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Why you should use a surveyor for your home

Homebuyer surveys are often something that first-time and experienced buyers think can be overlooked in order to cut down on costs at what is already a very expensive time. However, choosing the right survey could potentially make you some huge savings in the longer term.

You may think that because you’ll be required to carry out a Mortgage Valuation report as part of your mortgage, it won’t be necessary to have your own survey done. However, hiring a professional, chartered surveyor to thoroughly examine the condition of the property can help you to avoid unexpected repair costs in the future.

According to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), one in five buyers who did not have a survey carried out suffered the consequences and later discovered faults and damages that cost on average £6,000. A homebuyer survey can cost as little as £250, so it really is better to foot this small bill now rather than risk being hit with a big sum later. 

There are three main types of homebuyer survey: 

  • Condition Report

  • HomeBuyer Report

  • Building Survey.


When it comes to choosing which type of survey is right for you, it is advised that you choose your survey based on the condition of the property you wish to buy - and not on the cost of the survey. Remember that spending extra on a quality survey could potentially help you to save even more, avoiding costly repairs after you move in. 

Condition Report

This is the most basic type of survey available. This report will outline the condition of the property, identifying any risks, potential legal issues and defects or damages that require urgent attention. This type of report is suitable for a new-build property, or a home that is in particularly good condition. 

In this type of report, your surveyor will not provide any further advisories or valuation. This is a very basic survey and costs start at around £250.

HomeBuyer Report

This report is the mid-level option for your survey and is recommended for properties that are in a reasonable condition. This type of survey enables you to find out if there are any structural problems, any hidden damages, or other potential issues, however this report doesn’t look below floorboards or behind walls. 

Some HomeBuyer reports will also include a property valuation, and you may be able to revise your offer based on this valuation if the surveyor suggests a lower price than your mortgage lender. 

You are also able to use the suggestions within the survey report to negotiate on either price, or for those repairs to be carried out prior to the purchase. As a first-time buyer you may not know how much certain repairs might cost you, so being armed with figures as well as the knowledge that a costly repair is going to come your way in the near future, means that it’s reasonable to factor this amount into your offer. 

Costs for this type of survey start at around £400. 

Building Survey

A building survey is the most detailed type of survey out of the three and is recommended for older properties (50+ years), or homes that appear they may need to undergo repair. The survey is extensive, offering advice and guidance on every aspect of the home. While the surveyor is unable to check the conditions below floors and behind walls, they are able to offer an opinion on any potential hidden defects by using specialist knowledge and equipment. 

The surveyor will also provide details on potential repair options. You can again use the advice proposed by the surveyor to negotiate on your lender’s valuation and your offer. 

The cost for a building survey begins at around £600 and upwards. 


Why You Should I Get A Property Survey

Aside from the prevention of expensive surprises creeping up after you move into a property, there are many more reasons that you could benefit from having a survey carried out. 


Confidence in the Property

Having a survey carried out can give you confidence in knowing that you’re fully aware of anything that could go wrong and that you won’t be hit with any nasty surprises. Buying a home is often the most expensive purchase a person will make in their entire lifetime, so we can’t stress enough how important it is to get this right. It can be quite a nerve-racking time with a lot of potential risks, but a survey can help to set your mind at ease. This especially applies to first-time buyers, who aren’t fully sure of the process of buying a home.

The result of a survey may not always be the one you were hoping for, but it’s better to find out before it becomes too late and you land yourself in a difficult financial position. By having a survey carried out, you’re in a much better position to deal with any issues you may face and can plan for these future costs. You’re also able to back out of the sale following a survey if you feel you won’t be able to tackle the repairs. 


Room for Negotiation

As mentioned a little earlier, a homebuyers report or structural survey will present you with a list of any required repairs, and the timescale in which they will need to be addressed. A more comprehensive survey could even advise an estimate of the cost of these repairs. This is information you can go on to use to renegotiate the offer you have made on the property and also your mortgage lender’s valuation, meaning you could save costs in more than one place. 

If the repair itself is putting you off buying the property altogether, then you may also be able to request that the seller has these repairs taken care of before you move in. You will need to negotiate that these repairs would be carried out in exchange for paying the original price. 


Future Protection and Security

Your survey will detail everything your surveyor has looked at and every issue they have identified. Once you have the results from your survey, your surveyor will be liable for missing any issues that they may have missed which would have been included within and relevant to your chosen report. This means that you are protected against any pre-existing or forecastable damages or issues that your surveyor did not outline in your survey.

This provides even further peace of mind, as you are prepared for the repairs and damages that your surveyor has identified, but you’re also covered for any they have not. This can make buying your home almost risk-free. However, always be sure to check the terms and conditions of your specific survey, as these reports and accountability guarantees can vary from surveyor to surveyor. Small print details may also be incorporated into your report to advise what your surveyor will take liability for. 

Plan Ahead

Buying your first home is both an exciting and a dubious time. There’s lots to plan, such as moving your belongings into the property, purchasing big-ticket items like furniture, flooring and other textiles, setting up your utilities and many, many other things that need to be taken care of. 

Something going seriously wrong with your property while you’re busy with lots of other tasks could cause you a lot of added stress at a time that is already stressful. Your survey can allow to you plan ahead for these potential issues and maybe even make a saving because of them. This will enable you to handle all of the above without worry of something unexpected happening. 

As a first-time buyer, the process of handling everything necessary to purchase a home can be daunting, but it’s important you have all the facts. We completely understand that with securing deposits, factoring in furnishing costs and renovating the property to suit your needs, buying a property is an expensive time and a survey can easily end up on the back burner.

However, remember there is potential to make a huge saving in the future just by spending a little more initially and you really can’t put a price on the peace of mind having a survey carried out can provide. 

At Moving & Improving, we have an experienced team of professional surveyors and a wide range of surveying services to suit your budget. 

Find out more information and get your free survey quote today.

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