If you’re looking to purchase an apartment or a house and are wondering how to handle surveying your property. Should you purchase one? Do they really need to be there? If yes 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 expert survey done before you make an exchange of contracts. A home purchase could be the largest single investment you’ll ever make therefore wouldn’t you want ensure that you’re getting the most value for your dollars? You wouldn’t purchase a car without having it inspected by a trusted independent mechanic, so the same rule should be applied to this purchase.
Don’t believe us when we say it. Research conducted by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has revealed that one out of five home buyers who didn’t get an inspection later discovered flaws that 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 buyers usually spend less than forty minutes on the property, if they visit two times before making a decision to purchase and not returning until they’re in possession of their keys. A majority of buyers do not even go to the attic, and some do not even bother to walk through the garden. This isn’t exactly a solid foundation for a rational decision-making process We hope you’ll agree!
Let’s also dispel the notion that an Mortgage Valuation Survey is all you require. It is a report of valuation which confirms the value of a property and not its state of repair. It’s done for the benefit of the lender and you might not have access to the report.
What other surveys are available?
The three different levels for residential properties surveys provided through the RICS. The basic Condition Report is suitable for almost new (less than five year old) flats or homes constructed in a conventional manner and in good condition of repair. This is an option in which the maintenance history is easily available. The report outlines the condition of important elements of the building, highlights any legal risks and problems and identifies any immediate defects. It doesn’t include any suggestions or advice for repairs.
It is the HomeBuyer Survey and Valuation is an average-quality general property survey. It is best suited for homes of modern construction in good repair and haven’t been subject to significant changes or additions. After a 2-hour visual inspection, the final report will highlight any significant flaws discovered and provides guidance and advice on the best way to proceed. The report also contains an assessment of market value as well as an estimate of the cost to reinstatement to be used for insurance purposes.
A RICS Building Survey London offers the most comprehensive analysis of the condition and structure of a home. The survey was previously referred to as the Structural Survey. The thorough Building Survey report will incorporate photographs that illustrate any issues discovered, and offer suggestions for how to tackle any repairs and what they will cost. Although the RICS recommends that all prospective buyers should get the Building Survey, it is ideal for larger or older homes that are not standard constructions or those which have undergone significant changes.
The RICS Building Survey may be the most costly of the survey options, costing between £600 to £1,500 based on the dimensions and type of the property – however, in many instances it’s the only feasible option. Below, we’ve listed five typical situations in which we’d suggest that you get complete Building Survey carried out before you sign a contract for a purchase.
- Grade I II*, I and II listed structures
Your lawyer can inform you if the property is been given Listed Building status. There are approximately one-half million registered structures in the National Heritage List for England (NHLE). “Listing recognizes and acknowledges the building’s unique architectural and historical value, and places it under the scrutiny in the process of planning to ensure that it is preserved for the future,” explains Historic England.
Any alteration to the structure or design of the building need to be approved by a Listed Building Consent from the local Conservation Officer. This means that you could be severely restricted on the home improvement projects you like to undertake at your new residence. Furthermore, failing to seek consent is a crime and the proprietor could be charged, regardless of whether a previous resident was accountable of the project.
- Homes constructed prior to World War II
There aren’t any strict and unchanging rules regarding what is considered an “old” structure, but generally the majority of prewar homes must be examined with an Building Survey. The materials used to construct buildings deteriorate with time. According to our experience, houses which are more than 100 years old older have a wide range of flaws that only a thorough Building Survey can property identify.
Even if the building seems to be in good condition, a professional surveyor will be able find small indications of the deeper issues that are inaccessible to the casual observer. Additionally is that a Building Survey will give you useful information about how to take care of historic features or methods of construction that an comprehensive report will simply not be able to cover.
- Very huge properties
If the property that you have you heart set on is extremely large or has a large area of land and extensive grounds, it is recommended to conduct a Building Survey is the only inspection that allows the surveyor enough time to thoroughly examine the property in depth. In-person investigations for an Building Survey can take up five hours, or longer should it be required.
- Buildings that have significant modifications
If you’re buying an old structure or if the structure has seen significant changes in the past and you want to know the latest developments, it is recommended that a Building Survey is the only proper instrument. There are often issues in the area where the old and new materials meet in particular if there is many decades between two components of the structure, or if extensive changes or additions were made.
The Building Survey can detail an analysis of the quality of the ties between the old and the new and the condition of major 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 considering of buying, then Building Survey is a sensible option. The less detailed reports are not suitable for more in-depth research. It is enough to say that if you suspect 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.