Countrywide Home Surveys

How a Survey can take the guesswork out of your property purchase

There’s a lot to consider when buying a home. Whilst buying a full survey is an additional cost, it will also provide an insight into your investment which could prove highly valuable.

Any homebuying journey has several stages and a multitude of moving parts. Some are more obvious than others, especially to less experienced buyers.

There are also many different perspectives and approaches along the way. The obvious ones being those of the buyer and the seller – but we also need to throw the estate agent, the mortgage broker, the mortgage lender, the solicitor – or conveyancer as they are also known in a property purchase – the valuer, the surveyor and even the opinions of friends and family members into the mix.

Of course, not every property transaction will require all these elements, the prime example being a cash purchase, but you get the gist.

What this means is there are a whole host of choices and judgements for prospective buyers to make at various points in the process. Such as – what type of home are they looking for? In what location? How much do they want to offer? How much can they afford to borrow? What type of mortgage do they need and for how long? Which conveyancer to use? What type of survey should they get?

I’m sure I’ve missed a few along the way but these are all highly significant decisions in their own right and knowledge certainly is power when entering into any property-related-transaction.

As such, in a bid to lift the lid of the homebuying process in a simple and relatable manner, it was interesting to see Skipton Building Society recently launch a mini advice series in partnership with Channel 4 called ‘Make Your Move’.

Within the first episode, there was an extensive focus on the financial implications for a self-employed couple which certainly delved a lot deeper than the average property show.

Within this, it was good to see the involvement of a mortgage adviser who also touched on the importance of a survey, a factor which can sometimes fly under the radar.

 

How a survey can help

Following our research around the very low take up of Level 2 and 3 home survey reports by consumers in Q1 2024, we welcome any opportunity to bring the survey conversation to the fore.

This is especially relevant when you see additional data from the Home Owners’ Alliance point out that, of those who had a survey undertaken before buying their property, nearly a third (30%) took action as a result of issues flagged in the survey. Among this group, 10% renegotiated the purchase price, while 9% got the sellers to fix the problems.

Having a survey enabled other homebuyers to get quotes for remedial work before deciding whether to go ahead with the purchase or discuss issues flagged in the survey report with their surveyor.

Only 4% of people who had a survey pulled out of the purchase altogether, showing that in most cases having a survey done can enable a better homebuying experience.

Of those who didn’t get a survey before buying their property, 11% have discovered problems with the condition since moving in and regret not having had a survey.

 

Surveys – gaining value for money

Due to a sustained lack of awareness, a survey can often be viewed as an additional cost rather than an integral one. The thing homebuyers need to bear in mind is that opting for the right survey could actually save them time, money and heartache.

The cost can often be a fraction of the potential expense from work which needs to be completed on the property which was not identified before contracts are signed.

It’s also prudent to point out that not all surveys are the same, so it’s imperative for buyers to understand the different types of surveys on offer, their costs and what they cover.

Thankfully, mortgage advisers and good surveying firms are on hand to help you make the right choice and ensure that you have all the relevant information to help take the guess work out of these all-important property-related decisions.

 

Helen Stead Head of Countrywide Home Surveys

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Countrywide Home Surveys is a trading name for Countrywide Surveyors Limited, registered in England and Wales under company no: 01954031.  Registered Office 2nd Floor Boundary House, 4 County Place, Chelmsford, United Kingdom, CM2 0RE.  VAT number 500 2481 05

Countrywide Surveyors Limited is regulated by RICS for the provision of surveying services. This means we agree to uphold the RICS Rules of Conduct for Firms and all other applicable mandatory professional practice requirements of RICS, which can be found at www.rics.org
As an RICS regulated firm we have committed to cooperating with RICS in ensuring compliance with its standards. The firm’s nominated RICS Responsible Principal is Rebecca Freeman, Director of Field Operations, contact 01332 813096.

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