When purchasing a property there are many issues that need to be taken into consideration and one of the most important parts of the house buying process is selecting the right survey. Once your offer has been accepted on the property a survey will highlight the condition of its structure, revealing any hidden problems along the way. A thorough and professional survey will also give you the power to negotiate the buying price down or persuade the seller to fix any problems that are found before moving into your new home.
With Lancashire house price growth accelerating last month, at Ainsworth Lord Estates we think that this is a great time to either get on the housing ladder or take that next step up. But do you completely understand the different property surveys available to you? If not, don’t worry! Simply follow this quick and helpful guide to home surveys, which we’ve created especially for you:
- Firstly we’ll start with the most basic of surveys available; A Condition Report.
This survey is designed to compliment your mortgage valuation, however it doesn’t actually include a valuation with it. Operating under a traffic light system, the RICS Condition Survey describes the condition of the main areas within the property and will include a summary highlighting any risks or legal issues found. This report is mainly intended for traditional and newer homes that are in good condition, and ideal if you just want to double-check that everything is ok with it before going ahead.
- A Homebuyers Report.
This survey is more detailed than a Condition Report and includes the condition of the properties additional features. It includes a market valuation, insurance costs, advice on any defects that could affect the property’s value, any necessary repairs and ongoing maintenance advice. But be aware that this is a ‘non-intrusive’ type of survey, meaning that your surveyor will only be able to identify ‘surface-level’ problems; so they won’t look behind furniture, under floor boards, etc. This report is mainly intended for most modern properties as well as older properties, provided they are in a reasonable state. It will take around 2-4 hours to carry out the RICS Homebuyers Survey, and is ideal if you have any doubts or worries about an older or unusual property.
- A Building Survey.
Out of the three surveys available, this is the most comprehensive survey around. Building surveys will give you an in-depth analysis of the property’s condition, including advice on defects, repairs and your maintenance options. This is an ‘intrusive’ and ‘hands-on’ survey, so every area of the property will be thoroughly examined, e.g. under the floor, behind the walls, in the basement, etc. It will take around a day to complete (depending on its size), where you will receive a comprehensive breakdown of the property’s structure, condition, projected costs and even timings for any repair work that’s needed if you so wish. This report is ideal for older properties that are in a poor condition and also if you’re planning to do significant work on the property yourself.
Remember there are no rules that are ‘set-in-stone’ on which type of survey you should undertake, but it will mostly depend on how much detail you would like on the property as well as the age of it. Think objectively and take your time to find an independent and professional surveyor to carry out your report. Also, don’t worry about the price of the survey, as the money spent on this helpful tool will protect your from making any ill-informed decisions and potentially having to spend thousands of pounds further down the line.