Buying a House – Do I Need a Survey?


The easy answer to that question is Yes. The next question is why?

Buying a property is probably one of the most expensive purchases you will make in your lifetime, so you need to make sure it is the right choice.

What if following the purchase of your dream home you find that there is subsidence, woodworm, an electrical fault or the boiler is unsafe, just to name a few potential issues. These can be expensive problems to rectify.

Prevention is better than cure
The simplest way to avoid this type of scenario is by a property survey, which is undertaken by a Chartered Surveyor. The report will confirm whether the property you are purchasing is in the condition you expect for the price you are paying.

Valuation – what is the difference?
A survey should not be confused with a valuation. If you are buying with the help of a mortgage, the Mortgage Provider will undertake a valuation to determine whether the property is worth the money you are paying for it. The valuation will only involve a superficial inspection of the property. Sometimes the valuer does not even enter the property but just looks at it from the outside, often referred to as a drive-by valuation.

Two types of surveys – which one?
There are two main types of property survey. The best, but most expensive, is the full structural survey. This is a thorough and detailed assessment of the condition of the property highlighting any defects, major or minor, what is required for these to be remedied and providing information about the possible cost of repair.

This type of survey is particularly important if, the property you are looking to buy is older or perhaps more unusual, thatched or timber framed or you are planning major works or has already had extensive alterations.

The other type of survey is the Homebuyers Report. This is not as detailed as the structural survey. The report will look at the general condition of the property, test for damp and damage to timbers (including woodworm and rot). It will consider the condition of any damp proofing and insulation and provide a figure for building insurance purposes should the property ever need to be rebuilt and provide the value of the property on the open market. Unlike a structural survey the surveyor will not be intrusive, they will not check under floorboards or move furniture.

Whichever survey you decide upon, it is in your best interests for a survey to be undertaken at the earliest opportunity to guard against any unwelcome surprises once the property is yours.

If you require any assistance in the sale or purchase of your home please call 01279 466910 or email and let our friendly team show you a new way of providing legal services.

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