Why a Home buyers Survey

7 Reasons Why a Survey Is Important on Unusual Properties

Maybe you’ve been looking for an unusual property to buy and move into for a while, or perhaps you have stumbled across one on your house hunting journey and have fallen in love with it. Whether you are looking to purchase a listed building, a property with an unconventional layout, or a house that is made with unusual construction materials, getting a survey conducted before you make your final decision about going ahead with the purchase has never been more important. Getting the survey carried out will ensure that you are fully aware of any issues with the property that might not be immediately apparent, allowing you to make an informed decision and be aware of the potential future cost of any necessary repairs that you will need to carry out once you are the new owner.

Why a Home Buyers Survey?

Although getting a home buyer’s survey carried out on your potential new home is not a legal requirement, it is highly recommended by experts and might be a requirement of the terms of your mortgage in order for you to secure the loan that you need to purchase the property. A home buyer’s survey will look for any issues with the property like subsidence, damp, rot, mould, infestations, asbestos, structural damage, and other problems that you will be responsible for repairing once you own the building and are always worth knowing about before you complete the sale. Getting the home buyer’s survey carried out means that you have a clear idea of the amount of type of work that you will need to do on the property once you buy it, whether that’s making repairs to issues, changing areas that are not compliant with building regulations, or fixing up issues that could pose a health or safety hazard.

Are Home Buyers Report Worth It?

If you want to buy an unusual property, there are two types of surveys that are recommended. These are the homebuyer’s report or the building survey. A home buyer’s report is not invasive, but it will give you an in-depth overview of the property as the surveyor will visit to carry out a full inspection of all the interior and exterior features and fixings, the heating, gas, electric and plumbing systems, and look for any issues that you will want to know about before purchasing the home. Since unusual homes tend to be more prone to structural issues and other building problems that might go unnoticed when you are viewing the property, it’s always worth getting a homebuyer’s report so that you can go into the purchase as informed as possible.

Land Surveyor Property Lines

On the other hand, if you want a more in-depth report on the condition of your potential new property, you might want to opt for a building survey or full structural survey, which involves the surveyor inspecting more of the property including the loft or attic space, underneath the floorboards, and behind furniture to ensure that every area of the property is inspected and all potential issues are found. Although these surveys are the most expensive, it might be worth investing in if you are planning to purchase an unusual property that is quite old, or if it has some obvious defects already. This is also the recommended survey type if you are considering carrying out any major renovation work in the future since it will help you identify any issues that might arise during the renovations that could cause further damage to the property or be a danger to your health and safety.

How Much Does a Home Buyers Report Cost?

A homebuyer’s report will cost an average of £400 to £600, although this can vary depending on the size of the property that you are having surveyed, the surveyor that you use, and some other factors. Typically, the survey will take up to four hours to complete, but this can also vary depending on the size and type of property. You may pay more than average for a homebuyer’s report on an unusual property since this may take the surveyor longer to inspect due to the unusual layout or materials. It is best to get some quotes from different surveyors before booking the survey.

Why You Need to Get a Survey for an Unusual Property:

It’s important to get a survey on any property that you are considering buying, but the need for an inspection becomes even more important when you are thinking about buying an unusual or unconventional property. Some of the main issues that a survey can uncover that you will need to know about before you make the decision to purchase the property include:

RICS building survey


This is one of the top problems that a homebuyer’s report survey might uncover, especially in the UK due to the wet climate. While any property can suffer from damp, an unusual property could be more prone to it depending on the layout and the materials used. Finding issues such as rising damp, which is often the most expensive to repair, is crucial for a new home buyer. In addition, since damp will worsen and become more expensive to repair over time, leading to more serious issues like mould and wet rot, it’s best to find out if there are any damp problems present as early as possible so that you can avoid future unnecessary expenses.


Subsidence occurs when the ground underneath a property begins to move, which leads to instability. Generally, it occurs in an uneven way, which can lead to cracks in the structure of the property. Cracks in the walls will need to be investigated by a surveyor since they might not be caused by general subsidence but could be due to something even more serious, such as a sinkhole. A building survey will ensure that you have all the information that you need regarding the subsidence problems and any issues that are related to them. It will also inform you of any repairs that may have already been carried out.

Roof Problems:

Checking the roof on an unusual property is highly important since there are many things that could go wrong with the roof that will be expensive to repair in the future, especially with a property that is an unusual layout or uses unconventional roofing materials. Many roof problems are a result of damp, which is caused by rainwater leaking into the roof through damaged tiles or chimney structures. Some roof issues might be the result of dry rot or woodworm damage on the wooden structure of the roof, which is more common in older buildings.

Dry Rot:

Dry tot is a type of fungus that can affect and weaken the timber structures of a property including the window frames, floorboards, floor joists, stairs and more. It can spread very quickly and is usually a result of damp conditions within the home, which could be caused by anything from leaking pipes to a defective roof structure. Dry rot in a home often means that there is a lot of work to be done to get rid of the problem, repair the damage, and make sure that it does not reoccur.

Types of House Survey


Woodworm infestations are actually caused by beetles rather than worms, despite the name. It is a result of larvae that burrows into the timber within the property, affecting floorboards, joists, and other woodwork and leading to potential structural damage. If there is exposed woodwork in the property, you may be able to see some evidence of woodworm, however, it is usually picked up in a survey if the wood that is affected is out of sight.


While asbestos is unlikely to be a problem in a modern home that has an unusual design, if you are purchasing an older property, it may be present. It is well-known that asbestos is bad for your health, but it is still present in many properties that were built before it was banned in the UK. While asbestos products in the home might not cause a health hazard if they are left undisturbed, it’s always best to know whether or not it is present so that you can plan to have it professionally removed, especially if you plan to conduct renovation work that could disturb it.

Faulty Electrics:

Another reason why a survey is so important for an unusual property is that it will pick up on any faults with the electrical system and wiring, especially if you are buying an older property. In older properties, in particular, the electrical system might be substandard compared to the specifications of today, which can cause a significant fire risk within the property. If the survey deems the electrics to be dangerous or a potential fire hazard, you may need to factor in the cost of having the full property rewired once you move in.

While it’s important to have a survey for any property that you want to buy, unusual properties are often more susceptible to some issues, particularly in older properties.