Having an independent and comprehensive survey by a qualified surveyor could significantly reduce future expenditure and the risks of property purchase. Most qualified surveyors are members of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and it is recommended that you use a RICS qualified surveyors as they carry professional indemnity insurance. Furthermore, if you use a local surveyor they are most likely to have a better knowledge of the local market values and any environmental issues to be considered.
Nearly 80% of UK property sales in the UK go ahead without a survey of any kind and given the financial costs involved this is a very risky prospect.
In comparison, it is very unlikely that you would purchase a car without an MOT, odd considering the vast differences in price!
There are many different types of survey available.
We would simply recommend at least a Home Buyer Report and valuation on any property or for more peace of mind a full building survey.
The costs of any survey can be looked at as an insurance policy and should any defects be found the costs to put right can potentially be negotiated off the price of the property you are looking to purchase.
What is a Homebuyers Report?
This is a detailed survey and it will tell you obvious major problems such as rot or subsidence. It indcludes a valuation and an insurance reinstatement value (rebuild cost for which your home is insured in case of total loss). It is worth bearing in mind that the surveyor will be non-intrusive, they will not look behind furniture or drill any holes.
What is a Building Survey?
This report is a more detailed report and they are valuable if you are looking at a very old, unusual, listed, timber framed or thatched property. It is also advised that a Building Survey is carried out if you are choosing to have serious building works. The surveyor will get into the attic (if deemed to be safe), check behind walls and look between floors and above ceilings.
What is a Private Valuation?
A Private Valuation can be carried our if you do not require a mortgage and therefore will not be having an inspection carried out on behalf of a lender. You may wish to have a Private Valuation if you are currently in a shared ownership property where you wish to buy out the third party.
For specialist advice or specific enquiries please refer to https://www.rics.org/uk/
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