A house/flat is the most expensive thing that many of us will ever buy, and being a property owner is many things: empowering, anxiety-inducing, comforting – to name but a few.
One way to reduce the potential for unpleasant/costly surprises in the future is to make sure that you commission the relevant and necessary surveys.
The optimal time to get any survey done is after your initial offer has been accepted – but make sure you caveat the offer as being subject to survey and searches being acceptable.
Types of Survey
The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) outlines three main types of home buyers survey: the Condition Report (level one), HomeBuyer Report (level two), and Building Survey (level three). These options vary in-terms of costs, intrusiveness and time taken to complete.
The Condition Report, as its name suggests, involves the surveyor assessing the general condition of the property and highlighting any obvious risks, defects or potential issues. This is the cheapest and takes the least amount of time to complete. This is probably best suited to newer properties.
The next level up is the HomeBuyer Report. This is a little more detailed and is therefore more expensive and takes longer. Assessors carrying out this inspection should identify any structural issues such as damp or subsidence as well as any more general issues.
The Level 3 Building Survey is the most comprehensive of the options (and the most expensive and time-consuming). The assessor will carry out intrusive investigations and provide a highly detailed report that outlines the property’s condition, any issues and any remediation needed.
Who Should Do the Surveys?
Whichever option you go for, your survey should be carried out by a RICS surveyor – these individuals will have professional indemnity insurance and the relevant qualifications. Companies such as Sam Conveyancing use local RICS surveyors to undertake surveys for you.
Having a survey done has the potential to save a considerable amount of money. If issues are identified, then you can adjust your offer accordingly or even withdraw from the sale should you so wish. Not having a survey done leaves you open to unexpected costs and problems and may end up being seen as foolish should issues arise at a later point that could have been identified. Therefore, it is pretty clear that this is money well spent.