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Harried buyers spend just half an hour inspecting homes

Lucinda Beeman
Written By:
Lucinda Beeman

Pressured home-buyers spend just half an hour inspecting a property before putting in an offer, leading to high repair bills for unnoticed faults.

According to a survey by Aviva buyers spend an average of £1,094 more than expected on essential repairs after moving in to a new home, paying to correct faults they had failed to notice during rushed viewings rife with competiton.

One in four homeowners made just a single visit to their new property before moving in, Aviva found, with plumbing issues, damp and cracks in the walls and ceilings the most commonly overlooked issues.

Heather Smith of Aviva said: “Renewed competition and rising prices have combined to make many buyers more pressurised to snap up a property quickly. Our research showed that buyers in the past year devoted under 10 seconds to looking round a property for every £1,000 they spent purchasing it.”

Almost one in three buyers checked for no specific issues like blocked guttering, invasive plants like Japanese knotweed and defective chimney stacks.

Smith continued: “Your future home could be showing symptoms of potential maintenance or structural issues that could cause you trouble down the line. Most of these are fixable, you just need to know the signs to look out for and you do need to prepare financially. Defective chimneys and Japanese knotweed in particular can be really nasty, with costs to fix running into four or even five figures.”

Aviva has launched an interactive house viewing checklist to guide time-pressed buyers through the viewing process. You can view it here.