Are House Surveys Worth the Cost?
Buying a house can be a complicated process, but there’s nothing worse than completing the sale and moving into your new home only to find that it has a myriad of issues that you were not made aware of before you signed the dotted line. This is why getting a surveyor to carry out a survey on the property before you make the decision to purchase is always worth the cost. In general, homebuyers who invest in a survey before buying will save around £5,000 or more on average on future repairs, while those who skip the survey before the purchase find themselves spending a massive average of £12,000 on future repairs to problems that they were not aware of before finalising the sale. ]
In addition, your mortgage lender might require that you have a survey carried out on the property before they will be willing to go ahead and accept your application. Your home buyer’s survey can also be used in the future when you are getting insurance for the home and could help you get a better premium.
What is a House Survey?
A house survey is an expert inspects of the condition of a property, with the purpose of determining and identifying any problems or faults that you will want to know about as the buyer. The survey will be carried out by a chartered surveyor, who will visit the property to carry out the inspection and prepare a report for you that will outline any issues that are found and give you a general idea of the type of repair work that is required.
What Home Surveys Are Available?
There are four different types of homebuyer’s survey available. These are:
This survey is designed specifically for new build homes and will look for all issues with the property from minor cosmetic damage to serious structural faults. Unlike traditional surveys it will pick up on issues such as doors that don’t close correctly. You can use the information provided to claim on your new build warranty with the developer and have the issues rectified as early as possible.
This survey is the most basic option and is typically recommended for fairly new homes that are in overall good condition. It will provide a report that uses a traffic light system to indicate issues in the various areas of the property along with highlighting any serious problems that are going to need your attention.
The most common type of survey, this is recommended for most average houses that are of a reasonable age and in reasonable condition. It looks at everything that is included in a condition report while going into more depth, particularly when it comes to looking for problems such as subsidence, damp, wet and dry rot, mould, asbestos, structural problems, issues with the gas and electrical systems and more. You will be provided with a report that informs you of any issues found along with guidelines for having them repaired and how much it is likely to cost.
The building survey or full structural survey is advised for anybody purchasing an older home, a home with an unusual layout, or a home with obvious defects. This survey is more thorough and invasive compared to the other options and will require the surveyor to gain access to every area of the house including underneath the floorboards, behind furniture, and in the loft or attic space.
Is It Worth Getting a Homebuyers Survey?
Buying a property does not come cheap, so it’s no surprise that homebuyers are looking to keep the additional costs down as low as possible. However, when it comes to getting a survey carried out on your property it is worth every penny that you spend. Having a survey carried out means that you can make sure that you are fully aware of any issues with the property that may not be obvious before you buy, allowing you to go into the decision fully informed and make plans for the future in terms of repairing the issues. With a survey, you are not buying blind and there is little risk of running into serious property issues that might come as a shock to you in the future.
Why Are Home Buyers Surveys Worth It Before Renovations?
Buying a fixer-upper and making it into your dream home is a great project for many people. If you enjoy DIY and want to find a cheap property that you can put your own stamp on in the future, the last thing that you will want is to end up paying much more than you have bargained for because of serious issues that you only discover when you start knocking things down and renovating the property. If you are planning to purchase a property that you want to carry out renovation work on, it’s always worth having a survey carried out before making the decision to buy. A full structural survey can look into every area of the property and will provide you with more information on what you can expect, along with any information on dangerous materials like asbestos that might pose a health hazard to you when working on the property in the future.
Is a Home Buyers Survey Worth it For a New Property?
Many people mistakenly believe that since new build properties are new, they are unlikely to have any issues. And while this is often true in that new builds don’t usually have the same time of issues that you might expect to find with an older property, they are not always issue-free. Developers and construction companies can make mistakes, and some might even cut corners to develop the property as cheaply as possible, which can lead to serious issues further down the line. Since a new build property will usually be covered by the developer’s warranty for the first two years, you should have a survey carried out during this time to ensure that any issues can be repaired by your developer.
What are the Benefits of Getting a Home Survey?
While you might want to keep costs low when purchasing your new home, a homebuyer’s survey could save you a massive £12,000 in repair costs in the future, making them definitely worth investing in. And, depending on the type of survey that you opt for and the size, condition and location of your home, your survey is only likely to cost you anything between £250 to £1,000. Some of the main benefits of investing in a home buyer’s survey include:
Paying to have a survey carried out before you make the decision to purchase a new property can save you a lot of money further down the line. Not only will it make you aware of issues that are going to need your immediate attention, but it will also notify you of any problems that might get worse over time, allowing you to quickly step in and have them repaired before they worsen and become even more expensive to deal with. Problems like rot, damp, and subsidence will only grow over time and the longer they are left, the more expensive they are going to be to repair once you discover them. It’s always best to pay to have these issues found and nipped in the bud as early as possible rather than being hit with a huge bill in the future.
Peace of Mind:
A survey of your potential new property before you complete the sale and move in will provide you with peace of mind that the property is safe for you and your family to live in, along with information on its compliance with building regulations. You do not want to move into a property that has the potential to be harmful to your health or safety or that of your family, and similarly, you do not want to be the owner of a property that is not compliant with building regulations, which could land you in legal trouble. The survey report will make sure that you have all the information you need on the property so that you can make an informed decision before buying it.
Finally, if you don’t invest in a survey before purchasing a home, you could end up paying more than you need to for it. Many sellers are trying to get a quick sale and might be relying on the sale so that they can purchase a new home of their own, which will give you an advantage when it comes to negotiating a lower price if issues are found with the survey. Since the sellers know that these problems are only going to come up again with future buyers who have a survey conducted on the property, you can often use the information found to negotiate a lower asking price to free up cash that you can use for the necessary repairs.
While getting a survey might not be legally required before you buy a house, there are many reasons why it’s strongly advised and definitely worth it.