Is it worth getting a house survey?

It’s your responsibility to check for structural risks and problems when you buy a house or flat. By going ahead without a house survey, you could therefore find yourself with a property that needs extensive repairs or can’t be sold on for anything like the amount you paid for it.

If a survey does reveal the property needs work, you may also be able to negotiate a better price. The same is true if the survey suggests a lower market value than the price you’ve agreed. So, getting a survey can save you money on the purchase, as well as in the future.

What is the difference between a survey and a mortgage valuation?

The Mortgage Valuation is for the lenders’ benefit and doesn’t provide any details regarding the condition of the property. You may not even get to see a copy of the report.

When you appoint a RICS-regulated surveyor to provide you with a full and thorough survey, you can relax knowing you have a full understanding of the condition of the property before you sign on the dotted line.

Do I need a house survey for a new-build property?

Of course, this is completely up to you. Bear in mind that, generally, if you buy a new-build property, you should be provided with a ten-year warranty from the developer. But this may not always be enough to give you the peace of mind you deserve.

New builds shouldn’t have structural problems, as they’ve only recently been constructed. However, it may still be wise to have a house survey to make sure everything is as it should be. This will help you identify and address any issues before you purchase the property and move in.

Do you need a survey to sell your house?

No, identifying any problems with a property is the buyer’s responsibility. So, you don’t have to get a house survey to sell your property. You may, however, wish to get a survey done to reassure potential buyers. This could be, for example, if it’s a very old property or you’re close to a flood-risk area.

When selling your home, you also have to provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). This rates the energy efficiency of the property with a letter between A and G.

What is checked on a Level 2 Home Survey?

When you book a RICS Level 2 Survey, the surveyor will check all major indoor features, including ceilings, walls, and bathrooms. Exterior features, such as roofing, pipes, gutters, walls, windows, and doors will also be inspected. Problems they will look out for include leaks, subsidence, and rising damp.

You’ll also receive background information on the property and location. What’s more, you can get an estimated rebuild cost you can use for insurance purposes, as well as an assessment of the damp-proofing, drainage, and insulation (but not the drains themselves).

How long does a house survey take to complete?

How long a house survey takes usually depends on what level of survey you choose, as well as how large the property is.

Generally speaking, a Level 1 Home Survey will take an hour or so to complete. A Level 2 is likely to take anything between 90 minutes and four hours, as the checks are more extensive and detailed.

As for Level 3 Home Survey, the inspection can last up to eight hours. This is because it is the most in-depth level of survey you can opt for.

How do surveyors check for damp?

Surveyors use a special damp or moisture-meter to check walls for rising damp. They also check for signs of damp such as stains, rotting floorboards, and peeling paint. These can be caused by leaking pipes, accidental floods, or insufficient ventilation.

Does a house survey check windows?

Yes, both Level 2 and Lever 3 Home Surveys involve window checks, including whether or not the windows are double glazed. Most surveyors will also want to open the windows, so they can check for damaged timber and make sure the keys are not missing.

Will a surveyor go in the loft?

Yes, surveyors will check the loft because it’s often the easiest place to spot potential problems, such as a leaky roof or insufficient insulation. If you’ve had your loft converted, they’ll also want to check the quality of the work.

If you’re planning to convert the loft space after buying a property, a surveyor can also tell you whether or not this is possible.