Getting a property survey could save you £1000s
Whether you’re buying your first home, or your moving up the property ladder, ensuring the property you are purchasing is in good condition before you take the plunge is vital.Although buying a property with a mortgage will always give you the assurance that the lender has carried out a top-level valuation, this rarely goes into the level of detail required from the buyer’s perspective.
So what does a survey provide?
Different surveys provide varying levels of detail. A survey is essentially a health check on the property you are buying resulting in a detailed report providing information about the condition of the property and any areas of concern.
In general there are 3 types of survey, a valuation which is a basic review of a property undertaken on behalf of the mortgage lender, a Homebuyer survey which is carried out by a qualified surveyor on behalf of a buyer and considers any obvious issues, and a Buildings survey that involves an in-depth property investigation.
The type of survey you choose should depend on a number of factors including the age of the property you’re buying, its general perceived condition, any known or obvious risks and its construction type.
Many people neglect to commission anything other than a basic valuation when buying a home. However, a property survey, involving a detailed inspection of the property will ensure you are fully aware of its condition before you buy it and could save you time and money in the long term.
It is the buyer’s responsibility to be certain that the building is structurally sound, the vendor has no obligation to declare any faults so if you are buying it is highly advisable to protect your positon.
A surveyor will inspect and report on parts of the building that are visible and readily accessible and will assess the condition of those parts.
The Homebuyer’s report grades problems in the following way:
- Urgent repairs (e.g. faulty wiring or gas leak): this indicates that an issue that needs urgent attention and immediate rectification.
- Significant matters requiring further investigation by specialist contractors.
- Significant (but not urgent) repairs.
- Other significant considerations.
- Matters identified by inspection.
As a buyer, commissioning a survey will put you in a strong position for negotiation and allow you to make an informed decision with regards to the price to pay for the property and ultimately, whether you want to proceed with the sale.