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house survey

Whether you are buying an old property or even a new build home, it’s important to have a survey carried out as soon as you begin the conveyancing process. A survey helps to establish the condition of the building and ensure there are no underlying problems and that the condition reflects the asking price.

Once a survey is done, it allows you to budget for any work that may need carrying out in the future, but initially helps you to negotiate the final asking price based on the findings from the survey. Surprisingly a home survey is not necessary in order to get a mortgage, despite it being an essential factor in buying property. A mortgage valuation is what is needed to secure a mortgage, which is normally arranged by the lender but this only clarifies the home is worth at least what is being borrowed, and doesn’t confirm any need for repair. Therefore it is important not to confuse the two. Your mortgage lender can do an independent survey whilst carrying out the valuation but you will be responsible for the cost of this, as well as the cost of the valuation.

There are also different types of surveys you can have on your property. A homebuyer’s report generally covers structural safety and identifies more major problems such as damp or things that do not meet building regulations along with a valuation and usually takes a couple of hours for a thorough survey to be carried out.

A building survey is usually carried out on older properties or properties with non-standard construction, and gives a much more detailed report on the condition of the property and anything that needs further investigation. A building survey can take up to a day to complete but it is important to note it doesn’t include a valuation as with other surveys.

Another survey available is known as a home condition survey that also doesn’t include a valuation, it is carried out by inspectors accredited by SAVA. This checks for potential problems that may need further investigation and also establishes what a rebuild cost would be for insurance purposes.

A new-build snagging survey is a specialist survey that is used for new build properties to inspect mistakes. This could include anything from poorly finished paintwork to plumbing or other defects. An inspector can also arrange for any defects found to be rectified.

It is important to establish which survey is more suitable for you and your properties needs and whether you also need a valuation. An energy performance certificate is also essential for selling a property, which gives information of the property’s energy efficiency. When purchasing a property, the estate agent should have a copy of this for you to look at. Although a survey isn’t a legal requirement, it is important to consider getting the correct one carried out in order to highlight any current problems or problems that may need further investigation, as well as having the mortgage valuation. This will help to avoid any nasty surprises, but more importantly ensure your property is structurally sound.

by Cormac Henderson

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