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Your guide to buying a converted property

 Buying a converted property is much like buying any other property and can offer you a home with unique features, character, and value for money.

Here is everything you need to know about purchasing a converted property and the advantages they come with.

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What is a converted property?

A converted property typically refers to a building that has been altered or repurposed from its original use into multiple dwellings or units. This could involve the conversion of a large house into several apartments, the transformation of an old factory into loft-style apartments, or the renovation of a barn into residential units.

Converted properties are often attractive to buyers and investors because they can offer unique features, character, and architectural elements that may not be found in newly constructed buildings.

However, it's important for buyers and investors to consider factors such as the quality of the conversion work, building regulations compliance, maintenance costs, and potential restrictions or regulations associated with the property.

Is the mortgage process different for converted properties?

Having the right paperwork from building control for any work, such as extensions or wall removals, in place is important when it’s time to get your mortgage approved. Once you have decided on a budget and worked out how much you can borrow, getting a mortgage in principle before you view the property will speed up your buying process.

Provided that all work carried out on the property has been done with the correct planning permission, you should not encounter any issues. If you are planning on buying a property before it has been converted, you may need to approach a specialist mortgage provider.

How to make an offer on a converted property

Your agent will advise you and keep you informed about any other offers. This will help you decide on your offer price.

Once you make an offer, it's your responsibility as the buyer to arrange a survey of the property. This should be done as soon as your offer is accepted. If, during the surveying process, something that could alter the value of the property is discovered, you may be able to renegotiate your offer price.

It’s really important to check that your future home has all the right certifications in place, from building control for structural changes and planning permission to electrical and EPC ratings. Your agent, surveyor, and conveyancer can offer valuable guidance with an understanding of which certificates should be provided by the seller. 

Tips on buying a converted property

Arrange an accompanied viewing of a converted property

It’s always a good idea to make the most of viewing any property with a skilled agent, and this is especially true when viewing a converted property. Ask as many questions as you like and get a better understanding of the property and its features while you are exploring it inside and out.

A well-prepared agent will be able to provide plenty of information, from the architect's vision to any questions you may have regarding the buying process. It is also important to get to know the area in which the property is located. 

Arrange a good survey of the converted property

It’s vital to get a home survey. This will highlight any issues that may need addressing. There are three main levels of home surveying. You want to be sure that all work has been carried out correctly and that the property has all the right certificates in place. 

  • A condition report that provides a basic survey will not provide a valuation.

  • A homebuyer report, also known as a homebuyer survey, which is the most common type of survey for most homebuyers, offers advice on the cost of repairs and gives you the option to get a valuation.

  • A building survey offers a full structural survey that goes into a lot of detail, including checking behind walls and under floorboards. 

Use a recommended conveyancing solicitor

It's important that you use a good solicitor or conveyancer when buying any property, and even more so if you are buying a converted property.

When it comes to handling the legal side of buying a home, solicitors and conveyancers do the same job. However, conveyancers specialise in property law, while solicitors tend to offer a broad range of legal services. As well as carrying out searches, such as local planning proposals and flood risks, they will also check that the right paperwork is in place.

This will show that any work carried out on the property has been signed off by building control, is compliant with building regulations, and that planning permission has been granted by the Local Planning Authority (LPA).  

Related: What should I do if the property has not got a Buildings Regulation Certificate?

Final stages of moving to a converted property

Once all checks have been carried out and your mortgage is approved, you can get on with exchanging contracts and putting down your deposit, just as you would if you were moving to a property that had not been converted.

This is an exciting stage of moving, compounded by the fact that soon you will be the proud owner of an interesting and unique property. Then it’s time to prepare for your move by changing mail addresses, organising a removal company and packing your belongings.

Completion day will occur once funds are transferred and your new life in the home you love can begin.  

Are you interested in moving to your perfect home? Get in touch with your local branch today

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