What searches are done when buying a house?

Searching for a new home is an exciting yet daunting task. With the advent of technology, homebuyers now have a powerful tool at their disposal—the Internet. Home searches have become a crucial part of the home-buying process, allowing potential buyers to explore various options, gather information, and make informed decisions. In this blog, we will delve into the key searches people conduct when buying a house, shedding light on the aspects that matter most in the quest for the perfect home.

After selecting your desired home and enlisting the services of a solicitor, the initial task they will undertake is conducting property searches. These searches aim to ensure that the property you are purchasing is not at risk of having a major road constructed nearby, being overshadowed by a block of flats, or being susceptible to flooding, among other potential concerns.

What are ‘searches’ when buying a home?

Property searches involve an examination of the immediate vicinity of the prospective home, typically conducted by your solicitor. The primary purpose is to assess whether potential future planning developments or historical issues in the area could impact the property you intend to purchase.

In cases where a mortgage is involved, searches are compulsory. However, for those making cash purchases, they remain discretionary.

Regardless of your specific circumstances, it is crucial to gather comprehensive information about any property under consideration for purchase.

Not all residences will necessitate every search, and certain homes may require more searches than others.

However, most residences will require local authority, environmental, and water and drainage searches.

Examination of Local Authority Records

Local authority searches encompass a thorough investigation of:

  • Planning matters
  • Building control issues
  • Highways concerns
  • Rail schemes
  • Pollution matters
  • Listing status of the property, presence in a conservation area, or potential tree preservation orders.

These structures are crafted to identify any possible concerns associated with roadways, railways, and construction projects, whether they are in the planning stages or already in progress near your ideal residence.

Environmental searches

  • Environmental investigations explore:
  • Concerns related to flooding
  • Concerns related to landslides
  • Concerns related to subsidence
  • Concerns related to contaminated land

They will also disclose the presence of gas hazards or landfill sites in the vicinity.