Why should you get a survey?
Statistics show that only 20% of home buyers in the UK undertake an Independent Survey prior to buying a new home. This is quite extraordinary given that buying a home is one of the largest investments people will make, and ongoing maintenance one of their largest items of annual expenditure.
So, just why SHOULD you get a survey of your new home?
One of the reasons for this is that many people mistakenly believe that the “Mortgage Val” is sufficient and will flag up any defects.
Wrong! – The Mortgage Valuation is simply for the mortgage lender to check that if you default on repaying the loan there will be enough value in the house for them to sell it and recover the outstanding amount of the loan.
A mortgage valuer appointed by your lender is not working for you, they are working for the lender. The inspection will be cursory at best, as the lender is not bothered if the roof leaks, or if it has structural cracking that will cost you, the new owner, money, as long as they can sell it for more than the amount of the loan if you default.
The question posed to the mortgage valuer is:
“is there adequate security for the loan?”, not
“will this house require a myriad of repairs costing thousands over the next few years?"
This is why you should ALWAYS have an independent survey done on your new home. A professional health check on your new property will flag up any major issues and enable you to make an informed decision about whether to proceed, and at what price. The survey will also give you peace of mind and enable you to budget for the future costs of ownership.
Surveys for the average house typically cost only £300 – £800 (+ VAT) and it is likely that the surveyor will save you his fee several times over by flagging up issues before you sign on the dotted line. This will enable you to budget for these repairs, or even to revisit the agreed priced if this is felt to be the most appropriate course of action.
Getting a survey isn't just applicable to older properties - there are plenty of instances of new build properties with very significant defects. Although many of these will be covered by a warranty, some will not, and others may only come to light much later, leading to protracted disputes and possibly affecting subsequent resale. A survey by a qualified professional can identify latent defects and help ensure these are dealt with during the builders 'snagging' process and during any warranty period.
Our website has been designed to help you find an appropriate local Chartered Surveyor, and will enable you to obtain up to five Instant, Free, No obligation estimates for standard survey types. The most popular of these are the RICS HomeBuyer Report, a standardised survey most suited to conventional properties built in the last 150 years, and the full Building Survey (frequently referred to as a Structural Survey). The Building Survey is a more in depth survey; although suitable for any property, it's particularly appropriate for older, or unconventional buildings, or those that have been significantly altered, or where you are planning significant renovation, as these often have less obvious defects.
Finally, if you are only looking for a valuation, you can search for a Valuation Survey - this will return quotes by surveyors who are RICS Registered Valuers who will perform the survey in accordance with the RICS 'Red Book' valuation standards. For information on the RICS Registered Valuer programme click here
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