Why You Should Conduct a Property Survey Before Buying a Home?

Property Survey

Why Conducting a Property Survey is Important if You Are Buying a Home in London?

What is a Property Survey, and Why You Should Get One?

There are a lot of things involved when you are investing money in something as big as a home. One crucial part of the home-buying process is conducting property research. The research is called due diligence in the real estate term. It simply means that you are aware of the property’s condition, your land’s property lines and locality, and you are prepared for whatever happens.

Most people buy only 2 or 3 houses in their lifetime, and when buying the second and third time, they know the process a little better. However, for first-time buyers, the home-buying process could be overwhelming, especially when conducting due diligence.

Although it is not a legal requirement to survey a house before buying, it is strongly recommended when you are looking at an unusual or older property or one in poor condition.

What is a Property Survey?

A property survey refers to the process of assessing a particular property’s legal description and boundary lines. Surveys can help you identify and confirm already-defined land boundaries, so you can know what is yours and what isn’t. For instance, if you are considering putting up a fence around your home, you must know exactly where the boundary of your home ends and your neighbour’s begins.

Depending on where you reside, a property survey might be required. Many bridging finance in London require a copy of the property survey to ensure the property is worth the amount they are lending. In short, a survey will give you a professional opinion on the overall condition of the property, so you can make an informed decision on whether to proceed with the purchase or not.

Why Conducting Property Survey Is Crucial?

It may not seem like a big deal for some, but doing due diligence before purchasing a property can save you from committing a very costly mistake, such as constructing your home on someone else’s land. A survey will also help you assess the condition of the structure of the property as well as a large array of problems that may not be visible at first glance. Hidden damages or developing issues could lead to more costly and bigger problems down the road.

Hiring a professional surveyor can help you identify many issues, some of which are mentioned below:

  • Damp
  • Asbestos
  • Subsidence
  • Structural damage
  • Invasive plants
  • Electrical issues
  • Worm and insect infestations
  • Roof issues
  • Cluttered drains and gutters

A property survey helps buyers address these issues, enabling them to plan the budget for work needed once they move in. It can also be invaluable when you are negotiating the price of the property. If more work is needed on the property, then you can ask the seller to reduce the sale price.

4 Main Types of Property Survey

The surveys in the UK are categorised into different levels, which signify the detail and depth of the survey. Choosing the right type of survey comes down to numerous factors, such as how old the property is and how much you are willing to spend on the survey. So, let’s take a look at some of the most common types of surveys in the market today.

#1 Condition Report – Level 1

The Condition Report is classified as an RICS level one survey, which is the most basic survey and it provides just a brief report. This is the cheapest survey and it is less detailed. It describes the condition of the property, assesses any risks and potential issues, and highlights any defects that require immediate attention.

Typically, this survey is conducted on conventional and newer homes. The surveyor will inspect the inside and outside of your home and may use some equipment during the inspection. It will provide a brief assessment of the property’s condition and point out any significant issues, but will not go into detail and you will not be able to seek additional advice from the surveyor.

Condition reports are good if you just want some reassurance that the home you are buying is good enough for you to proceed with the purchase. This survey can typically cost you between £300 and £900.

#2 HomeBuyer Report – Level 2

This RICS level two home survey is suited to the homes that seem to be in a reasonable condition. For a property that appears to be only slightly older, but in a good state of repair then having this survey is advisable. The HomeBuyer Report survey is divided into two types: HomeBuyer Report (survey only) and HomeBuyer Report (survey and valuation).

HomeBuyer Report (survey only) includes all the features of Condition Report level one along with a more extensive drainage chamber and roof space inspection. You can also ask your surveyor for advice on defects that may damage your property, and what repairs and maintenance may be required.

When you opt for HomeBuyer Report (survey and valuation), it includes all the features of HomeBuyer Report (survey only) as well as a new valuation. This new valuation includes market valuation, an insurance reinstatement figure, and a list of issues that the surveyor believes could affect the value of your property to get quick bridging finance in London.

This type of survey can be beneficial in negotiating the asking price if there are big differences between the survey valuation and the real estate agent’s valuation. This survey usually starts from £400 and goes up to £1000.

#3 Building Survey – Level 3

An RICS Building Survey level 3 is the most comprehensive survey report, which is usually conducted for old, rural and unusual properties with visible signs of disrepair. The level 3 survey will include all the features of RICS HomeBuyer Report level 2, plus it provides identifiable risks and causes of potential defects that are not inspected.

This survey provides you with an in-depth analysis of the condition of the property as well as includes advice on repairs, defects, and maintenance options. The surveyor will inspect the property, prepare the Building Survey report, and send it to you.

After receiving the survey report, you can obtain advice from the surveyor regarding the report findings, which can be truly helpful in calculating the cost of repairs and renovation. This survey cost starts from £650 to £1500 or may cost even more based on the condition of the property.

Depending on the type of property development loan in London you are planning to buy, there may be some other types of surveys that you want to consider, such as listed building survey, dry rot survey, damp assessment, and new building snagging list survey.

Final Thoughts

When buying a home in London or anywhere in the UK, there is no legal requirement for conducting a survey. As a result, often buyers skip the survey in order to save money. However, we strongly advise you to have a property survey before buying a home. That is because a professional survey can save you from investing thousands of pounds on a property that could decrease in value due to hidden issues and avoid disputes with neighbours later on.