Buying a house can be an incredibly tense and stressful time. Falling in love with a property but not knowing how it is going to play out is often the situation for most buyers. Imagine falling in love with a beautiful Victorian house only to find out later down the line that there are major issues with the roof and require thousands of pounds worth of construction work. You would rather know this sooner rather than later. Getting the right survey could save you this stress but also a lot of money.
According to a study by Hillary, an interior specialist, more than two thirds of Britons don’t know what property surveys are available, never mind which ones are best. And it is leaving us around £3000 out of pocket from repairs, which isn’t ideal for anybody, never mind someone who has just bought a house. That money could be spent on something so much more worthwhile.
The study also asked 2,056 new British homeowners all about their buying experiences.
54% of people had uncertainty during the whole buying process,
62% didn’t know what surveys were available,
79% thought that one survey covered everything, and that isn’t the case.
What are the different survey options?
Home condition report, at around £250: This is the more basic and cheaper option. It is quite a short, surface level inspection that highlights the obvious defects. This report is good for someone whose property appears to be in good condition but would still benefit from being checked for hidden damp or structural movements.
Homebuyers report, at around £300: This survey is more suited for Victoria aged properties. This will mirror the home condition report but will include advice and maybe an independent valuation of the building. If after the report, the value given is less than what you offered, don’t worry. This doesn’t mean you should pull out of the sale. Speak with your surveyor about the potential problems and how much it will likely cost. Try and use this information to negotiate the price down. If the seller won’t budge, you then need to make the decision to proceed or withdraw; depending on the cost. Your surveyor will have experience with similar circumstances so use them to help you.
Building survey, at around £500: If you’re investing in a much older property then this survey is vital for you. It is also worth noting that if you’re planning on doing any construction work such as loft conversions or extensions then this one applies for you too. This survey looks in detail at the condition, defects and the possibility of extending. The surveyor will also be able to provide a cost of how to rectify any problems listed.
Another recommended report is a gas and electric survey. This is vital for properties older than 25 years and if there are bare wires visible. It is even more important if you are planning on renting the property out as you will legally need to provide these safety certificates.
You’re probably thinking all these extra costs sound intimidating, but just think it could seem a lot now, but in the long run it is the more cost-effective option.