Why avoiding a property survey can be a costly mistake


When it comes to one of the most expensive purchases you will make in your lifetime, the amount you will have to spend or borrow to buy a house can seem quite daunting. Add on other costs, such as legal fees, insurance premiums and buyer’s reports and surveys, and it is easy to understand why people may look to see where money can be saved; however, forgoing a homebuyer report or building survey can be a costly mistake.

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Do your homework

Whether you choose a homebuyer report or a building survey, there will be clearly-defined criteria. The relatively small outlay at the start of the buying process is likely to be minimal compared with the cost of fixing any issues that are flagged; what’s more, these issues can give you grounds for negotiation before the exchange of contracts. If you are unable to renegotiate, you can withdraw from the purchase at any time before contracts are exchanged.

A survey should be completed by a member of a registered trade association, such as the Royal Institution of Charter Surveyors (RICS). For a building survey Birmingham companies such as Sam Conveyancing have a panel of RICS surveyors with knowledge of the local and wider area.

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Homebuyer report or building survey

A homebuyers survey details the condition of and any issues with the property you are looking to purchase; for example, it will note any insulation, damp-proofing or drainage problems. It can also provide a current valuation and a valuation for insurance purposes.

A building survey is more detailed and intended for older and less typical properties. Although more expensive, it provides a greater level of detail than a homebuyer report.

The RICS publishes clear guidelines in its professional statement.

Reduce the level of risk

Both reports are user-friendly, using a traffic light system to highlight important issues and provide the information you need to make an informed decision about your purchase. The surveys and reports are designed to help both the buyer and seller by providing a detailed summary of the condition of the property.

With the large sums of money involved in purchasing a property, it makes sense to buy a report detailing exactly what you are purchasing. This will reduce the level of risk and potentially avoid making a costly mistake.

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