What is a Home Buyers Survey?

If you have been house-hunting for a while and have finally found your dream property and have put in an offer, you’re probably feeling eager to get the process of purchasing the house started. However, before you complete the sale and get the keys to your new home, it’s important to have a survey carried out. Although it is not a legal requirement to get a homebuyer’s report or another type of survey conducted on the property before making the purchase, you might find that your mortgage lender or future home insurance provider requires it. In addition, the survey will help you find out more about any potential or current issues with the property that are not clearly visible to you when viewing, which can help you make a more informed decision regarding whether or not you would like to go ahead with the purchase or negotiate a lower sale price. Simply put, finding problems with a survey now can save you a lot of hassle and money in the future.

What is a Home Buyers Report Survey?

A homebuyer’s survey is a survey or inspection that is carried out on a property by a chartered surveyor before the sale is completed. The purpose of the survey is to provide the potential buyer with further information about the property including any issues that have the potential to be dangerous, expensive, or do not meet building regulations. There are different types of survey to choose from depending on the property and what you plan to do with it in the future, however, the most popular is the homebuyer’s report that will provide you with an overview of the property’s condition, information on any faults and defects, recommendations for future work to repair the issues and an average figure for how much it might cost you to do this.

Different Types of Home Buyer Survey:

When booking your survey, it’s a good idea to consider the different survey types available and carefully consider which one is best for your property. The types of survey that are available include:

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Snagging Survey:

This survey is designed specifically for new-build homes and will look for anything that is potentially wrong with the property from minor cosmetic issues to huge structural faults. If you are planning to purchase a new build home this is the best type of survey to opt for since it will provide you with all the information that you need to provide your property developer with so that they can deal with any problems quickly under your guarantee.

Condition Report:

The RICS condition report is the most basic survey option available, providing you with a general overview of the condition of the home while pointing out any significant issues that will need your immediate attention. Since it does not go into a lot of detail, it is usually a good choice for relatively new properties that are in good condition, and not a great bet for older or more unusual homes, which will usually require a more thorough inspection.

Homebuyer’s Report:

The RICS homebuyer’s report is the most popular type of home survey to choose from and is usually recommended for modern or average properties. It provides you with a general overview of the home while going into further detail about any specific issues in the house like subsidence, damp, wet rot, and dangerous materials like asbestos. The surveyor will also look for any parts of the property that do not adhere to building regulations and anything that could pose a danger to you as the new owner in the future. You’ll get a report on any repairs that will be necessary to ensure that the property is in good condition and the type of maintenance work that you will need to carry out in the future. This is a non-invasive survey, so the surveyor will only be able to inspect anything that is easily accessible in the home. They won’t look underneath floorboards or behind furniture.

Building Survey:

The RICS building survey or structural survey is the most thorough survey option available and is recommended for buyers who want to make sure that they know everything that there is to know about the property before making the purchase. This is a more invasive survey compared to the others and will usually take longer. Your surveyor will need access to the loft or attic, underneath the floorboards, and behind furniture to ensure that every area of the house is checked. It is the ideal type of survey for an older home, a home with significant obvious issues, or a property that you plan to do serious renovation work on.

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Why You Need a Home Surveyor:

Most people do not know what to look for in terms of faults when they are viewing a property, and to the naked eye, it might seem that there is nothing wrong with the property. However, this could be far from the truth and once you have completed the sale and moved into the home, you might find issues that you were not aware of before you bought the property. This is why it’s so important to have a survey carried out before finalising your sale, since it allows you to make an informed decision and prepare for the future. In addition to being a requirement for many mortgage lenders, getting a survey carried out allows you to figure out how much it might cost to repair any issues in the future and makes you aware of them earlier, which can save you a lot of money. If the survey shows up lots of issues that are going to be costly for you to repair, you can use the information to negotiate a lower price with the seller.

How Long Does a Home Buyers Survey Take?

How long your home survey will take depends on the type of survey that you choose and the size, type, and condition of the property that you are having surveyed. In general, a homebuyer’s report should take no longer than four hours to complete and is usually less for smaller homes. On the other hand, if you want to have a full structural survey carried out, you can expect the surveyor to need access to the home for much longer. Since the building survey leaves no stone unturned, you may need to ensure that the surveyor has access to the home for a full day. Once the survey has been carried out, you can expect to wait up to five business days to get the report for a condition report or homebuyer’s report, or up to ten days for a building survey.

What Do Home Buyers Surveys Look For?

A home buyer’s survey will look for issues that you might not notice at first glance, which is why one is always worth investing in, no matter what type of property you plan to buy. Some of the main things that will be inspected in a home buyer’s survey include the construction and condition of the property overall, an inspection of all major indoor and outdoor features and fixing, and an inspection of any visible areas of the gas, electrical, heating and drainage systems in the home. The surveyor will also look for issues like damp, rot, infestations, asbestos, and structural issues, providing you with further information on any problems that are likely to worsen in the future. They will look for and provide you with information on any property issues that will need your immediate attention and anything that could be a danger to you and your family. You will also receive information regarding whether or not there are any areas of the property that are not compliant with building regulations and whether you might need legal assistance.

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How Much Is a Home Buyers Survey?

How much you can expect to pay for your survey will once again depend on the type of survey that you choose and the property that you are having it carried out on. In general, the more in-depth the survey and the larger the property that you’re having surveyed, the more you can expect to pay. A snagging survey or a condition report tends to be the cheapest option at around £250-£350, while a homebuyer’s report will set you back an average of £400. A RICs building survey or structural survey is the most expensive option, starting at around £500.

While getting a survey carried out might seem like another expense when buying a house, it’s one definitely worth paying since it can help you save significant money in the future. Homebuyers who have a survey carried out will save an average of £5,000 in the future on their new home, while homebuyers who skip the survey end up paying an average of £12,000 or even more on repairs that they did not realise would need carrying out at the start.

If you are buying a new home, having a home buyer’s survey carried out will ensure that you have all the necessary information to make the right decision.