Home Leisure & Lifestyle Expert Advice for Home Buyers: Why You Should Get a Home Survey

Expert Advice for Home Buyers: Why You Should Get a Home Survey

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As the housing market continues to grow, Howells, a Welsh-based law firm, urges prospective homebuyers to consider the importance of home surveys in their property purchasing journey to avoid huge costs later down the road.

Getting a home survey could save you from unexpected surprises and help you avoid potential setbacks.

Some see a survey as an unnecessary expense, but if missed, this can lead to unforeseen expenses down the line. Surveys come in three tiers: a condition survey (level one), a homebuyer survey (level two), and a full building survey (level three), with costs ranging from £400 to £1,500. In your home report, the surveyor will flag anything from structural concerns to hidden defects, giving homebuyers the information they need before signing on the dotted line.

Josh Vers, senior associate at Howells said: “A survey is an important step in the homebuying process. Opting for a thorough survey can uncover issues that may not be visible with a viewing, enabling buyers to negotiate repairs or possibly change their offer.

“It is important to realise that it is incumbent upon a purchaser under English law to discover any faults relating to the property. The general position is “caveat emptor”, which essentially means buyer beware.  Therefore, a survey provides an opportunity to discover any defects that may be apparent to a surveyor on inspection and negotiate on those prior to committing to an exchange of contracts.

“The most common factor that a surveyor can identify is noticing works that would have required planning permission or building regulations.  Very rarely does a conveyancer view the property itself during the homebuying process, and it’s not always apparent from the sales particulars that work has taken place. The information contained within a survey is therefore vital to a conveyancer, who can make further legal inquiries with the seller’s conveyancer to establish whether the works have the required permissions.

“The last thing a buyer would want to happen is to purchase a property and realise that an extension or loft that has been constructed is not fit for purpose and requires costly repairs to make the property habitable.  The repair costs could run into tens of thousands of pounds.

“Purchasing property is likely to be one of the most important purchases that you will end up making during your lifetime. When you compare the cost of the survey in comparison to the cost of property, the cost is relatively small. Therefore, it makes good sense to protect your future asset with a survey.”

Howells solicitors shares five tips for homebuyers considering survey options:

1. Choose the right survey

There are different tiers of surveys that cater to a variety of needs and budgets. Whether opting for a basic report or a more detailed building survey, choosing the appropriate survey for your property is essential.

2. Research qualified surveyors

Look online for accredited surveyors and invest in someone who’s got good reviews, has experience in thorough inspections, and can provide comprehensive reports.

3. Review the survey report thoroughly

Take the time to carefully review the survey findings and seek clarification on anything that you’re unsure of. Make sure you fully understand the report, as this will help you make informed decisions about your chosen property.

4. Factor survey costs into your budget

While the house-buying process is already expensive, you should view the survey as an investment rather than an expense, as having this done can save considerable time and money in the long run.

5. Act promptly on survey recommendations

Addressing any issues highlighted in the survey as soon as you spot them can prevent minor problems from escalating into costly repairs later on.

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