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Buying a New Home? A Guide to Homebuyer Surveys

If you are considering purchasing a new home, it’s absolutely recommended that you commission a pre-purchase property survey. Homebuyer surveys are a good way to avoid any unexpected costs further down the line.

If you’re in the process of buying a new property, a homebuyer survey for a house or flat will give you an idea of just how much you might need to invest in a property after you buy it. So there are no nasty surprises later on down the line!

Buying a New Home - A Guide to Homebuyer Surveys
Buying a New Home? A Guide to Homebuyer Surveys

The Different Types of Homebuyer Surveys

It’s important to stress the importance of emphasis on how a homebuyer survey should be chosen based on the condition of a property, and not on the cost of a survey.

Any money you spend on appointing a professional to survey your home can ultimately save you a fortune in the long run! With that in mind, here are the different types of property survey you should consider;

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Condition Report

A condition report details the overall condition of a home. It identifies any risks and potential legal issues you may face as a result of purchasing a property and highlights any urgent issues.

It’s most appropriate for new-build and conventional homes in a generally good condition; no advice or valuation is provided with a condition report.

Homebuyer Report

A HomeBuyer Report is a property survey which is most suitable for conventional properties which are in a reasonable condition. To summarise, a HomeBuyer Report will help you find out if there are any structural problems with your potential new home.

Some of the issues that can arise from a survey of this kind include; subsidence, damp, and other unwanted issues inside or outside the property. On occasion, a HomeBuyer Report may also include a valuation of your property.

It’s important to be aware that a HomeBuyer Report doesn’t look beyond the floorboards or behind the walls.

Building Survey

Also known as Structural Surveys, a Building Survey involves a more comprehensive, analysis and assessment of the inside and outside of a property’s structure, including aesthetic aspects.

It’s heavily advisable to arrange for a Building Survey if your property is old, made of unconventional material (like thatch or timber), or if it has had structural alterations in the past.

Similarly, it is recommended to commission a Building Survey if you intend to make structural changes once you’re moved in.

Other Types of Homebuyer Surveys

  • Mortgage Valuation Survey

A Mortgage Valuation Survey is typically organised by your mortgage lender and paid for by you. The sole aim of a mortgage valuation is to satisfy the lender that your desired property is worth the price you’re paying.

It’s important to note that a Mortgage Valuation Survey will not make you aware of any repair work or home renovations that will need to be undertaken. On occasion, lenders will offer valuations free with a mortgage.

  • HomeBuyers Drain Survey

When purchasing a new home, it’s very easy to overlook something like the condition of your drains systems. Just as with leaving any other property issues unchecked, it can be very costly not to be in the know.

Especially, if you have been made aware of any previous blockages or issues with drains. A standard structural survey will not cover a look into your drains, so it’s recommended as a part of the pre-purchase process to organise for a CCTV Drain Survey.

A CCTV Drain Survey is a detailed look into your drainage systems, using specialist sewer cameras. An engineer will capture CCTV footage of your pipes, export the footage for you to keep, and give you recommendations on what steps to take next.

It’s recommended that you contact a professional drain survey company, such as Quick Clear Drainage in London to organise for a detailed look into your pipework before purchasing a property.

Organising a Property Survey

To arrange for a property survey of any kind, it’s advisable to look out for the best provider in your area. Look at accreditations (Such as RICS Chartered Surveyors) and personal recommendations, not a price! As previously mentioned, it cannot be said enough; A HomeBuyer Survey will save you money in the long run – So it’s a worthwhile investment to make!

Similarly, it’s beneficial to ask your estate agent – but bear in mind that they may receive a commission from their recommendation, that could increase your cost.

Another recommendation could come from your conveyancer or solicitor, but they might receive a commission which could increase your cost too. You can also find RICS Chartered Surveyors on the RICS website.

Contact local chartered surveyors in your area to find out how they can help you organise a pre-purchase HomeBuyers Survey.

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