Getting a Survey – Surveys explained.
House buyers are advised to have a mortgage in place before they start looking for suitable properties. Usually this will be an “agreement in principle” which says the buyer is eligible for a mortgage and will give a maximum on the amount that can be borrowed.
The next step is to identify a house that is within the price range and to make an offer. If the offer is accepted you can then apply to the mortgage company for the finance, and at this point the lender will require a valuation survey to assure itself that the house is worth the asking price.
The valuation survey will not tell the potential purchaser anything about the condition of the property and to avoid nasty and costly surprises later it is advisable to have the house properly surveyed.
This is part of the upfront expenses of buying a house since the purchaser has to pay for this work and there are several levels of survey to choose from:
For new homes only, it can be a good idea to have a Condition Report. This provides an objective overview of the property’s condition of the property, and should highlight any areas of major concern. It will not give any great detail, however. Condition Reports usually cost between £100 and £250.
Home Buyer’s Report
Suitable for both modern and older properties, a homebuyer’s report is more detailed than a condition report. It is an intermediate level survey that will highlight any problems such as damp, subsidence or necessary repairs. This type of survey takes two to four hours to complete and will cost in the region of £500-£600 for a house valued at up to £249,000. It will not, however, identify any less obvious problems.
This is the most comprehensive, and costly type of survey and will look in detail at the structure and condition of the property as well as advising on necessary repairs. It is particularly important when buying an older property or one that is in poor condition. Cost is likely to be £700-£800 for a house valued at up to £249,000. It can be useful if you are prepared to and can afford to spend some money on renovation but want to negotiate a lower purchase price.