For the vast majority of people in England and Wales, the family home is both their greatest asset and largest investment. Certainly, choosing a property is likely to be one of the hardest decisions of your life, and yet still many people enter into transactions without being fully aware of what they are buying.
According to new RICS research (conducted by GfK NOP Business), one in four 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 roof repairs, is over £1,800 – far outweighing the cost of a survey – and for many this can be much higher.
RICS Spokesman David Dalby stated:
“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.
“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.”
Your local surveyor will be able to offer you a variety of types of survey, tailored to your budget and requirements.
For example, if you are in a hurry and need a comprehensive view of the property, without the cost or time inherent in a full survey, Onsite Acquisition or Professional Advice might be suitable. For those wishing a thorough inspection, including defects, repair and maintenance options, a full Building Survey might be preferred.
Of course, there are many more options to suit each possible circumstance. A full list complete with descriptions can be found at this link
Either way, the new figures strongly emphasise the importance of considering a survey on your potential acquisition. By doing so, you will be going into the transaction with your eyes open to potential future costs and with valuable tools for negotiating a price that is truly representative. It could save you a lot of money in the long term.
To talk to a Local Independent Chartered Surveyor in your area about property purchase advice or a survey, go to: www.propertysurveying.co.uk
21st July 2011