First of all, what is a property survey? In short, a property survey is where you have a qualified surveyor inspect the building you’re looking to purchase. Depending on the level of survey, the report will pick up on any major issues which need resolving. This is usually done before contracts are exchanged.
The temptation not to bother
There is a temptation not to have a survey done. This could be due to the expense or you think the searches your solicitor does is sufficient; however, these are unlikely to uncover any underlying issues with the building, which could save you thousands in the future. If problems are thrown up by the survey, this gives you the opportunity to potentially renegotiate with the vendor to either reduce the cost or have them fix the problems before the sale goes through. It also gives you the chance to change your mind.
Problems that may show up on your survey
Some of the common issues that pop up on surveys:
- Trouble with the roof
- Rot (both wet and dry)
- Wall cracks
- Old wiring
- Intrusive plants such as Japanese Knotweed
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list.
Advantages of having a survey
Hopefully, your survey won’t bring up anything too awful and the sale of your dream property can proceed. However, if it does, it gives you options.
- Surveys enable you to go into the sale with your eyes wide open.
- If you have all the potential issues in front of you, there shouldn’t be any major surprises down the line. You may be able to have the price reduced, enabling you to cover costs to right any wrongs. You will also be in a position to sort your budget and work out which issues are urgent and which aren’t.
- Many mortgage lenders require a survey to be done before they approve the loan.
- If you are wanting to renovate the property, it is helpful to know of any potential restrictions or problems with the structure. Starting a build without prior knowledge could be costly and present unexpected challenges.
- Depending on what may crop up without warning, you may find yourself with a large bill to pay or even having to temporarily move out to enable the work to be done.
Whilst a survey can be another cost, it is worth every penny to know as much as you can about your future investment. It will give you peace of mind and help prevent future financial pressures.
If you have decided to go ahead and book in a survey but unsure of which one to go for, read our homebuyer’s guide to understanding survey reports to find out more.
If you would like more information about which survey to book, please get in touch.