RICS building survey

Why NOT Paying for a Survey Could Cost You Thousands

You’ve spent ages trawling the internet and poring over the options in the windows of local estate agents and have finally found a property that you could see yourself living in. Whether you’re buying your first home or want to upgrade your family home to accommodate for a new baby, you’re probably eager to get started with the process of making the purchase and becoming the owner of the property. However, before you finalise the sale and get the keys, it’s worth getting a homebuyer’s survey carried out to ensure that you are fully aware of any damage or potential issues with the property before you become the proud new owner.

The truth is that a home survey could save you thousands of pounds in the future by making you aware of issues that might not be easy to identify by a viewing along. If you don’t have a survey carried out on the property, you are running the risk of issues that are small now getting worse over time until they will eventually cost a lot of money to repair. In addition, you can use the information that is found by the surveyor to negotiate a lower asking price with the seller since you will be responsible for paying to make repairs to the property once you move in. Or you could ask the seller to make the necessary repairs before you will go ahead with the purchase.

Although getting your potential new property surveyed is not a legal requirement, it’s strongly advised to have a survey since it could save you thousands in the future.

What Surveys Can You Get?

There are three main types of home survey that are recommended for different property types. The type of survey that you choose will depend on a number of factors including the age, condition and location of the home, and how in-depth you would like the inspection to go.

RICS Condition Report:

This is a basic home survey that is recommended for newer properties that are in good condition. It does not go into a huge amount of detail but will provide you with a general overview of the condition of the property along with highlighting any serious issues that will require your immediate attention. It uses a traffic light system to rate the condition in different areas of the property, providing you with information on where is going to need the most work.

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RICS HomeBuyer Report:

The homebuyer’s report is a more detailed survey and the most common option for homebuyers. It is ideal for anybody planning to purchase a property that is in average condition and of a reasonable age. The surveyor will carry out a full inspection of the indoor and outdoor areas of the property, look at the visible aspects of the heating, gas, electrical, and plumbing systems, and look for any potential serious problems like damp, rot, subsidence, asbestos and more. You will be provided with a report that will outline the issues that have been found and a rough estimate of how much you could expect to pay for repairs.

RICS Building Survey:

This survey is also known as a structural survey and is the most detailed option to go for. It is the ideal choice if you want to purchase an older property or a property that is in obviously poor condition. It is usually recommended for properties that have an unusual layout or were constructed with unusual building materials. It will usually take around a day to complete and is a more invasive survey in which the surveyor will require access to the loft or attic space, underneath the floorboards, and behind furniture.

Which Survey to Choose:

While the homebuyer’s report is sufficient for many properties, there are no hard rules regarding the type of survey that you get. You may want to invest more into a building survey, for example, to ensure that no stone is left unturned and that you have as much information as possible about the property before going ahead with the purchase. Ask your surveyor to help you choose which type of survey is best for the property.

How a Survey Could Save You Money:

There are many reasons why getting a home survey carried out before buying a property is recommended to help you save money in the future. And, the results make it clear to see that getting a survey carried out is a wise decision, with homebuyers saving up to £5,000 in future repair costs after investing in a survey before buying a new house. Conversely, homebuyers who don’t invest in having the survey conducted on their potential new property find themselves paying an average of £12,000 in future repair costs, often due to problems that worsen over time when the buyer is not aware of them.

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Avoid Repair Costs:

One of the main reasons to have a survey done before you purchase the property is that it can help you avoid expensive repair costs in the future. Many of the problems that will be looked for and identified during the survey, such as damp, will worsen over time so the sooner you become aware of them, the cheaper they will be to repair. Many of these issues might not be visible to you immediately when you view or move into the home, and will only be detectable by a professional. As a result, if you do not have a survey carried out, you might not notice issues like damp until much further down the line when the problem has become significantly worse and significantly more expensive to repair.

Make The Right Property Decision:

Getting a survey carried out before you make the final decision on whether or not you would like to buy a property ensures that you are not going into the process blind. No matter how much you love a property, finding out that it has serious issues that you’ll need to pay to repair in the future could make a huge difference to how you feel about it. Getting the survey done before the sale is completed gives you the chance to withdraw your offer if you no longer feel the same way about the property after finding out about the problems, rather than finding out about them later on down the line when it is too late as you are already the new owner.

Save Money on Renovations:

Another reason to consider having a structural survey carried out is if you are planning to purchase a project property to renovate in the future. Whether you want to buy a fixer-upper and turn it into your perfect dream home or are investing in a property to renovate and sell on or rent out in the future, knowing more about any potential problems that could cause things to go wrong during the renovation is important. A survey will identify any issues that might increase the cost of your renovation work, allowing you to make a more informed decision based on your future budget.

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Renegotiate the Price:

Getting a survey carried out on your potential new property before you make the purchase could help you get it at a better price. The sellers will know that any issues found in your survey are only likely to come up again with any other future potential buyers if they are not repaired, and as a result, might be willing to accept a lower offer from you so that you can free up money to spend on repairs and to ensure that the sale is not delayed as a result.

Protect Your Health and Safety:

Finally, the one thing that is worth more than any of your money is your health and safety and that of your family. Having a survey carried out on your potential new property will not only help you save potentially thousands of pounds in the future but will also ensure that you are not putting yourself or your family in danger by living there. The survey will inform you of the presence of any hazardous materials such as asbestos, for example, which you will need to know about before you begin any renovation work that could disturb the material and cause a serious health hazard. If you or anybody in your family suffers from a respiratory condition such as asthma, this can make issues like damp and mould even more dangerous to your health, which is why they are important to learn about before you make the decision to purchase the property and move in.

While a homebuyer’s survey is not legally required before you buy a new house, there are many reasons why the experts will always recommend that you have one carried out. Aside from the potential to save you thousands of pounds in repairs in the future, a survey can help you make a more informed decision regarding the property that you want to buy and alert you to any issues that could harm your health.