Buying a cheap house – what to consider

If you are moving house and have found a cheap house, or one which is for sale for lower than you might expect, it is important to find out exactly why the vendor is prepared to sell for a low price.

When a property is marketed by an estate agent the asking price is pitched to generate interest from buyers but at the same time achieve the best price for the seller.

Many factors affect the value of a property, including size, location, condition, etc.  Some properties may seem cheaper than other similar properties for obvious reasons.  If you are buying what seems to be a cheap house, it is important to know why the seller is prepared to sell the property for a lower price than could otherwise be achieved.  Reasons could include:

  1. It may be in poor condition and require costly repairs.
  2. It may be poorly presented, eg dirty or smell of tobacco or pets.
  3. The vendor needs to achieve a quick sale.
  4. Lack of parking.
  5. It may be located on a busy road or have difficult access.
  6. The area may be less desirable.
  7. Neighbouring properties may be less desirable.
  8. Neighbouring land use may have an adverse effect, eg, business premises which may generate noise.

Less obvious reasons may include:

  1. A defect which you are not aware of.
  2. A short lease.
  3. Restrictions on use of the property, eg, agricultural tie or for occupation by elderly residents, etc.
  4. Planning proposals for neighbouring properties or land which may affect the property either adversely or due to uncertainty.
  5. Difficulty in obtaining house insurance on normal terms, possibly due to a previous claim, eg, flooding, subsidence, etc.
  6. Lack of Planning Permission for all or part of the property.
  7. Lack of NHBC or similar certificate for a new property.
  8. Presence of mine shafts on or near the plot.

The above lists give an idea of factors to consider when buying what seems to be cheap house, but are not exhaustive.

If you are planning to buy a house which is seems cheaper than you would have expected it to be it is important to find out the reason why so that you are in full knowledge of the property you are buying and the area it is in so that you can make an informed decision about the purchase.

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