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All things necessary for a successful survey when buying a house


A professional quality survey is all the difference between peace of mind and bad deal. Never underestimate the benefits of good survey. Expert eyes can notice every detail and all things major and minor are put onto information table for you to decide better.


If you are about to mortgage your property, your lender will use a service to value the property. Though it does help you as well to evaluate the value, it is more for the lender's concern about the product they are about to invest in and what are the risks involved. In other words, it's for lenders peace of mind. Another better use of this money being paid for evaluation is to upgrade it into a detailed survey instead. Mostly it's a small fraction more but benefits are huge and you do not have to get one done separately.

Always try to hire an independent and reputable surveyor rather than just a standard service provider for your lender who has a set of things to observe only and serves only that purpose. A well reputable surveyor will have their own set of checks and observations list and could satisfy both, your lender and you as well.

A correct valuation / survey could even save you money by identifying problems. If there are problems and evaluation is lower than asking price, you can always renegotiate inline with costs involved for fixtures and upgrades. As a consequence, your whole loan amount could be reduced as well.

If you opt for a survey, it is better to know the types and benefits. Following is a brief description and links for further information.

__RICS Condition Report __ A Condition Report is a very basic ‘traffic light’ survey, cheapest of all and costs around £250, very much suitable for new-build and homes in good condition. No advice or valuation is provided in this survey.

__Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) HomeBuyer Report. __

The HomeBuyer Report is in details. It contains sections to make it easy to understand and also uses a traffic light system to explain what repairs are necessary. It is most popular type of survey, and the standard choice for most people with properties that are in a good condition.

__Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Building Survey. __ The building survey on the other hand is a good option if you’re buying a property that's over 50 years old and or is in not in good condition. Also it is worth spending money on this if you’re planning to do significant improvements. Following are estimated costs of surveys based on property value.

| Header | Up to £99,000 | £100,000 - £249,000 | £250,000 - £349,000 | £350,000 - £499,000 | £500000.00+ | | ---------- | ---------- | ---------- | ---------- | ---------- | ---------- | | HomeBuyer's report | £350 | £500 | £600 | £700 | £900 | | Building survey | £500 | £700 | £800 | £900 | £1300 |

For more details about survey visit Buying a house - House surveys explained

If there are problems or complexities, surveyors will often be able to direct you in the right direction for improvements and further calculations. These further evaluations will help you plan for longer term and provide a clearer picture investment.

__What to do if problems are identified ? __ The goal of getting a survey done should not only be to uncover grey areas so that you can negotiate pricing. Not all jobs are for every one and getting a cheaper property with lot of improvement needed is not every one's cup of tea. If problems are uncovered, you can discuss them in in detail after the survey is carried out and ask questions about things to understand them better. This is about your money and home not being curios or speaking up could result in waste of time and money later on. Most common issues are:

  • Heating systems
  • Electrical wirings
  • Insulation and roof conditions
  • Flooring

Remember it’s not just about cost but also the time, stress and amount of upheaval that repair work will cause. Remember, only time to walk away is before the deal and you haven't signed one yet!

__Where to find a surveyor __

With the advancements of online tools and technology, you should always read reviews and also consider ratings of a service provider. Alongwith, ensure that your surveyor is a member of a recognised governing body like the Residential Property Surveyors Association (RPSA) or Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. You can also

surveys and evaluations