Your Essential Guide to Choosing the Best Building Survey and Surveyor for Your Needs

It’s always exciting when you buy a new property – after all, you’re taking a big step that will largely decide your future and will influence the way you live. This excitement often leads to inadequate planning, and that’s dangerous. Often, we (especially first-time buyers) forget that we need to keep our heads cool and get a proper survey done of the property before making any commitment.

Chances are you’ll need to get a mortgage, and your mortgage provider will get their own valuation of the property. However, this valuation is only a matter of formality and really doesn’t give you enough information about the home you’re about to buy. It’s advisable to get your own survey done. Here’s your essential guide to choosing the best building surveyor for your needs.

Why get a survey?

You need to know what the property is worth – how it is valuated, before you actually buy it. What’s more, you need to understand if there are potential problems with the property that may not always be obvious, or are hidden beneath the surface. The survey will inform you of these issues.

2What are the advantages?

There are several advantages to getting the survey. First of all, you’ll see how the property is valued and what the current fair market price is. Secondly, you’ll understand what expenses you might have in the future when it comes to remodelling or renovating. Thirdly, you’ll have a bargaining chip with the seller when it comes to price negotiations; and lastly, you’ll be able to sleep much better at night knowing you are an informed buyer and no nasty surprises await you in the future.

Which one do you need?

Depending on your budget and the amount of detail you wish to know, you can opt for the homebuyers report or the building survey. The former is the most common with buyers (from £300), but the latter (whilst a bit more expensive, starting at £480) gives you much more detail.

Choosing the best surveyor

Get a recommendation from the mortgage lender, and ask your friends and relatives. Make sure your surveyor is certified (such as a qualified building surveyor from Cheke & Co.), or contact RICS.

The truth is that it might be a mistake not to get a survey of your own; whilst many new buyers consider it too much of an expense, statistics prove that those who don’t have a survey done spend on average about £5000 in the first year alone on improvements or renovations which could have been avoided had they had the survey conducted in the first place. It’s a costly mistake, so the survey should be considered an investment. It not only allows you to bargain with the seller, it also lets you sleep better at night.