Your home is likely to be your biggest investment; it makes sense to have an independent survey on its condition.
Putting you the buyer in control
Buying a house is stressful, and it is not always in the seller’s best interest to be fully open about its quirks and short comings. Your Home Condition Survey offers a thorough, comprehensive and easy to follow report for a fraction of the cost of a full structural survey, putting you in a stronger position to negotiate with the seller.
Home Condition Survey
Your Home Condition Survey: Is a survey and report with standard terms of engagement, which means that it is undertaking in a consistent way, and presented in a standard format.
The surveyor will undertake a comprehensive inspection of the property you hope to buy and will provide in plain English a jargon free report which uses a numerical and colour code system to summarize the condition of the various building elements.
Your Home Condition Survey will:
- Identify any major problems with the home you are buying
- Highlight any hidden areas of possible concern that need further investigation
- Give you a simple 1,2,3 condition rating of all key elements of the property
- Deliver a comprehensive and jargon-free report
- Help you plan for future expenditure
- Be carried out by accredited and comprehensively insured surveyors
Results from an RICS’ survey of home buying consumer’s, show that many homeowners who did not take out a home survey are left with a property they regret buying and an average of £5,750 in repair bills. The surveys of approximately 1000 buyers across the UK found that consumers are clearly aware of the need for independent advice, with 94% of respondents confirming the importance of commissioning a survey. However, nearly 30% failed to do so. This means buyers are left ignorant of issues with the property, such as structural defects, dry and wet rot, subsidence and many other expensive defects, only for these to become serious matters at a later date. The new home owner may then be unable to afford, or may lose the desire, to fix the faults and may be left with a property that they no longer wish to live in but are unable to sell or recoup their losses.
The same survey highlighted serious misconceptions about the wider home buying process. Nearly 60% of respondents incorrectly identified an estate agent’s primary responsibility as acting for the vendor, with 10% mistakenly believing agent’s act for the buyer and nearly 20% thinking they act equally for the buyer and seller.
If you are taking out a mortgage on the property you will usually be asked to pay for a valuation report, sometimes erroneously called a lender or valuation survey. Financial advisers and lenders themselves often refer to the valuation as a survey and so the confusion is understandable. The fact that most lenders will give the borrower a copy of the valuation report adds to the confusion around what it is. However, it is not a condition survey and you cannot rely on it to give you information on the structural condition of the property, it only answers the lender’s questions about the appropriate security of your loan. Although it is often called a ‘survey’ this is incorrect. You cannot rely on it to highlight any defects or provide you with a detailed report on the condition of the property. Valuers look at the value of the building for banks and building societies who are their primary client.
What your Home Condition Survey Covers
Your Home Condition Survey tells you all you need to know, in a comprehensive, and easily understood way.
The surveyor gives each part of the structure of the main building a condition rating:
- Condition Rating 1: No repair is currently needed. Normal maintenance must be carried out.
- Condition Rating 2: Repairs or replacements are needed but the surveyor does not consider these to be serious or urgent.
- Condition Rating 3: These are defects which are either serious and/or require urgent repair or replacement or the surveyor feels that further investigation is required. You may wish to obtain quotes for additional work where a Condition rating 3 is given, prior to exchange of contract.
The more information you have, the more informed a decision you can make. Your Home Condition Survey will tell you about:
- Building condition and defects
- Any structural movement
- Damp, rot and woodworm
- Heating and electrical services
- Environmental issues
- The reinstatement cost you need for building insurance