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BLOG: Buying a house – 5 reasons you should get a survey

In today’s housing market, getting over the purchase price of the property is one thing. You then you need to consider all of the other associated costs of moving. Before you know it, these can start to mount up; with mortgage arrangement fees, mortgage broker fees, legal fees for conveyancing (potentially sale and purchase), alongside the cost of actually moving itself, your potential outlay can soon run into the thousands. If you’ve sold a property to buy the new one, you’ll also need to pay the agreed estate agents’ fees, and all of this before you’ve even accounted for Stamp Duty!

So when it comes to choosing a survey, it can be tempting to go for the cheapest option available – usually a valuation report. After all, there can’t be that much difference, can there?

The answer to this question is yes – there is!

Here are 5 reasons you should get a survey when purchasing a property.

 

1. Get the full picture – a valuation isn’t a survey!

If you are taking out a mortgage to purchase a house, the lender will usually require a valuation to take place. This is something you will be charged a fee for as part of your overall mortgage costs. A word of warning – a valuation is not the same as a survey! Where a valuation gives prospective buyers an indication of a house price in the current market, it does not go into any great detail about the condition of the property. We have even heard of instances whereby valuers acting on behalf of mortgage companies don’t even enter the property; only taking a cursory look from the outside!

When purchasing something as substantial as a property, whether as your home or as an investment – a survey such as a RICS Homebuyer Report or Building Survey Report will provide much more information as to the condition and repair of a property; identifying any defects, issues or significant works that need to be undertaken.

 

2. We know what to look for

Going round a house as a prospective buyer is very different to the way a surveyor will approach viewing a property. Whilst you might be interested in the size of rooms, the layout of the floorplan and the internal renovations required, a surveyor will be looking out for things such as cracks, damp, woodworm, poor alterations, insulation, defective windows etc. This allows us to…

 

3. Uncover any problems before it’s too late

Whilst some consider the cost of a survey to be a significant one, in reality, the cost not having one and later finding something seriously wrong with a property can be far greater. A survey will uncover any issues or potential problems with a property that could require extensive and costly repair work. Without a survey, you may be completely unaware of such potential outlay, only finding out when it’s too late and you have already completed on the purchase (there is no comeback against the vendor in such cases).

Having the knowledge of any issues will at the very least allow you to decide whether or not you are willing to still go ahead with the purchase bearing in mind the further expenditure you will have to make. In some cases, if you still decide you’d like to go ahead with the purchase, you may be able to use the information from the survey to negotiate a better purchase price.

 

4. Gain an unbiased opinion from a property expert

Buying a property – particularly if it is to be your home – is often driven by emotion. Whether you fall for the décor of a house, love its layout or are maybe desperate to purchase it because of its location (perhaps because it’s in a school catchment area), if you have made your mind up about a house from an emotional standpoint, you may be unwilling to see the negative aspects of the potential purchase. A survey gives an un-biased opinion from a knowledgeable professional who is un-emotionally attached to the property, giving a full and detailed account in black and white. Even if you have knowledge of building yourself, or have a friend or family member who is in the building trade, you won’t be able to get the same unbiased viewpoint.

 

5. Make an informed decision

Ultimately, instructing a Chartered Surveyor to survey a property puts you in the driving seat. Buying a property is a significant commitment and in the UK it is buyer beware – there is very little you can do should you only uncover a problem with a property after you have completed on the purchase.

 

Lea Hough Chartered Surveyors can conduct a professional survey on your behalf before you make any further commitment to purchasing a property.

There are two types of condition-based survey you can instruct us to complete; you have a choice of a RICS Homebuyer Survey or a Full Building Survey Report.

For help selecting a survey or to speak to us about arranging a survey today, please get in touch.

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