FAQ: What Searches Are Necessary When Buying A House?

There are several different types of searches your solicitor will conduct when you buy a property.

  • Local authority searches.
  • Land Registry searches.
  • Environmental searches.
  • Water authority searches.
  • Location specific searches.
  • Chancel repair search.

An environmental search is important as it will establish whether the property you are buying is built on or near contaminated land or water, or an old landfill site. Your lender may insist that this type of search is carried out before they will offer you a mortgage.

What are the 3 main searches when buying a house?

There are three main types of search when buying a house. These are: Local Authority Searches. Environmental Searches. These searches are used to highlight:

  • Contaminated land issues.
  • Flooding issues.
  • Subsidence issues.
  • Landslide issues.

Are searches compulsory when buying a house?

Whilst searches are required if you are purchasing with the aid of a mortgage they are not mandatory if you are a cash purchaser, as it is your own funds that will be at risk and not a mortgage lenders…. so it is your decision. But remember lenders ask for searches for a reason- to protect their investment.

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What searches do mortgage lenders require?

These searches will include information held by your local authority on a variety of matters such as planning applications and road information; environmental search company data on issues such as ground movement, contaminated land and flooding; water company information about mains supplies, pipe work and drains.

What should I look for in property searches?

No matter where your property is located, here are the three main searches you’ll need as a minimum:

  • Local Authority searches. This search highlights: Planning issues.
  • Environmental searches. This search highlights:
  • Water and drainage searches. This search enquiry is made to the local water company and highlights:

How long do local searches take when buying a house?

As a rough guide, searches typically take around two to three weeks to complete, but remember that their results may prompt your solicitor to make further enquiries.

What do local searches reveal?

It will reveal details of planning and building regulation applications specific to the property, any enforcement action taken by the Council, of the nearest public highways, road and railway schemes, radon and contaminated land entries.

What happens after the searches when buying a house?

Once your mortgage has been approved and the searches have been completed by your conveyancing solicitor you will now be able to sign and exchange contracts which legally commits you to the purchase of the property. You will then be asked to pay the deposit, which is usually 10% of the property’s value.

How long does it take to exchange contracts after searches?

The time between conveyancing searches and exchange of contracts is typically between 1 and 3 weeks. Although this may seem like quite a long time, you’ll be pleased to know that you’re on the home straight!

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Can local searches be fast tracked?

However, there are still many local authorities that do offer a fast track local authority option for an extra fee. Search turn around can be anything from 48 hours to six weeks, so If you are able to fast track, this might mean that the search would come back in 2 weeks instead of maybe 3 to 6.

What happens after conveyancing searches?

The final Land Registry searches will be organised by your conveyancer. This is a final check to ensure no changes have been made to the Land Register since your initial searches. The seller’s solicitor will be sent the signed transfer deed, contracts will be exchanged and the deposit sent to the seller’s solicitor.

Why do house searches take so long?

There are numerous factors that can cause delays, delays in conducting or obtaining searches, differences in valuations, the size of the chain, unresponsive buyers or sellers, a solicitor having too much to handle or simply being bad at his or her work.

What are property searches?

Property searches (also known as conveyancing searches) are enquiries made by your solicitor to find out more information about a property you plan to purchase. As part of the home-buying process, your conveyancer will carry out a variety of ‘searches’ with the local authority and other parties.

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