For many people, buying a home is one of the biggest decisions they will ever make. However, by failing to commission a survey before purchase, home buyers are risking potential bills running into thousands of pounds.
According to RICS [Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors] research, a quarter of all homebuyers who fail to have a survey are forced to make unplanned building works to their property after purchase*. The average bill for these works, such as damp proofing or repairing a roof, is over £1,800 – but the cost can be much higher.
A common misconception is that a mortgage lender’s valuation report represents a survey. In fact, it is merely a valuation carried out on the mortgage lender’s behalf and is not designed to highlight any potential problems with the property. By commissioning a home survey, any structural problems or urgent defects are highlighted, enabling the buyer to make an informed decision before committing to the property.
The RICS Condition Report which is offered by Collier Stevens is a new home survey which is both simple and affordable. Designed for newer properties and conventional homes, it provides a clear report on the condition of the property, plus details of urgent faults and advice for legal advisers. It does not provide an additional valuation, but sits alongside a mortgage valuation.
Alongside the Condition Report, RICS members also offer additional surveys, tailored to the type and age of a property:
- RICS Condition Report: A clear, concise picture of the property with ‘traffic light’ ratings. It shows the condition of the property, offers advice to legal advisers and highlights details of any urgent defects. The lowest priced of the surveys; it is aimed at conventional properties and newer homes.
- RICS HomeBuyer Report: Contains all the features of the Condition Report, plus a market valuation and insurance rebuild costs. It also includes advice on defects that may affect the value of the property with repairs and ongoing maintenance advice.
- Full building survey: The most comprehensive report includes defects, repair and maintenance options. Essential for larger or older properties, or if you’re planning major works.
In difficult economic times it pays to be prepared. Nobody wants to be left with a home that needs extensive repairs or one they can’t sell on. By having a survey you’ll be armed with information on the condition of the property which puts you in a stronger position to decide whether to proceed with the purchase, or negotiate a better deal. Collier Stevens, Chartered Building Surveyors offer great value building surveys in Kent and London from £450 plus VAT [we can often negotiate if we talk to you about your exact requirements]
Interestingly, other parts of the housing market are also using surveys to their benefit. For landlords this can be to assess their investments, while we are also seeing sellers turning to surveys in order to prepare for the sale of property. These highlight any problems that may potentially delay the sale or impact on the price later in the process.
- *Survey conducted for RICS by GfK NOP Business 1,001 interviews were conducted online during August 2010 with people who had bought a property in the last 12 months or were considering doing so in the next 12 months.
Image – Ben Sutherland via flickr