Prior to purchasing a property what to consider?

In this month article we are going to discuss what to consider prior to purchasing a property relating to structural items. Matt Turner of Rash and Rash also provides some insight into the North London property market at present as well.

With existing buildings there will be a lot of unknown elements prior to purchase. The below list of structural items should be considered:

  • Write to building control and request any archive information for the building including architectural, mechanical and structural information. This sometimes can lead to attaining a lot of information which will save time and money on intrusive investigation works if you are planning on undertaking some refurbishment works.
  • Check the British Geological maps website for any information or boreholes that may be available.
  • Ask the current owner for any archive information they may have.
  • Organise a drain survey.
  • Organise arboriculturist survey if there are any trees located near the property.

These items can all be organised prior to purchase and can be reviewed by either the building surveyor or structural surveyor undertaking the property purchase survey. As mentioned at the start of the article this month we have an insight into the North London property market from Matt Turner of Rash and Rash.


“It has been a very strong year in terms of volume of transactions and price increase for property in the suburbs of North London. Yes, the government’s policy to grant a stamp duty holiday helped fuel demand but the main driver has been the increase in value people now put on having outside space. Lockdown caused people to use their homes more than ever which lead many to realize their existing space was either not efficient for the ever growing ‘work from home’ culture or too urban.

The general trend has reflected this with a mini exodus from cities (in our case more Central London areas) to more rural settings. We have seen more and more families move to Southgate which is essentially made up of 1930s semi detached houses that offer generous gardens and scope to extend into the loft, side or rear to create extra accommodation or a home office. And although we have had a record year in terms of transactions, we are just a small part of the chain in the drive for rural living. Most of our vendors have also been moving further away from London to places such as Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire to name a few”


“There is a notable difference to the market for apartments. Prices have remained flat for some time, and I cannot see this changing unless the property affords significant outside space, be it a garden flat or penthouse with a roof terrace. The cladding scandal hasn’t touched Southgate which has no high rise buildings (to date although some are planned) but I believe demand on the whole for leasehold property has dwindled due a multiple of factors. I also believe that going forward, a two bedroom apartment will become the new “one bedroom flat”. Meaning that one room will be for sleeping with the other set up as a home office”


“As we approach the autumn, the market remains strong. Demand is still far outstripping supply for houses so although buyers are no longer saving £15,000, I doubt they will be able to negotiate this from an asking price in full. We currently have a three bedroom detached house for sale at £825,000 with 17 potential buyers ready for a viewing day in September. So, in conclusion, I cannot see prices coming down anytime soon, but I would imagine that the market may have a mini cool down period by the time the clocks go back with people’s thoughts moving to Christmas.”

With demand for individual houses higher than apartments, there has never been a greater need for private surveys. We here at LSY Engineering Consultants Ltd are always here to help with structural advice to clients prior to purchasing any existing buildings. Please feel free to get in touch at If you require any information on renting or purchasing properties in the London market feel free to get in touch with Rash and Rash

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