Home buyer survey on old properties

Potential Problems a Surveyor Will Look For in an Older Property

If you have been looking for a new home for a while and have finally found a property that you like, you might be ready to put your offer in and get the process of purchasing the home started. But don’t rush into things – before you finalise the sale and become the proud new owner of the property, it’s important to consider which survey you will need to get carried out. Having a survey carried out isn’t required when buying a home, but it’s a very wise idea to do so – especially if you are buying an older property that is likely to have more problems that you’ll want to know about before making that final decision regarding whether or not the home is the best option for you.

Why You Need a Home Buyer Survey on Old Properties:

It is advisable to have a home buyer’s survey carried out on any property that you are thinking of purchasing, but perhaps even more crucial to ensure that an older property is thoroughly inspected before you make the final decision to purchase it. Without a survey, you are going into purchasing the property blind and might find issues with it later on down the line that you were not aware of when making the purchase, which are now solely your responsibility to repair. In addition, many problems with houses will worsen over time meaning that if you don’t have a survey carried out, it could be some time before you discover any issues which could have gotten much worse compared to their condition when you purchased the property and will cost you more to repair.

Getting a survey carried out on an older home will not only make sure that you have everything that you need to make an informed decision about the home, but it can also help you save a lot of money. When you are aware of the property’s issues you can save money by having them addressed immediately and even use the information that you gather from the survey to negotiate a lower price with the seller so that you are able to make the repairs straight away.

What Do Property Surveyors Look For?

What Problems Will an Old House Survey Look For?

The issues that a survey will look for in your older property will depend on the type of survey that you opt for. In general, the survey will provide you with an overview of the home and it’s condition, along with information on the presence of any structural issues, damp, rot, mould, infestations, asbestos, areas that do not conform to building regulations and more. The surveyor will inspect the walls and ceilings, the damp proof course, visible areas of the electrical and gas systems, the drainage and plumbing systems, and the materials that were used in construction.

What Type of Old Building Survey Should I Choose?

The type of survey that you choose will depend on the age of the home and the condition. If you’re buying a home that is of reasonable age and does not have any obvious defects, a homebuyer’s report is usually sufficient. This is a non-invasive survey, but it will go into detail about all the issues listed above and anything else that is found during the inspection to provide you with a detailed idea of what you can expect from the property and information on any faults that have the potential to worsen, cause damage, or become dangerous in the future.

For very old homes, homes with an unusual layout, or a home that you plan to carry out a lot of renovation work on in the future, it’s worth investing in a more in-depth survey such as the building survey or structural survey. This is a more invasive survey where the surveyor will need access to every area of the home including underneath the floorboards, in the attic or loft space, and behind furniture. They will look for all potential issues with the home and make sure that you have a thorough idea of what to expect. Since many older properties are likely to have hidden issues that might not come up in a homebuyer’s report, it’s worth opting for this survey if you want to make sure that you have as much information as possible on your potential new home.

Types of House Survey

Do You Need Survey on a Fifteen Year Old House?

It is advisable to get a survey carried out on a fifteen-year-old house. Since a house that was build fifteen years ago can be classed as an average or reasonable age, it’s usually recommended that you get a homebuyer’s report on a home of this age, although this might vary depending on the layout, condition, area and more. A surveyor can help you determine the best survey option for you.

Why Do You Need to Survey a Fifteen Year Old House?

After fifteen years, a home might begin to develop some faults that are unlikely to be visible to the naked and untrained eye at a home viewing. That’s why it’s important to hire a chartered surveyor to inspect the property and find any issues that you might not notice on your own. A fifteen-year-old property might be dealing with issues such as damp, although the good news is that there is unlikely to be dangerous materials such as asbestos used since this was outlawed more than fifteen years ago.

Does a 20 Year Old House Need a Survey?

If you want to purchase a twenty-year old house, it’s worth having a survey carried out. Once again, a homebuyer’s report might be an ideal choice for a property of this age but it’s worth looking at it as an individual property before deciding which type of survey will be best for you. A building survey is worth investing more in if you want to make sure that the home is thoroughly inspected and that you get as much information as possible about the property that you are planning to purchase. In general, the older a home gets, the more important it is to have a survey carried out since many of the common issues that develop in homes will usually appear with age.

Does a 2 Year Old House Need a Survey?

It’s clear to see that you will need a survey if you are purchasing an older home, but what if you want to buy a new build home, or a relatively new home that is only two years old, for example? Again, a survey is not a legal requirement, but it’s definitely necessary as you should never assume that just because a home is new, that there will not be any issues present. Although it’s unlikely that a new build home is going to suffer from the same age-related problems as older buildings, there is always the chance that there have been errors in construction and other issues that have caused problems with the property that could be very costly to you in the future.

House purchase survey

However, you will be glad to hear that having a survey done on a new home often means that you can have the issues repaired quickly since the home may still be under the developer’s warranty. For a two-year-old property, a condition report is usually sufficient since this will provide a general overview of the property’s condition and provide information on each area of the property using a traffic light system that indicates how much work there is to be done. For a more thorough survey with a more in-depth report to read, you might want to consider a homebuyer’s report. If you are purchasing a brand-new home, there is a specialised survey known as a snagging survey that is designed for new build homes. This survey will look for all issues with the property from minor cosmetic problems to major faults and can be presented to the developer who will then need to ensure that the issues are repaired in line with your warranty.

How to Read an Old House Survey:

The results of your home buyer’s survey can sometimes be complicated, and it can often be tricky to fully understand some of the jargon. Ask your chartered surveyor to explain any parts of the survey that you don’t understand or would like more information on if necessary. The RICS provides a diagram on their website that is designed to help you learn the names of different parts of the building, which will make it easier for you to make sense of your survey report.

Based on the findings of the survey on an older home, your surveyor may recommend that you have a second specialist survey or inspection carried out. This is often common with issues like damp, roof problems, or gas and electrical issues. In some cases, the services of a structural engineer might be required in order to ensure that the inspection is as thorough as possible and that you have all the information you need to make your decision to buy.

If you want to purchase an older home, a home survey will ensure that you are aware of any issues before you part with your money.