Week 13 of Beeny Knows Best, where our very own Sarah Beeny takes to the blog to answer your property-related questions.
I'm a first-time buyer and have found a property that I really like, and we're currently in discussions about price. I don't have masses of money to spend on this purchase, so need to save the pennies where I can.. my question is, do I need to carry out a survey on the property before I progress with this purchase, or can I get away with not? - Stephen
It really depends on how much you know about property and how prepared you are. If you are getting a mortgage then you will have to pay for the mortgage company to carry out their survey regardless, which is likely to highlight any really massive issues. If you know of someone who can look over the property carefully with an expert eye then it may well be worth the risk but be prepared for some possible surprises.
We live in a flat in Camden and recently found a giant rat dead on our roof terrace. Since this, we've heard them running above our flat in the loft! How can we get rid of these without spending too much money? - Evelyn
It is worth getting in a really professional company who will be able to knock the issue on the head. Having said that rats are creatures of habit and so if you work out how they are getting in and out of the building and block up the holes you will find that a combination of that and laying poison should sort it out. Beware though that dead rats absolutely stink under the floorboards as they rot for weeks and weeks so you may have to take up floorboards to remove the carcass.
If you have a question that you'd like Sarah to answer in next week's post, email it across to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line 'Beeny knows best'.