Be­come the master of all you sur­veyed words

Home-buy­ers might see a sur­vey as an un­nec­es­sary ex­tra cost, but not hav­ing one is of­ten a false econ­omy.

Rutherglen Reformer - - House & Home - Ju­lia Gray

If you’re buy­ing with the help of a mort­gage, the lender will in­struct a sur­veyor to value the prop­erty to en­sure it’s worth what you’re pay­ing.

This val­u­a­tion should iden­tify any re­ally ob­vi­ous and se­ri­ous prob­lems with the prop­erty, but that’s all – the lender is sim­ply pro­tect­ing its in­ter­ests.

While the val­u­a­tion is some­times free, you may have to pay the lender for it.

You can of­ten up­grade to a sur­vey by pay­ing more, the cost of which may be sub­sidised by the lender, or you can get a sur­vey done in­de­pen­dently of the lender’s val­u­a­tion.

If the val­u­a­tion is less than the pur­chase price, the mort­gage lender may not agree to give you the loan, or may re­duce the size of it. It could also put a re­ten­tion on some of the loan, which may only be un­til you fix a se­ri­ous prob­lem, such as damp, or get a spe­cial­ist re­port on it. Apart from the lender’s val­u­a­tion, there are two main types of sur­vey for buy­ers: the RICS ( Royal In­sti­tu­tion of Char­tered Sur­vey­ors) HomeBuyer Re­port and the RICS Build­ing Sur­vey (or full struc­tural sur­vey). The HomeBuyer Re­port is usu­ally quite long, but di­vided into sec­tions to make it easy to di­gest. It uses a traf­fic- light sys­tem so you can clearly see what re­pairs ( and main­te­nance) are re­quired and how ur­gent they are. A green/ num­ber one rat­ing means that re­pairs aren’t cur­rently nec­es­sary; am­ber/ num­ber two means some­thing needs to be re­paired or re­placed but isn’t se­ri­ous or ur­gent; and red/num­ber three means that it is, or it needs, ur­gent in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The sur­veyor will of­ten rec­om­mend get­ting ex­perts in to make fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tions, such as a tim­ber spe­cial­ist to con­firm if wood­worm dam­age is ac­tive or his­toric, or an elec­tri­cian to check the wiring.

The HomeBuyer Re­port is de­signed to pro­vide a snap­shot of the over­all con­di­tion of the prop­erty, rather than a de­tailed in­ves­ti­ga­tion. For that, you need the Build­ing Sur­vey.

The Build­ing Sur­vey is the most ex­ten­sive and ex­pen­sive type of sur­vey – some mort­gage lenders don’t of­fer it.

It’s par­tic­u­larly suited to prop­er­ties, for ex­am­ple, that are very old, of un­usual con­struc­tion, in need of ren­o­va­tion, or have been al­tered sub­stan­tially.

The sur­veyor will check the prop­erty thor­oughly, but, as with the HomeBuyer, they’ll only ex­am­ine things that are vis­i­ble or eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble, although they can adapt their in­spec­tion to suit your re­quire­ments. Again, the sur­veyor will usu­ally rec­om­mend get­ting in spe­cial­ists to look at po­ten­tial prob­lems.

The Build­ing Sur­vey should be very thor­ough and lengthy, of­ten con­tain­ing a long list of de­fects.

Which­ever sur­vey you choose, it can be used to ne­go­ti­ate a lower pur­chase price – this doesn’t al­ways work, but it’s usu­ally worth a try.

A SUR­VEYOR will ad­vise you of any work that needs do­ing to a prop­erty be­fore you buy it

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