When purchasing a property, you may be tempted not to request an in depth survey by a surveyor in a big to perhaps save some money. Buying a house is a big step and an even bigger, long term investment that can turn around to bite you if not handled properly. So why trip at the final hurdle? Here is why you should not rely on a simple Mortgage Valuation and should instead hire a professional surveyor.
The difference between your own judgement and the opinion of a professional is that surveyors are trained to spot certain defects and certain warning signs. While you may be very observant and have a good eye for cracks in the walls, condensation etc. when viewing a property you can be subject to some scrutiny by the estate agent/previous tenant following you around and it can be easy to miss some things. As a surveyor has extensive experience in this area, they are not likely to miss certain things and can conduct a more detailed inspection on what they know to be potential problem areas.
A Mortgage Valuation
In all reality, a mortgage valuation is required but in no way does it benefit the buyer of the property. It is normally conducted in order to let the bank know that the property in question provides sufficient security for their investment to be worthwhile and is conducted solely for the benefit of the lender. In some cases a Mortgage Valuation may be no more than a ‘drive by’ assessment of the property, whereby the buyer is not even notified of the valuation having taken place.
A Mortgage Valuation does not go into any detail as to the condition of the property, or any potential problem areas, therefore a more detailed survey is always recommended to make sure potential buyers know just what they are getting themselves into.
Homebuyers Report or Building Condition Survey?
The difference between these two reports is mainly due to the age of the property itself. While a HomeBuyers Report is often recommended for newer properties and more modern properties, a Building Condition Survey is often done on older properties, historic properties and properties of a non-traditional or altered structure. A building condition survey is also often considered to be a more in depth report, as it looks at the foundations of the property in addition to all visible and accessible elements of the property.
Both reports will conduct a thorough analysis of the property in question, looking at all visible and accessible areas, including walls, ceilings, electronics, the roof, etc. The report will list any potential or major defects found by the professional surveyor, as well as sometimes providing advice on what can be done to repair these defects.
Some reports will also provide a rundown of the costs required to make these reparations and this is where the survey really shines. By getting an approximate idea of any reparation costs, you can outset them against what you may have saved on not getting a survey done and see whether or not the property is worth your investment after all. By getting this knowledge before you commit to buy, you have a more in depth understanding of what may need doing to get the property back into shape, and this may affect your final decision.
Short Term Profit, Long Term Damages
Some people will harp on about surveyors being an expensive and unnecessary service, but you can be playing a very real lottery every time you purchase a new property. A property that may look new and shiny could just have been renovated recently, with only the bare minimum done to it to make it look brand spanking new. Irreparable roof damage and damp can be easily covered with some plasterboard and a few coats of paint and you would never know until it is too late.
Whether your property is new or old, looks spotless or looks a little worse for wear, it is always recommended that you get a professional surveyor to conduct an in depth report, as you never know what defects may be lying beneath the surface. It is better to be a couple of hundred pounds out of pocket and know for sure that the property you are interested in is in good shape and in no need for repair, than to potentially ‘save’ money only to have to fork out hundreds, sometimes even thousands of pounds worth of repairs for hidden, previously unnoticeable defects. It all works out for the best in the long run, so don’t take that risk and ask a professional surveyor for their opinion today.
Article provided by Chartex, a firm of Chartered Surveyors specialising in commercial property consultancy offering a combination of national contacts and excellent local knowledge in and around Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire.