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Securing your dream home can be riddled with hidden costs. For example, a third of people move into a new home and find an electrical issue; on average an electrical issue will cost £2,000 to remedy, with some costs rising as high as £10,000.
An Electrical Installation Condition Report is an electrical survey that will identify if there are any electrical issue and how much these will cost to be repaired; EICR’s start at approximately £100 but the price will depend on the size of your property. The results of an EICR can give you ammunition to negotiate the price off a property.
But that's not the only nasty surprise that can await. Here are seven tips to avoid unwanted househunting expenditure.
1. Make sure you know what you can afford – Speak to the bank first. It’s easy to get carried away looking for that dream property but make sure you can afford it first by getting an ‘Agreement in Principle’ from your bank.
2. Check out the neighbourhood – Make sure you investigate where you are buying thoroughly, you can find out crime levels to school results simply by punching in the postcode, all of which affect house prices.
3. Budget, budget, budget – There are lots of additional costs a first time buyer might not be aware of, such as legal fees, stamp duty, surveys and other technical reports such as an Electrical Installation Condition Report. Don’t get tripped up by not being prepared!
4. Don’t be fooled by staging – Cleverly placed mirrors, strategic lighting, manicured gardens and fresh paint are all ways sellers are able to make their home seem more appealing, and more expensive.
5. The devil is in the detail – When viewing a property make sure you check for any obvious issues such as damp, mould or cracks in the walls but don’t overlook potential hidden dangers like old or faulty wiring which can be dangerous and expensive to repair. Download Electrical Safety First’s ‘Home electrical safety checks’ app to help you identify any visible electrical issues from electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/visualchecks.
6. Don’t save on safety – Once an offer has been made, make sure you have a survey done of the property to uncover any issues you may not have spotted yourself but which could come with significant costs; the survey can often give you ammunition to negotiate the price of a property.
7. Check the electrics – A survey will not inspect the state of the electrics, so make sure you have an Electrical Installation Condition Report done to ensure your new home is safe and you aren’t left holding the bill; a full rewire can run into thousands of pounds.