Buying A Property – What Type Of Survey Do I Need?

I am buying my first property and have been told I need a survey.  What is this and why do I need one?

The purpose of a house survey is to help you find out about the condition of the building.  If the house survey identified any problems it gives you a powerful tool to negotiate the price downwards to take into account the cost of fixing the problem or it enables you to ask the seller to fix the problem for you.

What type of Survey should I go for?

There are several types of survey you can choose.  The basis inspection is a Mortgage valuation.  This is usually undertaken by your Mortgage Lender before a Mortgage offer is issued.  It is important to remember, a Mortgage Valuation is not a proper house survey.  It is carried out on your Mortgage Lender’s behalf and usually for their benefit (despite the fact you will have to pay for it).

The most basis property survey is a ‘RICS Condition Report’.  This will give you an overview of the condition of the building and will highlight significant issues about which you need to be aware.  It does not go into detail, but will give you traffic light ratings as to the condition.

The next type of property survey is the RICS HomeBuyer’s Report.  This is more detailed than a condition report and will highlight problems such as damp and subsidence.  The HomeBuyer’s report is not an intrusive report (the Surveyor will not look under floorboards or look behind furniture) but will include a market valuation.

The most thorough survey you can have is a RICS Building Survey.  This provides a comprehensive analysis of the structure and condition of the building.

What is the cost?

The cost of a survey depends on which type of survey you decide to go for, how big your house is and the price you are paying for it.  An average cost for a Home Buyer’s report can start from £350.00 and go up to as much as £950.00.  An average costs for a building survey can start from £500.00 and go up to as much as £1500.00.  You would need to talk with a RICS Surveyor to get a better indication of the cost.

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