Legal Eagle Column: The importance of surveys when purchasing a home

Lauren Ellis is a Conveyancing Executive at Neves and looks at the survey options provided to buyers when purchasing a property…

Buying a property is one of the most expensive purchases a person will ever make.

It is therefore important to obtain expert advice when doing so to avoid any unforeseen costs for repairs which may arise after you have moved in to the property.

A common mistake by buyers is to rely upon their Lender’s valuation to avoid incurring a further cost as the result of instructing a survey.

Many buyers do not realise that the valuation carried out by their Lender is to satisfy themselves the property is not being purchased at an undervalue or an overvalue.

The Lender’s valuation does not reveal any repairs or structural problems which a survey would uncover. The type of survey you choose to have carried out depends on the age and type of the property.

For example, it is not necessary to have a survey on a Newbuild property as it will be covered under a New Homes Warranty, whereas an older property may have experienced structural issues or even subsidence which could lead to high costs for repairs.

The types of survey can range from £250 to £1,000 depending on the type required. The most cost effective survey is a RICS Condition Report, which uses a traffic light system to highlight issues and repairs needed to the property.

A RICS Homebuyers Survey is the most popular survey and costs approximately £400 as this reveals problems such as subsidence or damp and gives suggestions for repairs.

The most expensive survey to have carried out is the Full Structural Survey, which can cost anything from £600 to £1,000. It is the most comprehensive survey which will reveal any defects, repairs and maintenance options, and will provide recommendations for further investigation if needed.

This type of survey is good for older properties or if you are planning major works. To find a Surveyor we would recommend the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RCIS) website where Surveyors local to the area can be located.

If you are moving house and need a conveyancer, please contact the team.

Call Lauren at Neves Solicitors on 01908 304560

This column was published in the September 2018 issue of Celebrate:MK lifestyle magazine. Read the full magazine above or by clicking on this link.

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