Advice Hub: ISVA Report (Level 2)

Do you need an ISVA Report (Level 2) (or a Homebuyer Report) conducted when you buy a house? These articles highlight the importance of the Independent Surveyors and Valuers Association Report for people buying a property. The ISVA (Level 2) is not a detailed survey and focuses only on significant and urgent matters and is generally more suitable for newer properties built after 1970. These articles help you understand what it is and whether it is right for you.

new home survey

How do homebuyers know which survey to have and how do you find the right surveyor?

For a home buyer it can be difficult to know where to start in the property market, and if you’re a first-time buyer it can be a minefield. Buying a new home is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make, yet one thing that isn’t always top of the agenda is making sure you get a house that’s worth the investment. Excitement can sometimes override realism, especially if you’re a first-time buyer, but even for those on their third … Read more...

Building Surveys & Homebuyer Reports

The importance of a building survey or homebuyer report

For many people, buying a home is one of the biggest decisions they will ever make so it makes sense to have the property inspected by an independent expert. Unless you are totally confident in the condition and construction of your intended purchase, failing to commission a building survey or homebuyer report means you could risk potential bills running into thousands of pounds. Think for a minute – when you viewed, did you lift the inspection chamber lids to check … Read more...

how long does a building survey take

How long does a building survey or homebuyer report take?

One of the most common questions we are asked is: “How long does a building survey or Homebuyer report take?”

The answer is usually: “It depends.” It can take anything from 1.5 to 6 or more hours, depending on the property, then our report is usually back to you within five working dates, quicker if you have an urgent requirement.

The time taken always varies based on the size and type of the house, the age of the property, the … Read more...

Asbestos health risks image

Asbestos in houses

Asbestos is identified in quite a few of the properties in which we undertake surveys. We particularly find it in those houses that were built between 1930 and 1980 and older flat conversions. Asbestos can appear in the most unlikely of places. Care needs to be taken if you have it, or suspect you have it, in your home.

Where is asbestos found in houses?

Generally speaking, we most often find asbestos in houses in the following locations:

  • Roof soffits
refurbished bedroom

When is an independent survey, not a survey…

There are a couple of instances when you may be told you have had an independent survey – but that may not necessarily be a as independent as you think, or actually a survey. Here’s why…

  1. When it’s a mortgage valuation survey – The valuation only tells the mortgage company they can lend you the money. You might not actually even see the ‘survey’. An independent private building survey commissioned by you, for you, will tell you plenty and the
surveyors - chartered surveyors - london, kent

Surveyor or Chartered Surveyor?

Not all surveyors are equal – anyone can call themselves a surveyor. It’s not a protected title like architect or solicitor. And because anyone can call themselves a surveyor they can do so with no training at all, that means they may know nothing, something or everything about their specialist field but you won’t know that when you commission them.

The chap who measures for your double glazing – the window company’s “surveyor” – probably can use a tape measure, … Read more...

defective and broken sash window in need of repair, timber decay

Buying a house with sash windows?

Double hung timber sash windows look great on older or period homes, but they can be draughty and offer poor thermal performance, assuming you want to keep them and not replace them with modern double glazed units (we wouldn’t unless they look the part!). Then there are a number of things to keep your eyes open for when you are viewing. There are many defects that will reduce the life and performance of the window and require expenditure to correct.… Read more...

artex asbestos ceiling - surveyors report

Textured ceilings – the asbestos risk

Although much less used now than once textured coatings such as those manufactured by Artex remain on many ceilings throughout the UK. We have also seen when carrying out our property surveys similar products applied to walls and then emulsion painted. In fact it is estimated that around 8 million homes have an Artex finish somewhere.

Textured ceiling featured image

Until the early 1980s Artex type products contained very low volumes of asbestos, we usually advice clients that it may be present but needs … Read more...

new Homes on estate - do i need a survey

Buying a new build home – do I need a survey?

The last few years has seen a big increase in the number of new housing estates going up in the area surrounding Collier Stevens’ Hythe and Chislehurst offices. This isn’t just a localised phenomenon. It’s happening across the UK. We are often asked why a building survey of a new build home is worthwhile.

More often than not, when someone buys a new build home the idea of having a survey seems silly. After all, it’s brand new. What worries … Read more...