1. Kayla

    Kayla Registered User

    May 14, 2006
    621
    Kent
    My Mum died in May last year and we have been letting her house for nearly three years to help pay for her Nursing Home fees. We've now made the decision to sell her house, as it will need updating and modernisation in the future and the rent income isn't really enough for this work.

    We arranged for a HIPS to be done, so that we can sell the house through an estate agent and we were contacted by an Energy Assessor, who came this morning. Her survey was very full and detailed and took over an hour. She needed to know dates and full details of building work carried out, as well as the heating system used. She took photos and drew plans of the house.

    She was far more thorough than we were expecting, although we were prepared for it and had the necessary information for her. I do think that this process could be quite intimidating for a vulnerable , elderly person who needed to sell their home in order to provide sheltered accommodation or full time care for themselves, or their partner.

    It seems to me that it is just another layer of red-tape, designed to make life more difficult for people. Why would anyone selling their house want to know how to improve its energy efficiency? This is something that the buyer would surely find out through their own survey, which they will still have to do anyway.

    We were lucky to find a local firm which didn't charge too much for the HIPS and is recommended by estate agents.

    Kayla
     
  2. ishard

    ishard Registered User

    Jul 10, 2007
    98
    Get the estate agent to earn his money by doing this, after all for most people they charge 1.5% of the house value.
     
  3. Kayla

    Kayla Registered User

    May 14, 2006
    621
    Kent
    Hi!

    It's much better to have an independent HIPS done, because if the Estate Agent does it, then they own it and can tie the vendor into an agreement. We found a local firm who only charge a few hundred pounds and we can always take the HIPS to another agent, if our two month sole agency doesn't work out.

    The Energy Assessor who came to the house was very pleasant, but she said that she had to spend over two hours with one elderly lady, trying to explain what the survey was all about. The questions were quite detailed and I'm sure many elderly people living alone would find the process confusing and possibly worrying.

    We were told by one of the estate agents, who came to value the house, that she has never had anyone actually ask to see a HIPS. Most people would need to have a survey done before they could take out a mortgage. It's just more red-tape for people to have to deal with.

    Kayla
     
  4. Lucille

    Lucille Registered User

    Sep 10, 2005
    542
    Hello Kayla

    Completely agree about the EPC and HIPS. Another layer of bureaucracy and nosey-parkering for local authorities. As you say it's also a worry for the elderly or vulnerable who have to allow these people into their homes, merely to put their house up for sale.

    The EPC is a pointless exercise for the reasons you outline. They don't seem to take into account different building styles relative to the age of a property and don't seem happy unless everything is double-glazed and hermetically sealed. Give me a 200-year old cottage with a bit of a draught any day!:D (Note: Not a swipe at energy assessors per se, merely the whole process!)

    Hope you get everything sorted soon. Whilst these things do need doing after bereavement you are still grieving for your mum and I guess it's one extra thing you could do without.

    Take care.
     
  5. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    10,856
    Wigan, Lancs
    Oooh, don't get me started on HIPS! How to slow down the property market!

    All I would say is shop around and if you do commission a HIP, ask to see a copy of it, as there are some unscrupulous HIPS providers who will take your money and then not do the HIP, hoping that no-one will as to see it. :mad:
     
  6. Kayla

    Kayla Registered User

    May 14, 2006
    621
    Kent
    I've spent the morning at Mum's house cleaning and gardening, so that everything looks decent for potential buyers. It was so strange being in Mum and Dad's house, which they bought 34 years ago, and it felt as though they might appear at any minute.

    It was also sad to see the house empty and rather scruffy, as it has been rented out for nearly three years. It seems like the right time to sell, as the house needs updating and redecorating, but it will be hard to see it sold. Financially, we shall have a more secure income each month and there won't be any more unexpected repair bills.

    We were lucky to find a very good local estate agent, who charges reasonable fees. He thinks that the house should sell easily, because it is in such a lovely position and could be extended.

    Kayla
     
  7. Kayla

    Kayla Registered User

    May 14, 2006
    621
    Kent
    We've sold Mum's house very quickly, within a month of putting it on the market, so perhaps the HIP's report does help to speed things up, or maybe we were just lucky. If all goes well, the completion date could be in seven or eight weeks, so we are hoping that the survey report is OK.

    One advantage of having let Mum's house to help with the Nursing Home fees, is that the house doesn't seem like Mum's home any more, since two families have lived there and things have been changed around quite a lot.

    It seems sad to sell the house, but there's quite a lot of hassle involved with letting property and probably there will be better income from just putting the money in an ordinary Building Society account.

    I think the hardest part of the whole process was having to sort out the house and rehome furniture etc. when Mum went into the Care Home. It was horrible having to dismantle her home of 31 years, but it was necessary so that a rental income could be generated for her Care Home fees.

    It does seem as though we are losing yet another part of Mum's life and it would have been nice to have hung onto the memories contained within the building, but there comes a time to let go and make a fresh beginning.

    My daughter's wedding is in July and that seems to mark the start of a new period in our lives. Unfortunately, it will be without our Mums and we are now the older generation.

    I have mixed feelings about the future. There is a empty space where Mum used to be, but we could have fun enjoying a new generation in a few years time.

    Kayla
     

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