What type of survey do you need?
Buying a property is rarely cheap, so it’s not surprising that purchasers are reluctant to pay out for a survey unnecessarily, but that could be an expensive mistake. It’s estimated that only 20% of house buyers commission a survey before buying property. However, without a survey, there’s no guarantee that your money is being well-spent and the short-term saving could prove a much larger long-term loss when you later discover your seemingly perfect home has hidden issues! Fortunately, the experts at Fenn Wright are happy to share their knowledge and guide you towards the right survey.
Why do I need a Surveyor?
Surveys should always be carried out by a qualified surveyor, who is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and has in-depth knowledge of the local area and property values. If you are buying an older or listed property, it’s vital to find a surveyor with the relevant expertise.
What is a survey?
A survey is a detailed inspection of a property carried out by a chartered surveyor, who reports on the construction and condition of the building and highlights any issues such as:
· Structural movement, dampness, timber infestation, etc.
· Major repairs needed, including to the roof, chimney stacks, windows, etc.
· Improvements required, such as upgrading insulation.
If an issue is discovered, the purchaser can choose to walk away or use this information to negotiate a lower price for the property, in order to recoup subsequent costs, or even ask the seller to fix the problems before purchase.
Is a mortgage valuation the same as a survey?
Far from it, as instead of a survey – which is a detailed examination of a property – a mortgage valuation just involves a cursory look to assess the value, with a note about any major works that might be necessary and may affect its value. Banks and building societies instruct their own or an approved surveyor to establish that the property is worth the money they are lending, and normally you are expected to pay for this; in part if not in full.
What type of survey should I get?
There are different types of surveys available and the best one for you will depend on the age, size and value of the property. It’s important to note that surveys are non-intrusive, which means that the surveyor cannot move fixtures, fittings or furniture, nor lift up floorboards or drill holes in any surface. Therefore, the survey is based on a visual inspection only.
RICS Homebuyer Report (with or without valuation):
RICS Building Survey:
A Building Survey is more expensive and ranges in price from under £700 to around £2000, again depending on the size and value of the property. However, a much more thorough inspection of the property is carried out and a detailed report provided, even though it doesn’t include a market valuation or insurance reinstatement figure, unless specified.
If you are considering making alterations or having building work done, or if you’re buying an older or period property, particularly a timber framed or thatched property, then a Building Survey is crucial. The report will include advice on repairs and future maintenance requirements and can provide an opinion on costs. It’s well worth the investment because it could potentially save you a great deal of money and untold stress!
To find out more, get in touch with our team of chartered surveyors