Property Update – Back To Square One
I found out some disconcerting news about the property I was buying on the Friday before bank holiday weekend. It was fantastic news to kick off the bank holiday…NOT.
Initially I was hesitant to blog about my house buying journey in case it didn’t work out. So many things can go wrong; solicitors can uncover things you weren’t aware of or surveys can discover problems you didn’t anticipate when you originally put the offer in. Despite these risks I made the decision to blog about it anyway because I wanted to share my whole experience, even with the chance of it all falling through.
Leasehold Tenure & Fire
So to give you a little bit of background info… four weeks into the conveyancing process I found out the house I was buying was leasehold even though it was advertised as freehold. I also found out that a fire had taken place within the house and my solicitor was waiting on further details on the cause of the fire. A week had passed and I had no more updates on the cause of the fire, so I was advised by my solicitor to call the agent and see if they knew any more information.
The agent informed me that it was only a small fire in the living room caused by the tv. I was reassured that the fire had only caused cosmetic damage, which was repaired and covered by their house insurance. This alleviated my concerns and I continued to wait for the conveyancing to complete.
Five weeks later I found out more information about the fire from my solicitor (by this point nine weeks had passed) which had actually been caused by an arson attack. I couldn’t believe it. Why had it taken nine weeks to find this information out? And why had I been given false information initially? Plus it gave me a bit of a reality check. I was naive and focused too much on the house being a great investment opportunity, when in reality I was actually going to be living there temporarily, so I should have been paying more attention to the safety and crime stats in the area.
After a long rethink I decided to pull out. If I had known about the cause of the fire and tenure of the property to begin with I wouldn’t have made an offer. Further investigation could not find out why the arson attack had taken place and this made me feel uncomfortable about living there.
Disappointed, Misled & Frustrated
This leads me to feel disappointed, misled and frustrated because I have now wasted nine weeks of the summer period when I could have bought another property and have moved in by now, plus I’ve incurred solicitors fees for the conveyancing process up to this point.
I’m now seeing if there is any way I can claim those fees back through The Property Ombudsman as false information was given upfront.
I keep telling myself there is a silver lining and it could have been a lot worse with a lot more money lost. I’m taking this as a lesson learned. So…now the exciting search begins again for a suitable property, but with a much wiser approach!