Beware of the Perils of Home Buying even in the Best Homes

21 Aug, 2016




Source Harrogate featured again in the Yorkshire Post and in this extract discusses some of the perils of home buying even in the premium market.

Love is blind, especially when it comes to luxury homes where the gorgeous interiors can hide ugly problems.

Sheree Foy of Source Harrogate finds premium properties for buyers in the town and surrounding countryside but has also moved home numerous times in recent years, both at home and abroad.

She said: “Premium properties are often beautifully presented and it can be hard to see behind the glossy finish and expensive furnishings and fittings but these can hide major issues, just as in any other property purchase.”

As well as her work as a property finder and acting for clients on sales, Sheree has bought 14 homes for herself over the years, as her family relocated around the country and internationally, with career moves. An early job in insurance and risk management and experience of assessing risk made her more wary than some but that still did not stop a few nasty surprises.

She said: “The most expensive property we ever bought had extensive outside lighting, covering the gates and fencing, which came on automatically between 4pm and midnight. We do an electrical check every time we buy a property and discovered that both the outside lights and a large extension to the house had been wired directly to a street lamp so that the electricity wasn’t going through the meter. Not only was this illegal, but also potentially dangerous.” Rectifying the illegal wiring was a sizable job, involving digging up the drive, and once sorted, the already enormous energy bills increased dramatically.

At another house, a rainwater harvest system had been incorrectly plumbed in, feeding directly into the drinking water supply. A tiny valve was fortunately switched to the “off” position so it did not affect the family and could be rectified. In this instance, the vendor was unaware of the issue as it had been installed before their ownership – a useful reminder that homes have histories that can involve many different owners.

A third property offered a basement cinema and games room, which would have been a bonus for the family but was suspiciously newly painted and carpeted. Sheree’s risk management alarm bell rang and with good reason: poorly-designed drainage meant a major damp problem and a history of flooding and that was one purchase she walked away from.

A lifetime of buying means Sheree has seen just about everything, even things just down to good old-fashioned bad luck! At one house, a tree survey was completed and permission sought to remove some dead and dying beech trees but, just two days after moving in, two trees crashed down in a winter storm, one missing the garage by inches and the other smashing through the electric gates, just missing a visit tradesman. Sheree said: “Caveat emptor, or buyer beware, is a very old adage for good reason: once money has changed hands it can be very difficult to gain recompense for problems that could have been picked up before purchase. Make sure you follow the advice of trusted professionals, including the right agents, property finders, surveyors and solicitors, to ensure your purchase becomes a happy home and not a money pit!”


Source Harrogate YorkshirePost20.08.16


Source Harrogate specialises in identifying, targeting, negotiating and securing premium homes in the Harrogate district (on and off market), working exclusively for the buyer. If you’d like to hear more about how we can help you, please get in touch for a free no obligation chat on 01423 788759 or e mail shereefoy@ or visit for more information. 

Image (Dice and House on Weighing Scales) courtesy of Flickr User: Images Money.

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