How important is a property survey when buying a house? – With the current turbulent market conditions pushing mortgage rates up, buyers are ever more conscious of saving money wherever possible. But be careful, if you’re considering buying a house without an in-depth survey to save money, your short-term saving could cost you long-term pain.
If you’re buying a house with a mortgage, your lender will require a basic valuation survey to confirm the house is at least worth what you’re paying for it. This can sometimes be confused with a home survey but they are two very different parts of the property buying process. The valuation survey will look at a few basic factors, like age, location and building materials but they won’t go inside and look around.
A home survey is more in-depth and will pick up on areas a valuation would never mention, things that could potentially save you money on the purchase or in the future. The survey is designed to help you decide whether to go ahead with the purchase. By skipping it you could be taking a huge risk with the home you’re buying – it really could be the most valuable thing you do!
We recommend you should always commission a Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) approved surveyor who can advise which of the three types of survey is right for you:
A basic report designed to highlight major defects in modern properties that appear in good condition.
The most popular type of survey focuses on the condition of traditional properties, highlighting defects and areas of concern. There is a section for your solicitor to raise enquiries and an independent valuation to give you confidence you’re making a good purchase.
This is the most detailed report suitable for properties that have been heavily extended, need complete refurbishment or are of non-traditional construction types. The report will describe any visible defects and outline repair options.
Whichever type of survey you go for, a survey could highlight issues that might give you a bargaining chip to renegotiate the price. Perhaps the boiler is old and in bad condition or maybe the roof needs fixing. These are all elements that a survey can identify and advise you how much they’ll cost to fix.
Ultimately, getting a survey gives you peace of mind in these volatile economic times and is something that has a special value all of its own.