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‘Caveat emptor’ – buyer beware….

Mayfair Office are pleased to share this great piece from "guest blogger" Zoe Napier of Zoe Napier Country and Equestrian in Maldon, Essex.

Nick Churton of Mayfair Office says "We love the way our members share their wealth of knowledge and Zoe is a true expert on the rural market in her area"

Zoe says ‘Caveat emptor’ – buyer beware…. or is it more just a case of buyer be prudent?

Looking at houses at their worst during the winter time and not at their best during the summer can enlighten you to any pitfalls that not even a survey can always pick up on and this helps ensure that you make the right purchase, explains Zoe Napier, our property expert from Zoe Napier Country & Equestrian.

Zoe always maintains that if you like a house in the winter, then you will just adore it in the summer. Why? Because the winter months accentuate even the minor faults of a property – draughts can whistle through tiny cracks, bright rooms can become dark and dreary on dull days, the drive can resemble a muddy pool and show up all the pot holes and if you are buying a property with acreage, then when better to see how well drained (or otherwise) those paddocks really are.

The trend for buying property in the spring has altered over recent years, where the first quarter of the year has become a more popular time for buyers to commit to a purchase. This can often culminate over the Christmas period where those with ‘itchy feet’ decide that the New Year is the time to move and they often commence their initial search over the internet and whilst with family over the festive season. Couple this with those who will be receiving their City bonuses in January with others who need to invest before the end of the financial year ‘for good tax management’ means that the first quarter could be the best time to sell. However buyers, particularly looking for equestrian property and property with land have also wised up to the fact that the winter months are the best months to view in order to determine whether the property they are buying stands up to the winter elements. 

Winter is when the buyer can ‘see’ for themselves whether the boiler and heating system is running efficiently, whether the house is warm, well insulated, whether there is condensation, any dampness as a result and just how cosy your new home will be. Fires can be seen operating; is the updraft of a fire efficient and does the ambience create what you had hoped for? 

Likewise on the outside; winter is a time where all the leaves have fallen from the trees providing you with the advantage of establishing just how overlooked a property can be, or not. The paddocks and any manege at this time of year also provide the evidence of any flooding, boggy areas or badly drained land. This in itself is not necessarily insurmountable but the winter months show a house at its worst for a buyer by virtue of the fact that they can ascertain any remedial works required. 

But, if you liked your new home enough to buy it in winter conditions, imagine just how perfect it will be when the spring appears, foliage starts growing back, land dries out and the grass starts growing to provide lush paddocks. Many will be pleased with this advice – so enjoy your Christmas and consider starting your search during the winter months – It could well be the case of ‘the early bird catching the worm’.. 

Next month, Zoe Napier will be taking a look at buying and selling land, adding land and value to your property and any tips for required planning in this respect.