Are property surveys a waste of money?

Are property surveys a waste of money?

You’ve found your dream house and agreed upon a price with the seller. With the offer accepted, all you need to do is wait for handover. You could get a survey, but with all the other fees and services you’re doling out for, you might be wondering if you really need one.

 

When it comes to buying property you may think that you don’t need a survey done in addition to all of the other precautions you’ve taken before closing the deal. After all, you’ve had a mortgage valuation done. Isn’t that enough? One in five homebuyers rely solely on a mortgage valuation report, but this is in no way equivalent to a full survey. You’ll need a valuation report to secure a mortgage offer, but this is entirely for the lender’s benefit, confirming to the lender that the property is worth at least the value of the loan. It might put your mind at ease about the selling price, but the mortgage valuation won’t note any repairs that need doing when, or before, you move in.

 

At a time when you’re already spending a lot of money, a survey can seem like just another expense, but a survey helps avoid the stress and cost of making repairs further down the line and gives you a good idea of any issues that are likely to arise from your purchase. It allows you to budget for repair work and you may even be able to use the information in the survey to negotiate with the vendor. If your survey concludes that you will need to undertake repairs, you could ask for the cost of repairs off the price, or request the repairs to be made before you move in.




 

There are three main kinds of survey: a condition report, a HomeBuyer's Report and a building survey. There are no real rules about which one you should opt for – it depends on the level of detail you’re after and the age of the property you're buying.

 

A Condition Report is a basic survey and the cheapest. It will provide you with an overview of the property's condition and highlight any significant issues, but it doesn’t go into detail and includes no advice or valuation. It is most suitable for conventional homes in good condition or new-builds, although there’s also a specialist survey for new homes called a New-build Snagging Survey that will pick up mistakes and arrange for the developer to remedy any defects found.

 

A HomeBuyer’s Report is suitable for conventional properties in reasonable condition. It’s far more detailed than a condition report and will highlight problems with the property, such as damp or subsidence and anything that doesn’t match current building regulations. It also includes advice on necessary repairs and ongoing maintenance. What it doesn’t do is look behind furniture, behind walls, or under floor boards, so it will only identify surface-level problems

 

A Building Survey is the most comprehensive survey available, suitable for all residential properties, particularly older properties, including those that are Listed, or ‘fixer uppers’. It includes a comprehensive breakdown of the structure and condition of the property, listing defects and detailed advice on repairs and maintenance. The surveyor will do things like check the attic and look under floorboards and you can request that the report include projected costs and timings for repair work.

 

If you would rather avoid a potential deal-breaker down the line, you might want to consider taking out a survey on your own home before it is valued. This will ensure that the future buyer’s survey doesn’t reveal any unwelcome surprises. If your own survey does reveal something drastic, like a roof that will need replacing, you can drop the asking price accordingly.

 

Before you choose a surveyor, seek out several quotes as prices can vary considerably. Try to find someone with a good knowledge of the local area and properties within it. If you're buying a particular type of property, such as a listed building, it’s worth sourcing a specialist in that kind of property. 

6th Jul 2016

More from Fine & Country

Should you buy or sell in 2017? Expert property market advice for the year ahead
With the Brexit vote and stamp duty changes, 2016 was a difficult year to predict and 2017 is looking almost as unclear. Could 2017 be the b...
Read more >>
8th Feb 2017
The seven emotional stages of selling your home
Buying a home is stressful. In fact, it’s such an emotional rollercoaster that a survey for ‘Which?’ revealed that the only life event more...
Read more >>
8th Jun 2016

FINE & COUNTRY LIFESTYLE

DISCOVER MORE ABOUT FINE & COUNTRY

TURN YOUR HOME 
INTO A BESTSELLER


Your home is an unfolding story. This is why at Fine & Country, we use a lifestyle approach to marketing to help people see your home as you see it. We do more than sell houses, we turn your home into a bestseller. Find out how we can help »

SELLING YOUR PROPERTY


Selling your home is one of the most important decisions you make; your home is both a financial and emotional investment. Find out how we can help »

forsaleweb
office_window

INDEPENDENT EXPERTISE


Every Fine & Country agent is a highly proficient and professional independent estate agent, operating to strict codes of conduct and dedicated to you. They will assist, advise and inform you through each stage of the property transaction.

GLOBAL EXPOSURE


With offices in over 300 locations worldwide we combine the widespread exposure of the international marketplace with national marketing campaigns and local expertise and knowledge of carefully selected independent property professionals.

staff
magazine

UNIQUE MARKETING APPROACH


People buy as much into lifestyle of a property and its location as they do the bricks and mortar. We utilize sophisticated, intelligent and creative marketing that provides the type of information buyers would never normally see with other agents.

PARK LANE OFFICE


Access the lucrative London and international investor market from our prestigious Park Lane showrooms at 121 Park Lane, Mayfair. Our showrooms in London are amongst the very best placed in Europe, attracting clients from all over the world.

park_lane_office
98_2

TAKE THEIR WORD FOR IT


An overwhelming majority of those who had used Fine & Country would recommend our services to a family member or friend, according to our most recent survey taken by members of the public.

To achieve 98% positive feedback is a privilege and we will endeavour to maintain this result, as we are dedicated to offering the best possible services to every customer, whether buyer or seller, from beginning to end.

MULTI-AWARD WINNING


Our consistent efforts to offer innovative marketing combined with a high level of service have been recognised by the industry for an astounding fifth year in a row, winning Best International Real Estate Agency Marketing at the International Residential Property Awards.

awards_stone
Independent customer reviews



Fine & Country

4.87 out of 5 - based on 701 customer reviews



Estate Agent and Letting Agent Reviews

OVER 300 LOCATIONS WORLDWIDE

Our International Network


Connecting offices on over 300 locations worldwide, our referral system combines local knowledge and expertise with an international network to find the right buyer for you wherever they are, at the same time as finding you your ideal next move

Our International Websites

United KingdomRussiaFranceHungaryMaltaSpainPortugalEgyptUnited Arab EmiratesNamibiaWest AfricaSouth AfricaAustraliaFloridaZimbabwe

SOCIAL MEDIA

We interact with customers on the main social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+, giving each property maximum online exposure.

 

FINE & COUNTRY SERVICES

FINE & COUNTRY
INTERIOR DESIGN


Access Fine & Country Interior Design to put your property ahead and make it stand out. With expert advice from some of London’s best stylists and designers we will make sure it makes a statement. Or if you’re purchasing with us, let F&C ID help make your new house feel like home by helping you find the very best specialists and designers for property refurbishment. Find out more »

development_image1
ifx_3s

FINE & COUNTRY
FOREIGN EXCHANGE


We have partnered with IFX, one of the world’s leading foreign exchange specialists to provide private and tailored currency services for all of our clients buying and selling luxury property around the world. Find out how we can help »

MEDIA CENTRE


Our internal Media Centre is a team of experienced press relations managers and copy writers dedicated to liaising with newspapers, magazines and other media outlets to gain extensive coverage for our properties in national and local media.

media_thumb_crop
tileevent

FINE & COUNTRY EVENTS


We organise and attend a series of events throughout the year. If you are interested in attending or if you would like to promote your properties at any of these events, do not hesitate to contact us.View our list of events »

FINE & COUNTRY PUBLICATIONS

carol_concert26s

THE FINE & COUNTRY FOUNDATION


The Fine & Country Foundation is dedicated to raising awareness of the causes of homelessness and supporting homeless charities. Around 100 million people are currently affected by homelessness worldwide. Please join us in helping to reduce this number. Read more »

*Please, note: for security reasons, the maps on this website do not provide the exact location of the property and they are provided solely as an indication of area.