Burnetts logo

Surveys - Avoiding hidden surprises

Surveys - Avoiding hidden surprises

Natalie Clifford explains the types of survey that can be carried out to help new home buyers avoid unforeseen and costly repairs.

When you come to buy a new home, it is likely to be the highest value purchase that you will make within your lifetime. Therefore, it is important to ensure that what you are purchasing is a true reflection of what you believe it to be. 

On average, a homebuyer will spend a total of £5,750 on repairs once they have purchased and moved into their new property (RICS). This will often be an unwelcomed and unexpected expense, and something which will have undoubtedly been omitted from your original financial budget.

In order to avoid this, more purchasers are opting for a Survey to be carried out on the property at the outset of the matter. Surveys help to identify any problems in relation to the property including those which may be costly to fix.

Types of Survey

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) offer three main types of survey:-

RICS Condition Report

This is the lowest priced survey, offering a basic investigation, and is most commonly used for new homes. This survey will reveal the condition of the property and highlight major and urgent defects.

RICS HomeBuyer Report

This survey covers all aspects of the Condition Report and offers further advice on defects, repairs and maintenance. The HomeBuyer Report may also include a market valuation and insurance rebuild costs.

RICS Building Survey

This is the most expensive survey and is aimed at old buildings which may have complex issues. It can also be used for listed buildings or buildings which will need to be renovated. It provides a detailed analysis and provides in-depth advice on defects, repairs, and maintenance.

Please note that different types of homes will require different types of survey and therefore you should research all of the available options to decide which is most suitable.

Survey v Valuation

Some purchasers confuse a survey and a valuation of a property. It is important to remember that a valuation will be carried out by an agent appointed by your lender, for their own reassurance, before they provide you with an offer of a loan. A survey is an independent assessment of the property, for your benefit, which will reveal problems and defects.

Survey Results

You should read the results of a survey very carefully. If there are any legal issues or other matters mentioned in the report, you must refer these to your conveyancer so that you can be properly advised. 

If you have any questions about surveys or the Conveyancing process, contact Natalie Clifford here.

About the author

Natalie Clifford profile photo

Natalie Clifford

Natalie is a Paralegal/Conveyancer in the Residential Conveyancing team.

Published: Wednesday 24th May 2017
Categorised: Residential Conveyancing, Legal Services in Newcastle, Penrith, West Cumbria

All Factsheets