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Property Guide : How to choose a good Chartered Surveyor

Property Guide : How to choose a good Chartered Surveyor

Danyl Goodall, 12th April 2016

So, your offer on a property has been accepted… now what? Usually the next step for you is to arrange a survey. Although it’s not a requirement to get your own survey done, it’s most certainly advisable. One of the primary reasons to have a survey is to highlight any structural issues that the property may have in addition to any repairs that need to be carried out. This positions you to be able to negotiate with vendors to make allowances for the defects that have been identified; or maybe even reconsider purchasing the property at all.
What you will find is that your lender will almost certainly try to get you to pay for a mortgage valuation survey - however, that’s for their well being more so than yours, they want to be sure that you’re lending an amount that reflects the value of the property.
When buying a new build, you can consider going forward with just a mortgage valuation - reason being is that such properties are usually protected by a 10 year guarantee.

There are three different primary types of survey available.  :
(Ascending detail and price order) 

  • Condition report
  • Homebuyer report
  • Building survey

There main factor to consider when choosing which type of property to go far is the age of the property but if you have any doubts at all, it’s best to go for the most comprehensive one that you can afford. Over the years, we’ve found that the right survey can pay for itself numerous times over by bringing to light issues that would be way more expensive in the future, while also positioning you to re-negotiate the asking price for purchase.

Condition Report

The least comprehensive of all of the surveys. It give you an idea of the condition of the property and reveals any major issues without going into major details.
We recommend that you only use this type of survey for a modern, seemingly well maintained home. A condition report will cost you around £100-£250, you’ll get a quick overview of the home but you won’t receive any real advice or a valuation.

HomeBuyer Report

The HomeBuyer report is suitable for a wider range of properties; you’re best to consider this as your mid-range option. Generally speaking, they’ll cost you around £350 - £450. For this you’ll receive advice on any defects and maintenance requirements, insurance rebuild costs as well as a market valuation.
Don’t expect a surveyor to venture onto the roof or inspect under the floorboards but they will flag up issues like damp and subsidence in addition to any features that don’t meet the latest building regulations.
It’s a little pricier than a condition report but it’s a much better choice for older properties and will be super suitable for any modern properties that you have any concerns about. A HomeBuyer report can

Building Survey

A Building Survey is hands down the most complete report available and although they’re not cheap, they do provide you with complete peace of mind. Also referred to as a “full structural survey”, it can cost anything from £500 and above and we recommend them for older, larger properties that sometimes have an array of issues even when they’re beautiful to look at.

This survey provides you with a comprehensive breakdown of the properties structure and condition in addition to expected time and cost that it would take to sort out any of the problems found.

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"Andrew, thanks for the calls yesterday - always seems a little stressful at the end ... I would like to pass on our sincere thanks to you and your team for the help and advice to see the sale of the house successfully concluded."

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