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Cash Buyer - Should you Undertake Searches?

View profile for Emma Gilroy
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I often receive queries from clients who do not require a mortgage to purchase a property, as to whether they should undertake searches.

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 lender's…. so it is your decision. But remember lenders ask for searches for a reason- to protect their investment.

There are four main searches which we undertake for our clients and would always recommend to cash buyers. Below is a brief synopsis and the types of issues they would investigate:

Local Search – this will be undertaken at the relevant Local Authority and will advise on whether the roads serving the property are publicly maintained. It will reveal whether there have been any Planning Permissions/Building Regulations in place in respect of alterations to the property and likewise if you are aware that there have been alterations, it is a way of checking that the relevant permissions are in place. 

Drainage Search – this will be undertaken with the Water Authority and will advise on whether the sewers serving the property are maintained at public expense and that all the required sewers serve the property.  The search will also advise whether there is a public sewer within the boundary of the property as this could affect future development.

Coal Search – this will be undertaken with the Coal Authority and will advise whether the property is in an area of past mining, whether this is likely to cause or has caused problems.  It will also reveal whether there have been any issues with regard to subsidence and whether claims have been made.

Environmental Search – this will be undertaken by a firm of risk management consultants and will look at the level of environmental risk in relation to contaminated land.  It will also to a certain extent advise whether the property is within an area at risk from flooding and if further investigations should be undertaken.

If you are a cash buyer you are in a prime position, but don’t compromise this by cutting out searches. They will only set you back a few hundred pounds, but the consequences of not having them could potentially cost you tens of thousands or even more.

If you would like to discuss any of the points raised in this article or have a query, please contact us here or telephone our Residential Property experts in any of our JCP offices:

  • Swansea: 01792 773773
  • Cardiff: 02920 225472
  • Carmarthen: 01267 234022
  • Caerphilly: 02920 860628
  • Cowbridge: 01446 771742
  • Haverfordwest: 01437 764723
  • Fishguard: 01348 873671