Why is a Survey important?
In simple terms, a survey is a health check on a property.
Buying a house is likely to be the biggest, most important purchase that you will ever make, so it is worth paying for a property survey to check that the building is sound and to discover the extent of repair work if it is needed. The advice of a Chartered Surveyor could save you a huge amount of money in extensive repairs later on, and potentially allow you to renegotiate your house offer.
What type of survey do I need?
There are several types of survey, so understanding the differences between them will help you to pick the right survey to protect your needs. There are three types of survey, which vary in depth of inspections:
RICS Condition Report
The most basic type of survey is called the RICS Condition Report and this is usually therefore the cheapest option. The RICS Condition Report shows the condition of the property and is intended to supplement the information provided with a mortgage valuation survey.
The Homebuyer’s Report is the middle ground in the world of surveys. It is more extensive than the Condition Report – and typically costs more. It is the only one of the three surveys that currently offers a property valuation. This is the most suitable report for most modern and older homes that are in reasonable condition.
A Building Survey, otherwise known as a Structural Survey, is the most comprehensive and detailed inspection – an assessment of the inside and outside of the building structure including both visual and non-visual aspects. This type of survey is strongly recommended if your property is old, made of unconventional material (like thatch or timber) or if it has had, or you intend to undertake extensive structural alterations. It involves checks on all easily accessible areas such as roof or cellar space, underneath the floors etc. Also attention will be paid to any issues which compromise the structure and integrity of the building like damp problems, dry rot, wood worm infestation or any potential hazards such as the existence of large trees close to the structure. The inspection will culminate in a report which details everything that the Surveyor feels you ought to know about your property, including a list of all defects uncovered, their probable cause, level of significance and recommendations on what is needed to fix these defects. It will also include technical details on the construction of the property and the materials used and the like.
I am getting a mortgage – Do I need a survey?
Yes. If you are getting a mortgage to buy your home, a lender will carry out a valuation of the property. Please note that this is not a survey and should not be treated as one. The sole purpose of the mortgage valuation is to demonstrate to your lender that the property is worth the sale price before it gives you the green light for the mortgage.
Do I need a survey if I am a Cash Buyer?
The fact that you are a cash buyer means that there is no lender that will require you to have a survey or valuation carried out. However, it is always recommended that you get a survey to ensure that the property you are buying is a good investment and that you are not faced with any unexpected costly repairs upon completion.
Our experienced team of residential and commercial property solicitors here are Ungoed Thomas and King will be able to guide and advise you as to which type of survey would be most appropriate for your purchase. Please telephone us with any property queries you may have or for an instant conveyancing quote on 01267 237441 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.