How to choose the right home survey for your needs

Every home is unique and special to its owner, but a purchaser needs to be sure that the building is in good order and will be a boon rather than a millstone after what is likely to be a significant financial commitment. How is this achieved? By commissioning a home survey.

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Is a survey really needed?

It is not a legal requirement, although if purchasing with mortgage assistance, your lender will carry out a valuation of the property. A new build home will come with a 10 year warranty from the builders which will largely take the place of a home buyer survey. For all other properties a survey can prove highly valuable, particularly on older or more idiosyncratic properties. Lobbying is currently taking place to reduce the jargon and potential for confusion in home buyer surveys to make them more reader-friendly.

Types of survey

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors offers three main types of home buyer survey;

a) Condition Report. This will check the basic condition of the building and services and will flag any significant issues that require investigation/remedy. The cost is property-value dependent and prices usually start at £250.

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b) Homebuyers Report. This is a more extensive survey and costs more. A property valuation may be included. The cost starts at £450 pounds approximately, including a valuation. It is normally suitable for most modern and older houses in good condition.

c) Building survey. This is the most comprehensive and will additionally include a thorough inspection and report on the property condition and a detailed summary of the defects and repairs options. It is usually suitable for large, older or quirkier houses.

Looking at the capital as a case in point, a purchaser should carefully consider a home buyers survey London average house prices being in the region of £425,000. Surveyors and solicitors are both competing for business and so a purchaser should shop around for competitive quotes from both. Using local solicitors such as employing local knowledge and contacts can help at the start and throughout the process.

There is a wealth of assistance available to help a purchaser in a jargon-filled world. When weighing up options, you should bear carefully in mind the nature of the property itself, any deadlines you might be under and, of course, cost.

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