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How Useful is a HIP

By: Christine Whitfield BA (hons) - Updated: 20 Jun 2012 | comments*Discuss
Property Hip Home Information Pack

Have you ever bought what you thought to be your dream home only to discover there was something of a damp problem that the previous owners had somehow forgot to mention? Or how about that even more annoying occurrence when you are all set to buy your dream house and get gazumped at the very last minute? It’s not very nice at all is it? It’s also probably one of the reasons that moving house is one of the most stressful events in one’s life.

What the Government Say

According to the government and to HIPS providers Home Information Packs will change all that. By making sellers and buyers think more carefully about their choices it is hoped HIPS will stop sellers taking their houses off the market after a change of heart or buyers changing their mind at the last minute just as the deal was about to go through.

How Useful are HIPs?

The HIPS initiative was originally suggested in the Housing Act 1994 although it has taken several years to come into fruition. The roll-out introduction began this year with four or more bedroom houses requiring HIPS from August 1st and three or more bedroom houses requiring HIPS from September 10th 2007.

From the buyers perspective the HIP gives you the added security that the buyer will continue with the purchase. It also means you won’t be subjected to complaints from the buyer after the transaction as all of the information on the house especially if you purchase the optional Home Condition Report was there to be seen from the beginning.

Similarly from a buyers perspective there is little chance of discovering any nasty surprises about the house once you’ve moved in as it will have been reported in the HIP.It is hoped HIPS will make the buying and selling process more transparent and will make the market more efficient – something most people who’ve gone through the stress of moving will know is long overdue.

One of the main benefits of the HIP is that it will draw attention to any problems that could arise in the process at the onset. Buyers and sellers will have a clearer picture of the property right at the start. This, it is hoped, will make the transaction quicker as the information will already be to hand. In turn, it will also make the process run more smoothly by reducing the number of transactions that fall through at the last minute. Providers hope this will cause less stress for all involved.

First-Time Buyers

First-time buyers could also benefit from the packs which will make the buying process simpler. The information the first time buyers need will be presented to them early on – something which will be extremely helpful for inexperienced buyers who aren’t sure what questions they should be asking.

According to the government and HIPS providers the packs will revolutionise the house pricing process for all involved resulting in easier transaction and less worry which, if it works, will be a blessing for anyone thinking of moving home. Only time will tell if that will happen.

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