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Property Record

Building Survey in Brighton discovers an unusual flat conversion

A Building Survey in Brighton has warned a buyer that the property they were considering contained a quirk that may affect resale.

The buyer was considering an investment purchase of the Victorian terrace that adjoined their own home.

The Chartered Surveyor noted that the property was in fairly good condition for its age with only a few maintenance problems.

Good value for money but may be tricky to sell, confirms Building Survey in Brighton

There was, however, an irregularity with the three storey building that the Building Survey reported could cause problems later.

The bottom level of the building had been separated from the rest by the removal of a staircase. Obviously intending to create a separate dwelling, the renovators had placed a makeshift kitchen on the lower floor.

This Building Survey in Brighton raised a serious issue for the buyer. The Surveyor noted that mortgage lenders may prefer not to lend on properties with two kitchens or with self-contained units. Therefore, if the property were to be mortgaged, lenders would give it a lower value in the present configuration.

Resale complicated by downstairs unit, says Chartered Surveyor in Brighton

The situation was complicated further by the fact that the client was a cash buyer. The Surveyor noted:

“You are buying the property outside the normal premises of a mortgage loan.  However if you were to market the property in the future without a staircase and with what might be construed as a second kitchen, or a separately independent residential unit, then mortgage lending would be difficult if not impossible in some cases. ”

While this should not necessarily deter the buyer, continued the Building Surveyor, they should make provisions to reconvert the building to a single dwelling as soon as possible.

This type of highly technical, and often counterintuitive (surely two houses are better than one), advice is the reason why Building Surveys are so valuable to our clients. This quirky Building Survey in Brighton was no exception.

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