Updated: 7 days ago
As a home mover or first-time buyer, you’re likely to be feeling both excited and a bit daunted by the process of buying your new property. But one step that should never be overlooked is organising a survey – it will pay dividends further down the line if any issues are flagged up before you commit to going ahead with your purchase. The question is though –should you arrange a survey and what type of survey do you choose? In this article we’ll explore some of the options available so that you can make an educated decision about which route to go down when seeking assurance on your purchase.
When looking to purchase a property, it is often important to have an assessment of its condition. You would normally consider this if you are looking to purchase an older property, one that has undergone some major work over the years or perhaps you intend to complete a sizeable make over.
Is a Survey necessary for a New Build property?
You may feel that a survey is not necessary when purchasing a new build property. New build properties come with a warranty (NHBC being one example) which provides some protection for up to 10 years, however the initial two-year period depends on the original builder’s willingness and proficiency to fix problems if they arise. With a professional report highlighting areas which need improvement before completion, it gives added assurance that everything will be resolved correctly and efficiently prior to handing over ownership.
A surveyor from RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors), with the proper training and expertise in this field, can provide such an evaluation. Depending on where you are located, these surveys come in various levels; each more detailed than the last. In England Wales or Northern Ireland it’s primarily for buyers considering purchasing a home whereas Scotland requires prospective sellers obtain a “Scottish Home Report” first before putting their house up for sale. From basic surveys all the way through to detailed inspections, there are different options depending upon your needs.
What Are My Options?
When you are taking out a mortgage, your lender will carry out an assessment of the property to make sure it is worth what you are paying, known as their Valuation. This evaluation can range from simply driving past the house all the way up to an in-depth inspection by a specialist valuer. Ultimately its sole purpose is to determine whether or not the property merits granting you a mortgage. Most lenders no longer charge for their basic valuation but do check to see if your lender is implementing a fee for this.
It is important to stress that the lenders valuation IS NOT a survey, so if you’re looking for some peace of mind then you may wish to consider a more detailed survey. Although upgrading to a survey with your lender (some allow this) will undoubtedly be the cheapest way forward, it is generally advisable to seek an independent survey for both choice of provider and to also minimise your immediate costs – i.e. seeking approval from your lender with minimal outlay is seen as a sensible way to proceed, then simply organise a separate survey to suit your requirements once your mortgage offer has come through.
For the vast majority of properties, a HomeBuyer Report (Level 2 Survey) is an invaluable way to gain insights into any potential issues before you commit to purchasing a property.
A HomeBuyer Report is the ideal survey if you are looking to gain a better understanding of what your proposed new home has in store. It examines both visible and concealed areas, revealing issues that may affect its value or require further investigation. Not only this, but it provides you with invaluable information on problems such as dampness and subsidence – allowing you to make an informed decision early on in the process.
A Homebuyer Report will be a cost-effective option for assessing the condition of your proposed new home, typically ranging from £500 to £800. The value, location and size of the property also has a bearing on the overall cost.
If you’re looking to purchase a property with an interesting history or perhaps one that has undergone significant changes, then it is wise to invest in a Building Survey. This Level 3 survey will provide detailed insight into any issues the building may have and offer cost estimates for possible repairs – letting you make informed decisions about your new home.
A Building Survey is likely to cost between £800 to £1,500 due to more time spent by surveyors assessing the property. The value, location and size of the property also has a bearing on the overall cost.
Now you are armed with the variety of survey options available, it is essential to conduct your research and find out which one works best for you. Doing so can help you make an informed decision that fits within the parameters of what you are looking for. Whichever option you decide, it goes without saying that it is advisable to shop around to establish what is most suitable to meet your needs before signing on the dotted line!
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.