What do I need to know about property surveys?

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What do I need to know about property surveys?

Postby Petter » Fri Apr 29, 2016 1:12 pm

When you are buying a home it’s important to get a report about the property’s overall condition. This can help uncover any work that may need to be done to the property before you buy.

Buying a property

When you are thinking about buying a property its a good idea to find out whether there are any problems with the structure. You should also know if any repairs or alterations need to be made. A property survey may save you time and money in the long run if you uncover expensive defects before you buy. There are different types of survey to choose from according to the amount of information and advice you require about the property.

Types of survey

The person selling the property to you may have carried out a Home Condition Report. A Home Condition Report is an optional part of the Home Information Pack that sellers have to prepare for prospective buyers. If this is the case, you can use the report to tell you about the condition of the property. You may, however, decide to have a further survey of the property if you require further advice.

Home Condition Report
HIPs: a buyer’s guide
As a buyer there are three main types of survey to choose from:


A valuationtells the lender how much the property is worth and will usually be carried out by your mortgage company if you need a mortgage to buy the property.

Ahomebuyer survey and valuation

A homebuyer surveyreports on defects in the property, its condition and value.

Abuilding survey

This type of survey provides a more detailed report than the homebuyer survey. It is recommended for older properties and those in need of work, or simply for peace of mind.

Make sure that the person carrying out the survey is qualified to do so. You can find a qualified surveyor in the yellow pages or online.

What to do if things go wrong

You may find that the new home you have boughthas a problem that you feel should have been discovered during the survey. If so, you should complain to the person or organisation that carried out the survey in writing. If you are not happy with the response, you should seek advice from a lawyer or Citizens Advice Bureau.

Seek legal advice from a solicitor or advice agency
Find your local Citizens Advice Bureau

Warranties for new properties

If you buy a property that is less thanten years old, it may be covered by a building warranty. The warranty is a guarantee thatcovers you if there are any defects that come to light and need fixing. The warranty provider may offer to fix or pay out money if certain defects or problems arise withthe property.You should make sure you know what types of defects are covered by the warranty and which are not. The warranty will usually transfer to the new owner if you sell the property within the period of the warranty.


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