Homebuyer survey on new properties

Snagging Surveys on New Build Properties – Why They Are Important

With new build homes being developed almost everywhere, it’s no surprise that they are the most popular option for buyers these days. New build properties tend to be more modern, designed with modern life in mind, and do not require any renovation compared to older properties, making them easy to move into. In addition, many of the homes that are suitable for first-time buyers who are looking for a little help with getting on the property ladder through the shared ownership scheme are new-build properties, which is adding to their popularity.

When you purchase a new build home, it’s often easy to assume that there isn’t going to be anything wrong with the property – after all, it is brand new. However, developers can make mistakes and new build homes are not immune from problems that could cost you a lot of money further down the line. The good news for new build buyers is that most properties are covered by the developer’s warranty, therefore, any issues that arise may be fixed at no additional cost to you. However, getting the property surveyed before you decide to purchase it can help you learn more about any issues that you might encounter in the future, have problems solved by your developer as early as possible, and make sure that you are aware of any issues that may not come under the warranty.

Do You Need a Homebuyer Survey on New Properties?

New build properties will typically require a special type of survey that is designed for new buildings called a snagging survey. This survey will require the surveyor to inspect the entire property where they will look for all issues from minor cosmetic problems to major faults that could render the house unsafe or unliveable in the future. Unlike a traditional house survey, a snagging survey will pick up on anything from minor problems like doors that do not close property to worktops that don’t have a great finish, to the more serious problems. Issues with tiling, plastering, external brickwork, and skirting boards tend to be the most common problems found with snagging surveys.

House purchase survey

When Do You Need a Survey on a New Build?

The best time to have your snagging survey carried out is during the period between the building work being completed and your legal completion date since this allows your developer some time to fix any issues found before you move into the property. However, some developers will deny access to the surveyor before the completion date. In this situation, you can speak to your conveyancer who may be able to invoke your legal interest in the property and intervene to arrange access for the surveyor.

In the case of where it is not possible to have the survey carried out before completion, you should book it for as soon as possible afterwards. This means that the developer is still likely to be on-site working on the other houses and you are likely to have more leverage with them the earlier you have the survey done compared to later on. However, you can have the snagging survey carried out at any point during the first two years of living in the home since it will be under warranty for this period. Just bear in mind that the longer you wait, the longer it might take to get things sorted out.

Does a New Build Need a Survey and Which Survey Should I Get?

While you can have any survey that you like carried out on a new build, the snagging survey is the best choice since it is designed specifically for this type of home. In addition, a snagging survey is also more thorough compared to a traditional home buyer’s survey for older homes since it will pick up on issues that are usually overlooked by the traditional surveys such as issues with the tiling or doors that don’t close. You might find that many of the issues that are brought up on the snagging survey are ones that you are happy to overlook or will be able to repair yourself in the future, but it’s definitely worth getting that information. In addition, the survey will also pick up on any major structural issues or defects that should be brought up with the developer straight away.

Why a Home buyers Survey

Should I Have a Survey on a New Build House – Is It Worth It?

It is recommended that you have a snagging survey conducted by a professional surveyor. You can find some surveyors and surveying companies that will specialise in working with new-build homes, and these surveys will usually cost between £300 and £600 depending on the size of the property. It is definitely worth investing in having the survey carried out since you are going to be spending thousands or maybe even hundreds of thousands of pounds on a new home, and it’s worth making sure that you are aware of any major problems that might otherwise go unnoticed until the property’s warranty period is over.

A professional surveyor will not only provide you with the results of the survey but will also report what they find directly to the developer, which increases the chance of issues being repaired quickly, which can keep the process hassle-free for you.

If you have specialist knowledge, you may also want to consider carrying out your own snagging survey – although this can be a drawn-out and lengthy process, so it’s only recommended if you have expertise. If you’d rather do your survey yourself, start by conducting research and put together a checklist of things to look out for. Ask your developer for confirmation that all the building work is finished before you do the survey. When carrying out the survey, it’s best to err on the side of caution and include anything that could potentially be an issue. If in doubt, especially if you suspect that there might be major structural issues with the property, it’s worth bringing in a professional chartered surveyor to help.

Will My Mortgage Lender Require a New House Survey?

Many mortgage lenders will include having a survey carried out in the terms and conditions of the loan and this can sometimes be the case when you are purchasing a new build property. You should check with your mortgage provider beforehand to see whether or not they require you to have a snagging survey carried out before they will be able to lend you the money to purchase the home. Your mortgage lender might carry out a valuation survey on the property, but this is not the same as a building survey and will not provide you with the same information. A valuation survey is a short survey carried out by your mortgage lender to ensure that the property is worth the price that you are planning to pay for it. It does not usually involve the surveyor visiting the home and can often be done from behind a desk by looking at similar properties in the area and checking their value against yours. In some cases, the surveyor might drive by to look at the property from the curb and check that it has all the features listed.

Change of address - who to notify

What Will a New Building Survey Help With?

Most of the time, buying a new build home can be fairly straightforward. If you’re buying a home from a reputable developer, you can usually expect that there will be minimal issues and that your home will be ready for you to move into, live in, and enjoy almost straight away. However, it’s a wise idea to have it surveyed for any potential problems and don’t assume that just because the home is new, there won’t be any issues present. This is especially important for during the first two years of the property’s lifespan since this is typically the time that it is covered under the developer’s warranty and therefore allows you to easily have any issues repaired free of charge. Not having a snagging survey carried out means that you may not notice issues that might have come up in the survey until after two years have passed, at which point you will be financially liable for repairing them yourself.

Along with helping you save money on potential repairs, a snagging survey can also provide you with more information on the work that might need to be carried out once you move in, making it easier for you to plan your move in date around this. A snagging survey might be required by your mortgage lender to get the loan that you have applied for to help with buying your new home, and it may also help you get cheaper home insurance in the future once you have completed the purchase and moved in.

New build homes might typically have fewer issues compared to older properties, but don’t assume that they are in perfect condition. If you want to buy a new-build property, a snagging survey will ensure that you can make an informed decision about going ahead with the purchase.