it examines the land that the property is built on and makes environmental considerations within 500m that might harm the property as a whole. It’s advisable to conduct this type of property search for cash buyers as well, even if you are purchasing a property with a mortgage. It is extremely important to conduct an environmental property search, even if it does not seem likely that any issues will result in lasting problems.

The cost of this search is very small compared to the potential costs associated with repairing problems caused by environmental factors such as natural ground subsidence and flooding. When conducting an environmental search, various types of information will be collected, including contamination, flooding, and subsidence risks. If there are any landfills, waste management sites, or other sites where hazardous materials are disposed of nearby, their effects on the property will also be considered. In order to move into a property located near the River Thames, a flood report is essential.

Assured Property Searches also offers the following search types:

Furthermore, additional property searches can also be ordered to look at various factors such as whether there are any planning applications on other properties within 250m of the property and whether there are any electrical transmission lines or telecommunications masts within 500m of the property. There are other types of searches you can order for a property you are considering purchasing, such as:

How Energy and Infrastructure Searches work:

There could be a negative impact on the value of the property if any proposed energy or infrastructure developments are near the property location. Assured Property Searches would search for a wide range of development types during this search, including but not limited to wind farms, solar farms, fracking sites, sewage works, or the HS2 high-speed rail development.

Drainage and water searches are:

You can use this type of search to find out where the water supply for your property will come from and how the drainage and sewerage systems that your property will utilize will work. Also, it is used to determine the location of the property’s mains water supply, and whether or not this will present any potential future planning issues. Additionally, the search will evaluate whether or not any of these factors pose any level of risk to the safety and condition of your property in the future.

Searches for Chancel Repair Costs:

Unless the property is located on parish land, chancel repair costs apply. It may be the responsibility of the property owner to pay for the upkeep of the local church. Owners of properties located on rectorial land should conduct this search, as even if you are not involved with the church, owning the property may make you liable for various repairs. It is possible to purchase insurance coverage that pays out any costs you are liable to pay to the church if you purchase a property with chancel repair liability costs.

How do mining searches work?

This type of search should be considered when you are looking for a property that is in an area where mining has taken place in the past or where mining is planned in the future. It is possible for gas emissions, hazardous water supply contamination, and subsidence to occur as a result of mining. There may also be tunnels beneath the property that have been excavated. Tin, clay, and coal mining are all covered by these searches. However, they are not applicable to many areas of the UK.

What is a Land Registry Search?

In a land registry search, we verify that the current owner of the property is actually registered as the owner. If anyone else indicates an interest in the property within thirty days of your conveyancer’s registration, regardless of whether or not they intend to purchase the property, your conveyancer will be unable to register your interest. Once the sale is complete, the title and deeds will be transferred to your name in order to ensure that once you own the property, you will have exclusive ownership.

What is the average time it takes to search for properties?

It may take a considerable amount of time to complete different property searches depending on a variety of factors. Buying an unoccupied, chain-free property without a mortgage could take as little as 2-3 weeks for the entire conveyancing process. Even so, it’s worth keeping in mind that this is quite an unusual situation to see. As a rule of thumb, the longer the conveyancing process takes, the more people are involved. Searches themselves will depend on a variety of factors, including the conveyancers you are using and their demands.

Additionally, the time of year does play a role, as certain times of the year are more popular for purchasing properties, which means that purchasing a property during certain times of the year may result in quicker searches. Depending on the local authority and the number of search requests being handled, some searches can be completed in as little as two days. Lastly, you must consider the type and number of searches that will be conducted on the property. For example, a property located near water will require more searches than one that is not and the conveyancing process will take longer.

Is it necessary to get a property search?

A mortgage provider will, in most cases, require you to conduct specific property searches before they will approve your application. Cash buyers, however, do not have to conduct searches, although it’s still highly recommended that they do so. When you do not conduct any local authority searches, it’s best to take out specific no search indemnity insurance instead, to ensure that you are covered for issues uncovered during a property search.

Property searches are likely to uncover some characteristics of a property that you may not have considered or considered earlier. No matter what results from you get, speak to a good conveyancer and get an expert opinion. Take a look at the properties we have available for sale in London if you’re ready to conduct the various necessary property searches.

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