Here to help: HomeBuyers Reports and Valuations
RICS Home Surveys explained
Your home is likely to be one of the most expensive purchases you ever make – it needs to be a well informed decision. Having a residential survey makes good sense and it could save you thousands of pounds in costly repairs.
Serious faults such as structural defects, rot and dampness are often difficult to identify and costly to repair. By not being aware of them, buyers are risking a potential home-buying time bomb. This can cause extreme stress and financial strain on home owners who are often stuck with a property that they cannot afford to repair or may no longer want but cannot sell.
Why do you need a survey?
Choosing to buy a new home is one of the biggest decisions most people will ever make and yet many buyers are doing so blind. Research by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has shown that “only one in five home buyers has a survey of their new property and that many buyers are unknowingly setting themselves up for an average of £5,750 in repair bills on their purchases”.
Are a mortgage valuation and a survey the same thing?
No. A mortgage valuation is only a brief inspection undertaken on behalf of the mortgage lender and is no substitute for a RICS HomeBuyers Report or a RICS Building Survey.
Although a valuation may flag up any serious issues that are likely to affect the value of the property, it will not give the buyer a real picture of a property’s condition. Buyers who rely on the limited information provided by a mortgage valuation when committing themselves to large investments, are taking unnecessary risks. If a buyer appoints their own surveyor, this surveyor will act on their behalf and provide the crucial service of impartial advice that will help them make informed decisions about whether to buy a particular property, and how much they are willing to pay for it.
Why should you choose a RICS Survey?
RICS advice is impartial, reliable and adheres to the RICS Standards of Practice.
A survey gives you peace of mind and confidence in your offer and reflects the true nature of any repair and risks associated with the property.
Common defects found by RICS surveyors include:
- Unsafe chimney breast or internal partition removal
- Presence of asbestos cement materials such as water tanks
- Dampness issues
- Timber infestation, decay and other harder to spot nasties
Can anyone commission a chartered surveyor to undertake RICS services?
Yes, anyone buying a property can commission a chartered surveyor to carry out a RICS HomeBuyers Report Survey, RICS Homebuyers Report Survey and Valuation and a RICS Building Survey when Fenn Wright are not the selling agent – the choice of which depends on the properties construction type and age.
Which survey is right for you?
Having a survey is crucial whether you plan to live in the property, or rent it out. Knowing the difference between a Mortgage Valuation, a RICS HomeBuyers Report (Survey or Survey & Valuation) and a RICS Building Survey is key.
A bank / lenders valuation report (that you may pay for when arranging your mortgage) is a limited check on the property that your mortgage lender requires to protect their interests – namely to ensure the property will be adequate security for mortgage purposes and the purchase price reflects its value. There may be defects in the property that you will need to pay to put right, that do not appear in that valuation report. To protect your interests, it is wise to have a RICS HomeBuyers Report (Survey) or (Survey & Valuation) or RICS Building Survey.
What is a RICS HomeBuyers Report Survey?
This is the most popular survey and is suitable for a modern property, or a standard older building in a reasonable condition. The report provides professional advice and information on the most urgent or serious issues on the condition of the property and ideal for more modern properties.
The report includes:
- Clear ‘traffic light’ ratings of the condition of the property (including different parts of the building, services, garage and outbuildings, showing problems that require varying degrees of attention)
- Highlight any urgent repairs or issues that need to be investigated to prevent serious damage or dangerous conditions
- Guidance on legal issues that need to be addressed before completing your purchase
- Advice on defects that may affect the value of the property with repairs and ongoing maintenance advice
- Information on location, local environment and energy efficiency (if available)
What is a RICS HomeBuyers Report Survey & Valuation?
This is the same as RICS HomeBuyers Survey Report above and in addition is also includes:
- A market valuation based on comparable research and our Chartered Surveyors’ expert local knowledge and will consider any defects found
- Provides advice about insurance rebuild costs
What is a RICS Building Survey?
Formerly known as a structural survey, this is particularly useful for older, larger or non-traditional properties, and those that have been extensively altered – or if the buyer is planning a major conversion or renovation.
This is the most comprehensive report and provides an in-depth inspection and analysis of the condition of the property and includes defects, repairs and maintenance advice.
Get in touch with one of our Chartered Surveyors, specialising in residential property, to discuss your specific requirements.