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Which survey and why?

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Which survey and why?

If you’ve found your dream home, make sure it is structurally sound before you get completely carried away. 20% of homebuyers rely solely on a mortgage valuation report according to The Money Advice Business and are seduced by the charm of a property, overlooking cracks, peeling paint, loose tiles and poor plumbing.

When you’re already investing a great deal of money, a survey might seem an unnecessary expense, but the cost of a survey could save you thousands of pounds and emotional angst in the long run. It could even let you renegotiate the purchase price or withdraw from a potentially disastrous purchase financially. Awareness of potential issues before you buy enables you to make informed decisions and, if necessary, budget for repairs.

Mortgage lenders will usually insist on a Mortgage Valuation Report to ensure your chosen property is worth what you’re paying – or at least the amount it’s lending – before they approve your mortgage. A valuation is just that - a surveyor will check the property and assess the value based on its general condition, the value of homes recently sold in the area and the buoyancy of the housing market. You may not receive a copy of the report and are instead advised to commission your own survey. Both the Consumers’ Association ‘Which?’ magazine and the Council of Mortgage Lenders give this advice because the mortgage valuation report is prepared for your lender – not for you. It answers the lender’s questions about whether the property offers suitable security for your loan but not questions that concern your personal interests or details of the property’s condition.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) offers a range of inspection reports. Homebuyer Report or Building Survey, both are carried out by chartered surveyors. You will need to choose the right survey for your needs; ideally one that’s based on the condition of the property, not on the cost of the survey.

When you employ a RICS qualified surveyor directly you will be issued with a survey report, and own the details of the survey, allowing you to negotiate accordingly. Frosts surveyors are members of The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), qualified to carry out reports and surveys on residential property and land but do not survey any properties sold through The Frost Partnership due to conflict of interest. They will be pleased to act for you when you purchase in any other circumstances.

In the event that your RICS Homebuyer report or RICS Building survey uncovers problems, don’t panic! Most surveys find some issues, especially in older properties. The most common issues include damp, roofing, central heating faults, electrical installation; complications which will need the services of additional contractors. If structural faults are found this may require further advice from a structural engineer. Find out if any problems are still under a guarantee, calculate the cost implications and use any estimates to renegotiate the price or ask the seller to fix the issues before you complete the purchase. Bear in mind that it’s not just about cost but also the upheaval of repair work.

In addition to RICS Homebuyer Report and RICS Building Surveys, The Frost Partnership surveyors can also offer advice in respect of: access rights and boundary disputes, expert witness reports, building replacement cost reports, lease extensions, valuation reports for matrimonial and probate/inheritance tax purposes, party wall matters, compulsory purchase, and schedules of dilapidation and condition. For more information see our website or email .

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