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The Basics of a Survey and House Inspection

It is important to evaluate if a survey and house inspection is required when purchasing a home. In spite of the fact that surveys aren’t legally mandated, it’s strongly recommended that you have a complete evaluation of a property before you sign any documents.

An inspection of the house is usually done after an offer has been agreed upon and facilitates identifying any structural concerns with the property. What house surveyors look for when they visit a home is the focus here.

The house survey

The survey is analogous to your car’s annual MOT inspection, but for the property. Inspecting a home for structural concerns, including subsidence, cracks, unstable walls, moisture, or broken roofing, is the responsibility of a surveyor. A competent surveyor will also inspect drains, view the loft and look for asbestos or lead pipes. These are things that homebuyers seldom think about. The surveyors’ report will offer information on the things that will need to be fixed.

Additional information on the property, such as the kind of glazing and structural makeup, will also be supplied. After an offer has been accepted, it is generally the house buyer who schedules and pays for the survey.

Do you know the difference between a mortgage valuation and a home inspection?

Home surveys are distinct from mortgage appraisals, so keep that in mind. For buyers, the mortgage provider will come to the property to assess its value. This will allow the mortgage provider to determine whether the property is valuable enough to merit granting you a mortgage as the buyer.

Surveys and House Inspections - property

Expect to pay around £350, but there are certain lenders that will offer the estimate free of charge. So it’s worth shopping around.

Who is responsible for conducting property inspections?

There are times when it may be necessary to hire a certified surveyor in order to do a health check on the property. An RICS-registered home surveyor has professional indemnity insurance, making them a prudent choice. Such surveyors are familiar with the local market and have expertise in evaluating properties similar to yours, which makes them an excellent choice for a home appraisal in your region.

The cost of a house survey ranges and is determined by the size of the property you’re considering purchasing and the services you require. You could also expect to pay extra for the services of a surveyor who is familiar with eccentric properties if you are making an offer on an unusual property, such as a historical building.

Are property inspections required?

As a buyer, you are not required to have a survey done. Any real estate agent or mortgage provider should not force you to get one or put undue pressure on you. It is strongly advised  that you do this to prevent buying what you believe is your dream house, only to discover that it has a host of problems. Investing a small amount at the start might save you a small fortune in the long run; it will give you peace of mind.

If the survey reveals any problems, it will provide you with a basis for negotiating the price accordingly. Before you buy, you may also request to rectify any issues that the survey has highlighted.

Surveys come in various forms and your choice  depends on things like your budget and how thorough you want your survey to be. A thorough property inspection is preferred by some buyers of older houses due to a greater likelihood of issues, but a less thorough inspection may be required by buyers of newer homes.

Buyers tend to favour the Homebuyers Survey option the most, according to RICS. This sort of survey can be done either with or without a valuation attached.  It costs in excess of £350 for a survey-only option, which will report on any obvious problems, such as rot and subsidence. However, it’s important to note that any structural issues that aren’t readily apparent will not be noted by the surveyor.

The cost of a home condition survey ranges from £400 to £900. Rather than the RICS, the Residential Property Surveyors Association offers this sort of survey. This involves a  detailed structural assessment, as well as information on damp, borders, and internet speeds.

The building survey

In addition, the RICS offers building surveys. Even though they are the most costly choice (upwards of £500), they are the most thorough, and so nothing will be omitted in their inspection. The surveyor will inspect attics and basements, as well as ceilings, subfloors, and walls. Besides identifying repairs that need to be made, the final report will also include the related time and costs.

Does it make sense to get a home survey done before buying a new build?

It is a little different when it comes to newly built houses. Most companies charge between £300 and £600 for a snagging survey prior to the swap. Some new home builders will want to hire a specific snagging survey firm. You may, however, choose a surveyor who has no links to the development for extra confidence.

Before you move in, the snagging survey will uncover problems that need to be addressed. Small problems, such as misaligned plug sockets or poorly fitted doors that drag on the carpet, will be brought to light by this sort of inspection. Once you’ve moved in, you may also have a snagging survey done if it wasn’t practicable to do so prior.


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