Why should I have a Survey?

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Last Updated: 23/01/2015   Tags:

Buying a property or moving house is considered to be one of the most stressful things you ever do.

Most people who buy a property do so within five or ten minutes of seeing it, for them it is an emotional decision rather than an economic one. There are very few purchases made in this way especially when you consider that it is normally the most money you will spend in your life for a single purchase.  Why then do something like 85% of purchasers rely on the valuation carried out for the lender.  This is, as the word implies, a VALUATION it is NOT a survey.

In carrying out a valuation for the lender, the valuer will highlight any major problems that would affect the lenders security such as major cracks, damp or severe timber defects that would affect the stability of the building and therefore its mortgage ability but, that is all. The valuers responsibility is to the bank and not to any great extent to the purchaser. 

Whilst I can appreciate that money is tight, surely its makes sense to have a more detailed examination of a property, such as a Homebuyers Report or a Building Survey so that you are aware of any shortcomings and expense that you may incur when you move into your new home. The costs vary according to the size of the property and the type of survey required, but, are relatively cheap when considered with the purchase price and the potential of unexpected expense at a time when you have usually spent more than you intended in the first place.

The surveyors job is to provided an impartial assessment of the property without the emotional attachment that you, as the prospective purchaser, already have.  Part of the problem, I believe, of the proliferation of Home Improvement and Be your own Property Developer type TV programs that we have seen in recent years.  These give a false impression of property in general and lead people to believe that everyone is a property expert  i.e  I’ve done a bit of alteration on our house I’ll have a look for you.

There is however, no substitute for experience. All of the surveyors at Castles Surveyors are either FRICS or MRICS none of them with less than 20 years in property related matters.

So which type of survey:

 A Homebuyers Report is normally recommended for flats or more modern houses in apparently good condition.  It is what the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors terms as the ‘Economy’ report.  It is in a standard format and covers all the major elements of the property in a brief statement. It gives a clear indication by way of condition ratings to each element. It also provides a valuation.

The Building Survey is a much more detained report in a free format. It is recommended for older property or those in apparently poor condition.  It also examines the building element by element, but goes into much greater depth than the homebuyers and, if required, will provide estimated costings.  The Building Survey does not ordinarily contain a valuation.

Further information can be obtained from The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

If you have any further enquiries or we can assist in any way please do not hesitate to contact us. Anyone at Castles Surveyors would be pleased to help.

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