Buying and owning a property can be an expensive business. Here we look at some of the recently reported facts and figures around buying a new home, giving our advice on how to avoid losing out.

The average repair bill for new homeowners is £5,750. Source: RICS

Our comment: All properties have defects and even those that appear to be immaculate are likely to be hiding some issues! A survey report undertaken by a Chartered Surveyor, such as a RICS Home Survey Report or Building Survey Report, can uncover faults in a property so you won’t be faced with unforeseen repair work when you move in.

It may even be possible to use the findings of the survey to negotiate on the agreed price, or arrange for problems to be fixed before you close the deal.

Buyers often confuse a mortgage valuation with a Home Survey Report. Of those who trusted the mortgage valuation and didn’t get a standalone survey, 25% needed to undertake unplanned work in the first year with an average cost of over £1,100 according to RICS.

Our comment: This is far beyond the cost of a RICS survey for a residential property, which typically costs between £350 for a Home Survey Report and £500 – £600+ for a full Building Survey Report.

The moral of the story is – don’t get confused between a Valuation, that is required as part of getting a mortgage, and an independent survey on the property.

According to the Home Builders Federation (HBF), 94 per cent of new-build homeowners report at least one defect once their property is complete, with many buyers finding tens or even over 100 faults!

Our comment: Buying a new build doesn’t guarantee that you will receive a perfectly finished house. Having a Chartered Surveyor undertake a snagging inspection helps to avoid the disappointment of moving in and being unhappy with any defects you find. Developers should fix any faults highlighted before you move in.

The average cost of building materials were 23.5 per cent higher in August 2021 than they were in August 2020, according to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and material costs rose every month between September 2020-September 2021, according to the BEIS Monthly Statistics of Building Materials and Components report.

Our comment: Material costs fluctuate on a regular basis but the general trend over 2021 has been in one direction – up. It is therefore important to consider how this may impact the reinstatement costs of your home should it be severely damaged by a fire, flood, or other event. A Rebuilding Cost Assessment provided by a Chartered Surveyor could be a good way of ensuring that you are covered for the full rebuild cost for your home.

The facts and figures that come out around property surveys, costs of repairs and owning property will vary from year to year, but the general trends that are reported, and issues highlighted, are often the same.

Where you are able to do so, seeking the guidance and advice of a Chartered Surveyor can often save you time, money and risk in the long run. To speak to a member of our team about the various reports and investigations we offer on residential properties, please get in touch.

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Telephone: 01772 458866
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Telephone: 01524 899850
Lea Hough is a trading name of Lea Hough & Co LLP, which is a Limited Liability Partnership registered in England and Wales under partnership number OC306054.
Registered Office: 7 Ferry Road, Office Park, Preston, PR2 2YH.