Why should I have a home survey?

Find out why you should have a home survey completed prior to purchasing your new home.

Why should I have a home survey?

You’ve visited the property a number of times and you’ve had your lender’s mortgage valuation survey, so, like many home buyers, you may wonder why you would need a home survey from a Chartered Surveyor.

Mortgage valuations are not sufficient

It is vital to remember that a mortgage valuation is exclusively on behalf of the lender to confirm the property’s worth and whether the mortgage would be secure. This survey type will not reveal any structural problems in the property that may be costly to fix.

Most conveyancing solicitors will advise you to arrange a house survey with a Chartered Surveyor before you buy a home, rather than rely solely on a mortgage valuation.

Our article outlining the different types of surveys available offers more information on the differences between a mortgage valuation and a survey from a Chartered Surveyor.

A property is a big purchase

As your home is probably the biggest purchase you’ll ever make, it is worth investing a relatively small sum to ensure it is a sound investment.

After spending a significant amount of money on a property, the last thing you’ll want to do is spend even more on repair work, which could prove to be expensive and time consuming, if problems aren’t resolved quickly.

Getting a house survey from a Chartered Surveyor will provide expert advice and flag any faults with the property, allowing you to decide whether the house would still be a good investment once you know its full state of repair.

Informs you of its true condition

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors compare house surveys to a “health check for buildings.” RICS Chartered Surveyors are highly experienced and educated; they will spot any structural issues that you may not have during your viewings.

There are different surveys available, offering different levels of detail on the structural condition of a building. The HomeBuyer Report isn’t as comprehensive as the Building Survey, however both survey reports will inform you of the true condition of the property you are buying, ensuring you have the full information when entering into the purchase.

Advises on repair work

A house survey could save you thousands of pounds in costly repair bills in the future if any problems existing in the property are spotted and treated early.

The HomeBuyer Report will provide condition ratings, advising on how urgent repairs are needed for each aspect of the property. The Building Survey comments on all defects in the property, what the defects could mean and costs for remedial work.

Your Chartered Surveyor will also offer advice on preventing future damage, and maintenance work for your property.

Opportunity to renegotiate price

In addition to saving you money on repair work, a surveyor’s report could save you a significant amount in negotiating a new purchase price, should the report reveal structural issues that would be costly to repair.

Your negotiations can take into account the cost of the necessary repair work, reducing the purchase price by a similar amount. Alternatively, you may wish for the remedial work to be completed by the current vendor before you exchange.

Your RICS survey report will equip you with the expert information to enter into negotiations.

Peace of mind

By advising you about the problems with the property and remedial work necessary to ensure your home is in a good condition, a house survey will give you the peace of mind that you have the sufficient information to enter into the purchase with confidence.

Additionally, should you find that the issues with the building are too expensive or demanding to remedy, getting a house survey will make you aware of this before you have moved in, not come as an unwanted surprise after you have bought it.

It is up to you, the buyer, to organise a detailed, independent survey to see if there are any structural problems. To start the process of getting a house survey on your property, compare quotes from Chartered Surveyors  for Building Surveys and HomeBuyer Reports with reallymoving.com.
This video from Which? about the condition of property further explains why it is important to find out all you can about the property before completion.

Updated March 2017

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