Buying a new home can be a stressful process. When buying a property a common question asked by the purchaser is “do I need a survey?”
A survey is optional and you must decide if you want a survey and if so, which one.
You may be spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on a property. A few more hundred pounds might give you peace of mind and save you unexpected repair bills for damp, the roof or electrics. If a survey reveals necessary repair works it would be reasonable to negotiate the purchase price.
You should ensure the surveyor is qualified and a member of a recognised body, for example the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). You may wish to ask for recommendations from family, friends, an estate agent or your solicitor. A local surveyor is likely to have a better knowledge of property values in the area. A survey is recommended if the property is older, unusual, a listed building or if you have specific worries.
There are different types of surveys but the most common types are:
- A RICS Condition Report describes the condition of the property, identifies risks, potential issues and urgent defects. This is the most basic report.
- A RICS Homebuyer’s Report is a more detailed report which should identify structural problems, subsidence, damp or rot. The surveyor will not look under floorboards or drill holes in walls.
- A RICS Building Survey/Full Structural Survey is a more comprehensive survey which is suitable for all properties but aimed at older or larger properties. It may provide an analysis of the property’s condition, with advice about repairs or defects.
- A new build snagging survey is an independent inspection which would look for issues with new properties. It should be noted that a mortgage valuation survey is only a lender’s assessment to establish the value of the property to protect the lender’s security. It is just a valuation for the lender’s purposes although you may have to pay for it.
Survey costs vary from company to company and will depend on the size, type and location of the property. To ensure you have the best survey suited to your property, you should discuss with the surveyor what type of survey they offer and your requirements.
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