Homebuyers ‘fail to protect themselves’ when making a purchase

Homebuyers from across Scotland and the rest of the UK are putting themselves at risk of a "property nightmare" by failing to become properly informed about their purchases, an industry body has found.

New research from insurance broker AA has established that fewer than a quarter of consumers investing in property take appropriate steps to check the building’s condition and other factors before investing.

Some of the pitfalls into which buyers fall include failing to consider future costs, with only 23 per cent commissioning a comprehensive survey of a property and only 29 per cent making themselves aware of council tax costs.

Low-income buyers were found to be the group most likely to put themselves at risk, with just six per cent of those seeking properties under £100,000 commissioning conveyancing work on their home.

Additionally, only 15 per cent of homebuyers took the time to meet and evaluate their new neighbours before investing.

James Molloy, spokesperson for AA legal services, comments: "With homebuyers stretching themselves to the financial limits to afford their home, many are cutting back on the relatively low costs of basic legal and social inspections."

"New homeowners who do not carry out basic checks, face discovering too late that their dream home could actually be a financial time bomb."

Responding to its findings, the AA recommends taking as much time as possible to assess a property before purchase and seeking independent legal and assessor advice, consulting a solicitor if unsure about any aspect of the purchase.

Earlier this year, the AA reminded homeowners to address damage experienced by their property over the winter as soon as possible in order to mitigate repair costs and avoid the development of further problems.