Sifting through survey options when buying a property

July 23, 2016

When buying a property, it can be difficult to work out which survey it’s best to go for, especially if you are not too sure what the differences are. According to The Money Advice Service, one in five homebuyers rely only on the mortgage valuation before purchasing a property. A mortgage valuation is not a survey and will not highlight any potential issues in the property. It is only used by the mortgage lender to confirm the property is worth the amount of money you are asking to borrow to buy it. Not having a more comprehensive survey completed prior to purchase can potentially lead to some nasty surprises further down the line. Below are the different types of property surveys available, and what they include;

Condition Report – This is the most basic survey, it gives an overview of the general condition of the property, and will raise significant problems, but will not include much detail. A traffic light system is used to rate the condition of different parts of the property. The average cost is  £250*

Homebuyers’ Report –  A non-intrusive, surface level report, the surveyor will not look under floors or behind furniture. This report includes more detail than a condition report and will highlight such problems as subsidence and damp. It will also include advice on any repairs and maintenance that needs doing as well as point out anything that doesn’t meet current building regulations. The homebuyers report includes a market valuation and costs to rebuild. Average cost starts around £400*

Home Condition Survey – Includes as much detail as a Homebuyers Report but does not include the market valuation. It uses a clear and easy to understand 1 2 3 rating system that makes it easy to see what needs attention. With a Home Condition Survey, you will usually get some advice sheets on how to seal with some of the common problems found at the property. Average cost is £400 to £500*

Full Structural or Building Survey –  The most comprehensive survey available, the full structural survey gives a comprehensive analysis of the structure and condition of the property. It will provide a list of defects and give advice on repairs and maintenance. If you have a particular area of concern with a property, you can request that the surveyor check it over. You can also ask for the cost and timings of any repair works to be included. Average cost is upwards of £600*

New-Build Snagging Survey – The idea of this report is to identify any defects in new build properties from minor cosmetic issued to structural problems. The report can be used to give to your developer and get any potential issues sorted out before you move in. Average cost is around £300* dependant on size of the property.

It may seem tempting to go for a cheaper, less thorough survey. However, if you consider the huge investment you are about to make in your property, and how costly it may be to discover any problems after you’ve bought the property, it is actually worth the time and money to get a comprehensive survey, and peace of mind.

If you are looking to buy or sell and would like more information on the most appropriate survey  get in touch with your local Northwood office.

To find your local Northwood office, please click >>> here.

Northwood is one of the largest and most recognised estate agents in the U.K. and the leading supplier of Guaranteed Rent to give landlords complete peace of mind.

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*Prices quoted from Money Advice Service as at August 2016

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