First-time buyers 'should carry out all checks'

19 July 2007
First-time housebuyers have been urged to ensure they carry out all checks to avoid walking into a "property nightmare".

AA Legal Services issued the warning, following a survey that showed a fifth of homeowners between the ages of 18 and 29 have failed to perform structural and legal checks.

And the result of this was that 66 per cent encountered nasty shocks in their first year of being a homeowner, the report showed.

While noisy and rude neighbours emerged as the most common problem for new homeowners, structural shortcomings also caused problems for many.

The most common defects were leaky roofs, rotten windows and problems with draughts, drainage and damp.

Ensuring all legal and structural checks are carried out should be a priority for new homebuyers, argued the head of AA Legal Services.

James Molloy commented that first-time buyers should feel confident about investing in property, as they will be paying off their mortgage for decades to come.

"Simple legal and structural checks not only give peace of mind, but could also avoid costly surprises," he said.

Figures released by Barclays last month showed that first-time buyers in the UK are spending almost a third of their take home income on repaying their mortgage.

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