Would you live in a haunted cottage?
Anyone who tunes into one of the many property programmes on TV will know that homebuyers often fall in love with unusual properties. Ruined castles, run-down barns and cottages on the verge of collapse are among them. Of course they usually always have dodgy television reception, they really should call a Cheltenham Aerial Installation company to sort that out, really bad telephone lines and creepy woods outside.
Although these are extreme examples, buyers often select buildings that need updating, and it is important to assess just how much work may be required to bring the property up to the standards they require both personally and to meet legal requirements for a dwelling.
Many estate agents will have unusual properties on their books, but a particularly strange home came on the market in St Osyth Essex recently. The former prison dating from medieval times has been a residential building since the 19th century and is known as The Cage.
It is said to be one of the most haunted homes in the UK, after 13 witches were held in the building and later hanged. On the market for almost a quarter of a million pounds, apparently it has been cleansed of many spirits, but paranormal activity allegedly continues.
If it catches your attention, what steps might you take? Your local priest might be invited to bless the house, a process that is more popular than one might imagine, but there are other more practical processes you might want to adopt.
The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors have a Homebuyer Service that may or may not include a valuation.
If the haunted cottage has caught your eye, you will want to get a homebuyers report completed. A report will cover many more aspects of the property than a mortgage valuation report, including a section related to the energy performance of the building. This is particularly useful if The Cage is on your list as any ghost is likely to send a chill up your spine!
It will, however, be less comprehensive than a full building survey.
Getting independent and expert advice on your report will help to set your mind at ease and ensure that you have as much information on your new home as possible before proceeding with your purchase.
This will include background checks on the location and property, drainage and damp issues, and details of any major faults that could affect valuation.