If you’re thinking about buying a property, you are probably aware of the many important hoops to jump through before a purchase can complete. Not only do you have to find a suitable property that you like and can afford, but you also have to secure the mortgage and acquire the services of a conveyancing solicitor. At this stage, you will just about be ready to undertake a structural survey.
This is a report intended to reassure prospective buyers that the property they are interested in purchasing does not suffer from any obvious structural defects. These surveys aim to protect consumers in Fulham and across the UK.
The three main types of surveys include a basic property valuation, a homebuyer’s survey and valuation, and a full structural survey.
Each report is more detailed and elaborate than the previous one and, therefore, more expensive. However, while a comprehensive structural report is costly, it is certainly worth doing before buying an old property.
In this blog, we explain the differences between the three survey types, to help you understand what they entail and which one you need the most.
This is an inspection, rather than a survey, carried out by your mortgage lender. The aim of this inspection is to ensure that the Fulham property you have your eye on is worth the amount of money they intend to lend you. Mortgage lenders won’t care about defects and issues that the property may have and, as such, they won’t mention it in their report.
However, once you own the property, if you start to notice blatant problems that the basic property valuation did not flag up, then you may be able to claim for damages to pay for any necessary repairs.
This falls neatly between the other two options, in terms of detail and cost. An inspector will carry out this survey in compliance with the standards set by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). If you are buying a property in Fulham built within the last 150 years, then this is the survey for you. Particularly if the property is in reasonable condition and of a conventional construction.
The report includes a property valuation and highlights the following:
• General condition of the property
• The property’s value on the open market
• Defects or issues in accessible areas of the property, which could affect its value
• The presence and condition of insulation, drainage and damp proofing
• The results of tests performed for dampness and walls
• Urgent issues that require assessment before you consider exchanging contracts
As the name suggests, this is a far more detailed survey. While it does not include a property valuation, surveyors can tailor this report to your exact specifications. Therefore, if you have any particular concerns about the Fulham property you want to buy, you can request that they also check these.
Some of the issues that this type of survey should cover include:
• Property Description
• Circumstances of the Inspection
• Construction Details
• Roof Coverings
• Internal and External Walls
• Damp Proofing
• Ceilings and Flooring
• Plumbing, Heating and Electrics
• Timber Infestations
• Drainage and Waste Pipes
• Garages and Outbuildings
While it may seem like an unnecessary expense to carry out a full structural survey, it may save you a lot of money if the property requires restructuring.
Remember that once you have exchanged contracts, you are liable for the property, not the vendor.