Do I need an independent Survey?
It is often said that a property purchase is the largest single financial commitment you will make in your lifetime. It therefore makes sense to establish whether the property is affected by defects or other issues that might justify re-negotiation of the purchase price - or that might otherwise come as an unpleasant surprise later.
If you are buying a home with the assistance of a mortgage, the lender will probably commission a valuation report to confirm whether the property provides acceptable security for the loan. Although it is often paid for by the purchaser, the valuation is intended solely to satisfy the requirements of the lender. You should not rely on its contents when deciding whether or not to proceed with the purchase as it will not necessarily identify defects.
Before exchanging contracts, you should therefore seek specialist advice from a Chartered Surveyor.
Chartered Surveyors are able to offer two levels of survey report to help you decide whether or not you should proceed.
The first of these is known as a Building Survey(formerly known as a ‘Full Structural Survey’); the second is an Intermediate Survey, such as the ISVA HomeSurvey, which is available exclusively from members of the Independent Surveyors and Valuers Association. Other types of intermediate survey are available.
A building Survey is a detailed report on the condition of a building. It will describe any defects found and provide advice on remedial works and future maintenance requirements. The report is based on a comprehensive inspection and may often be tailored to your own specific requirements. You may, for example, opt to upgrade the survey to include additional reports such as an electrical report or a drainage test.
A Building Survey is suitable for all types of buildings but is almost certain to be needed if the property is very old, Listed, is in need of extensive repairs, or if it is not constructed using traditional building methods and materials.
At Independent Surveys SWwe do our own Building Surveywhich is divided into three parts: matters for investigation by your solicitors; maintenance problems for consideration, and a detailed description of the constructional form of the property, together with photographs - for further details click here .
Our Expert Reportsinvolve specifically detailed investigations according to individual cases and, when requested in anticipation of litigation/claims, comply with the Civil Procedures Regulations.
The HomeSurvey report has been designed by the Independent Surveyors and Valuers Association to include:-
The information is provided in a simple and straightforward layout, which is easy to read and understand. The report is based on a visual inspection of as much of the interior and exterior of the building as is reasonably and safely accessible. The full description of the service is given in the Terms and Conditions leaflet, which your surveyor will provide.
This type of report is suitable for most conventionally built residential properties, constructed since around 1900. Properties that are unusual by virtue of their design or construction or those that are particularly large, might require a more detailed report such as a Building Survey. Your surveyor will advise you further in this respect, during the preliminary discussion.