Did you know that a mortgage valuation isn’t the same thing as a survey? No?

It seems it’s a common mistake to make, with 80% of buyers failing to take out a surve.   Even when buyers are aware that a valuation can never replace a survey, it seems that they’re skimping on it in order to try and save money. It’s true, moving house is always a busy time, and an expensive process. It’s all too tempting to avoid an extra to-do on your list, and an extra cost to boot. And in these days of large deposits and continually climbing house prices, first-time buyers are especially vulnerable, as they often have to push their financial limits to the edge in order to buy a home.   It’s all completely understandable – yet when you consider that buying a property is probably the most expensive purchase you’ll ever make, failing to get a full survey done is simply penny wise and pound foolish.

On average, buyers have to spend £5,750 on repairs to their new home, and these costs are often incurred because they didn’t get the right (or any!) survey done.   And it’s no wonder that the bill is so high when some of the most common issues discovered by surveys include: – Damp and timber problems – Electrics – Heating systems – Roof issues – Structural problems.

Yes, a survey will cost you a few hundred pounds. But with the right survey you’ll know where you stand. You can walk away from a bad property, ask for the repairs to be done by the seller before you buy it, or use the report as ammunition to negotiate a reduced purchase price. In the long run, a survey will save you money (and heartache!). Indeed, research by the RICS found that one in five people who failed to get a survey now regret their purchase and wish they hadn’t bought their home.

Remember, you should get a survey done, no matter what type of property you intend to buy. For instance, did you know that you should get a survey done even on a new-build home? That’s because any defects that are found at an early stage may be covered under a guarantee. It’s also key if you’re considering a flat. As Graham Ellis (RICS) explains, a “major issue when it comes to a flat is that because you do not have access to the entire building it is more difficult to get a comprehensive overall view of the building structure”.  Ellis goes on to highlight the unexpected servicing and maintenance costs that could arise with a leasehold flat: “If I was looking at a property with a lift, for example, that would ring major alarm bells. Questions need to be asked as to when it was last serviced – otherwise you could end up shelling out …”.

Last but by no means least, are you selling a house?  If so, when you choose Shape Surveyors, we’ll provide a qualified surveyor to inspect your home to identify and discuss any obvious issues that you may want to rectify before selling the property. Fixing problems early on will help you achieve a quick sale, and avoid any potential delays once the buyer carries out their own survey on your home. If you’re too busy to deal with building works, relax – we can project manage everything for you using our trusted, local contractors. We can also advise you about whether it’s worth completing any renovations or an extension project, such as a loft conversion, in order to add value to your home before selling it. If this sounds intriguing, watch out for our upcoming article with more details! There are lots of different types of surveys, and we’ve explained some of the differences here.

For peace of mind, you should always look for a RICS qualified surveyor. At Shape Surveyors, all our surveyors meet this professional standard. If you’d like advice about which survey to choose, call us now on 0121 796 4000 or contact us today.* How have surveys affected you? Have you ever risked buying a home without one, or been very relieved that you had a survey done? Join the conversation now on Twitter** and Facebook!  or Contact Us.

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