If you’re looking to purchase either a home or an apartment you might be thinking how to handle surveying the property. Should you purchase one? Do they really need to be there? If so then which is the best one to meet your needs? Let’s look at it more closely.
Do you require a survey?
There’s no doubt that you must have an expertly conducted survey before you make an exchange of contracts. A home purchase could be the most significant investment you’ll ever make therefore why wouldn’t it be nice to be sure that you are receiving value for your dollars? You wouldn’t make a purchase on a vehicle without having it inspected by a trusted independent mechanic, so the same rule should be applied in this case.
Don’t simply trust us to tell you the truth. The research conducted by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has revealed that one-in-five property purchasers who didn’t have an inspection later discovered defects, which cost the average of £5,750 to correct. In contrast to being an additional cost, a survey could actually save you money.
Research has also shown that home buyers take less than 40 minutes on the property, if they visit two times before making a decision to purchase and not returning until they have possession of their keys. A majority of buyers do not even go to the attic. Some don’t even venture through the garden. It’s not exactly a good foundation for a rational decision-making process We hope you’ll agree!
Let’s also dispel one and for all the misconception that an Mortgage Valuation Survey is all you require. It is a report of valuation that shows the property’s worth and not its state of repair. The report is prepared for the benefit of the lender and you might not have access to the report.
What other surveys are available?
Three levels are available for residential property surveys provided from the RICS. The basic Condition Report is suitable for almost new (less than five years of age) flats or homes constructed in a conventional manner and in a decent state of repair. It is also suitable for properties where the history of maintenance is easily available. The report details the state of the key components of the house, and identifies any potential risks or legal concerns and highlights any immediate defects. The report does not offer suggestions or advice for repairs.
It is the HomeBuyer Survey and Valuation is an average-quality general property survey. It is ideal for properties with a traditional construction in good repair and have not been subject to significant changes or additions. After a two-hour visual examination, the final report will highlight any significant flaws discovered and provides directions and suggestions on the best way to proceed. Also included is an assessment of market value as well as an assessment of the cost to reinstatement to be used for insurance purposes.
A RICS Building Survey offers the most comprehensive examination of the condition and structure of a home. It was previously referred to as the Structural Survey. The thorough Building Survey report will incorporate photographs that illustrate any issues discovered, and offer suggestions regarding how to proceed with any work to repair them and what they will likely cost. Although the RICS recommends that all prospective buyers should consider the Building Survey, it is best suited for larger or older homes as well as those with non-standard constructions, or that have had significant modifications.
The RICS Building Survey may be the most costly of the survey options, costing around £600 to £1,500 based on the size and character of the property – however, often it’s the only feasible option. Below, we’ve listed five typical scenarios in which we’d suggest that you get an entire Building Survey carried out before you sign a contract for a purchase.
- Grade I II*, I and II listed structures
Your lawyer can inform whether the property has been granted Listed Building status. There are approximately fifty thousand listed structures listed on the National Heritage List for England (NHLE). “Listing recognizes and acknowledges the building’s unique architectural and historical significance, and puts it in the scope in the process of planning so that it is preserved for the future,” explains Historic England.
Any changes to the design or structure of the structure must be approved Listed Building Consent from the local Conservation Officer. This means that you could be severely restricted on any home improvement you want to make within your new residence. Furthermore, failing to seek consent is a crime and the proprietor could be charged, even if a prior resident was the one responsible of the project.
- Homes constructed prior to World War II
There aren’t any definitive rules for what is considered an “old” construction, but generally any pre-war property need to be inspected by an Building Survey. The building materials degrade over time. In our experience, homes that are over 100 years older have a wide range of issues which only a thorough Building Survey can property identify.
Even if the building is sound, a licensed surveyor can identify small signs of problems that are unnoticed by the average person. Additionally is that a Building Survey London will give you important information on how to take care of historic features or methods of construction that an thorough report simply wouldn’t have the capacity to cover.
- Very huge properties
If the property that you have the most heart for is huge, or has a large area of land or extensive grounds, the Building Survey is the only inspection that allows the surveyor enough time to examine everything in depth. In-person investigations for the purpose of a Building Survey can take up five hours, or longer should it be required.
- Buildings that have significant modifications
No matter if you’re purchasing an older building and if the building has seen significant changes in the past then it is recommended that a Building Survey is the only proper instrument. There are often issues when older and modern materials come together in particular if there is some years between two areas of the building or when extensive modifications or additions were made.
The Building Survey can detail an analysis of the quality of the ties between new and old and the condition of important components of the new addition and the building that was originally constructed.
- Properties that have known defects
In the end, if you’re aware that there are structural issues with the structure you are currently in the process of buying, a Building Survey is a sensible option. More detailed reports aren’t suitable for more in-depth research. If you suspect or know about sub-par or dampness, as well as other structural issues You should request an Building Survey to uncover the whole extent of the problem and to determine the best repair method and amount of urgency that is required.