A NORTH EAST couple are warning property buyers not to fall into the same trap as they have.
Edna and David Glennie moved house for the first time in over 30 years in March but were left upset by what should have been an exciting investment for their future.
The couple who previously stayed in Hatton with their son Stuart purchased one of CHAP Homes’ new builds at Longside for £277,000 and signed the missives before conducting a Lender Valuation Survey, which informed them the house was only worth £260,000.
Mrs Glennie said: “We took the price stated by CHAP Homes in good faith, and had been thinking about purchasing a new home for quite some time, but after we bit the bullet, it soon came back to haunt us.”
The couple had to immediately source £17,000 to make up the agreed amount of £277,000 and are lucky that they had spent many years saving.
“We were just devastated, when we received the surveyors document I thought, surely they’ve gone to the wrong house?” said Mrs Glennie.
“It was our first time of moving and we were gullable and naive, I just hope no one else finds themselves in the same situation as us, but unfortunately when we spoke to our solicitor he told us we were the second couple that week with the problem. £17,000 is a lot of money, and we are fortunate enough to have savings, not everyone does though and it now means that we have started out in negative equity.
“I remember when we met with the solicitor he said to us to be absolutely sure when we were signing the missives, of course it lingered in the back of our minds that a tiny detail could have been wrong but certainly not the price of the house.”
Mr and Mrs Glennie hope to raise awareness to people who may be considering buying a new house,
Mrs Glennie continued: “You think about all these young first time buyers and I dread to think that the same could have happened to our newly engaged son.
“It’s meant to be one of the most important and exciting times of your lives, but for us, it turned very sour. When we spoke to the managing director of CHAP Homes Bill Burr, he said that because we had signed the missives there was little we could do. We aren’t going to gain anything now, but hopefully we can stop it happening to other people.”
Mr Glennie added: “Myself and Edna love our house, and we were impressed by both the site and the finished product, we’re not complaining about CHAP themselves however we don’t agree entirely with their business principles.”
Commenting on the situation, Mr Burr, stated: “Chap and other housebuilders are not regulated to give financial advice to purchasers.
“Where buyers require a mortgage we advise that they should seek financial advice and have funding in place prior to committing to the purchase. Property valuations are one persons opinion at that moment in time and the lack of good comparisons in the resale market, that surveyors are now required to reflect, can make it very subjective.
“We have experience of significant variations both over and under the sale price between companies issuing valuations on identical properties.
“The market moves up and down and most buyers will be advised by their lawyer if they have concern to get a valuation. We Chap build a good quality house and we are competitive in the market.’