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. However, by failing to commission a building survey or homebuyer report before purchase, home buyers are risking potential bills running into thousands of pounds.

According to RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) research, a quarter of all homebuyers who fail to have a survey are forced to make unplanned building works to their property after purchase*. The average bill for these works, such as damp proofing or repairing a roof, is over £1,800 – but the cost can be much higher.

A common misconception is that a mortgage lender’s valuation report represents a house survey. In fact, it is merely a valuation carried out on the mortgage lender’s behalf and is not designed to highlight any potential problems with the property. By commissioning a building survey, any structural problems or urgent defects are highlighted, enabling the buyer to make an informed decision before committing to the property.

The level 2 ISVA Homesurvey Report which is offered by Collier Stevens is similar to an RICS HomeBuyer Report and is home survey which is both simple and affordable. Designed for newer properties and conventional homes, it provides a clear report on the condition of the property, plus details of urgent faults and advice for legal advisers. It does not provide an additional valuation.

The level 3 full building survey also offered by Collier Stevens – the most comprehensive report includes defects, repair and maintenance options. Essential for larger or older properties, or if you’re planning major works.

In difficult economic times it pays to be prepared. Nobody wants to be left with a home that needs extensive repairs or one they can’t sell on. By having a survey you’ll be armed with information on the condition of the property which puts you in a stronger position to decide whether to proceed with the purchase, or negotiate a better deal – like this person did.  Collier Stevens, Chartered Building Surveyors offer great value building surveys and homebuyer reports in Kent and London. Get in touch for a quote. or if you need some quick advice from a surveyor send this quick enquiry with a phone number of you want us to contact you.

Interestingly, other parts of the housing market are also using surveys to their benefit. For landlords this can be to assess their investments, while we are also seeing sellers turning to surveys in order to prepare for the sale of property. These highlight any problems that may potentially delay the sale or impact on the price later in the process.

*Survey conducted for RICS by GfK NOP Business 1,001 interviews were conducted online during August 2010 with people who had bought a property in the last 12 months, or were considering doing so in the next 12 months.

(Originally published by Steven Way, 30 June 2011)