When it comes to buying property, ask yourself this: do you really have a fair idea of what you are getting into? More specifically, do you know the actual condition of the property you are planning to purchase? Whilst you may think that a mortgage valuation report is enough (as it assesses the value of the property and tells you whether you are paying the right price for it), you need more than this. About one in five property buyers rely only on a valuation report for their mortgage and not on an actual and more detailed building survey when purchasing property.
If you want to get a good deal and not end up paying for extensive repairs and replacements down the line, it is necessary for you to get a building survey. There are different types of building surveys, but the survey you choose should depend on your estimate of the property’s condition and not on the expense of the survey itself. Even if a survey may set you back a few pounds now, this is nothing compared to what you can save on repairs in the future.
The different surveys you should know about
- The condition report
Compared to all the building surveys available, the condition report is the most basic and simplest one. The condition report, whilst cheaper than other building surveys, is just as its name implies: a report on the property. The condition report is often more suited to ordinary homes in relatively good condition or new-build properties rather than older properties. A condition report does not come with valuation or advice.
- The homebuyer’s survey or report
The homebuyer’s survey or report is suitable for average or conventional pieces of property in relatively reasonable or good condition. With a homebuyer’s survey, you can find out if the property has any issues with its structure (such as damp or subsidence), and other issues or problems both external and internal. The homebuyer’s survey, however, does not look deeper into a property’s issues. Some homebuyer’s surveys can include a valuation on the property, which may help you re-negotiate a better price if the valuation is less than the valuation of your mortgage lender. If the survey does not include a valuation, you can make use of the report’s repair suggestions to negotiate a lower price.
- The full structural or building survey
This type of survey is the most comprehensive of the property surveys out there, and it is suited to all kinds of domestic properties, but especially for older properties. The full structural building survey includes pertinent details on the property, including the surveyor’s recommendations on repairs and their opinions on prospective or potential unknown defects, as confirmed by the chartered surveyors Essex firm Cheke & Co.