Buying a new home is one of the most exciting and exhilarating times of your life, but it can also be stressful, challenging and nerve-wracking. Before completing a sale, it’s important to do your due diligence and check that the existing owners have disclosed any relevant issues.
It may be tempting to focus on the decorative changes you plan on making or your upcoming housewarming party but overlooking the integrity of the property could leave you with a host of unexpected bills.
Prior to purchasing a new house or flat, most people realise the importance of having a structural survey carried out. By using a professional surveyor to assess the property before you make an offer, you can determine whether there are any potential issues which could affect the safety or value of the property, such as unstable walls or damaged roof lining.
However, a structural survey doesn’t cover everything that could affect the safety, functionality or value of the property. In fact, there are a number of issues which could arise following the purchase of a property, regardless of whether you’ve had a standard structural survey.
What is a homebuyer’s drain survey?
Carried out prior to or during the purchase of a new residential property, a homebuyer’s drain survey involves a thorough inspection of the property’s drainage system. Examining drainage areas which aren’t covered by structural surveys, but are crucial nonetheless, a homebuyer’s drain survey is vital to determining whether the home you’re buying is safe and habitable.
With a range of state-of-the-art equipment, certified technicians will examine the drainage system and identify areas of potential collapse or fractures, as well as blockages and scale build-up. This information will highlight whether the drains are in good working order, whether they required immediate repair or whether they are likely to require significant works in the near future.
Whilst an issue with the drainage system may not put you off buying a property, it could affect the offer you’re willing to make. By ensuring you have access to comprehensive information regarding the state and functionality of the drainage system, you can determine how much any necessary repair works are likely to cost and whether you’re willing to continue with the purchase on this basis.
What are the benefits of a homebuyer’s drain survey?
For potential buyers, a homebuyer’s drain survey is an important way of inspecting the property you’re about to invest in. As you’re unable to inspect the drains by sight, a drain survey enables you to find out exactly what condition they’re in.
Unfortunately, buyers who purchase a new home without having appropriate surveys carried out can uncover a myriad of problems once they’ve moved in. Poorly functioning drains can have a significant impact on the functionality of your appliances, as well as your baths, showers, sinks and toilets.
Slow drains routinely leave standing water in sinks, for example, and this can lead to musty smells and even mould. Similarly, a completely blocked drain will lead to unpleasant odours and standing water in baths, toilets, sinks and/or showers. As water is unable to drain, these issues commonly lead to flooring within the property too. Depending on which drains are blocked and cause flooding, this could also result in a serious health hazard arising. If contaminated water or sewage is unable to drain effectively, for example, a subsequent flood could lead to this material flooding the property, causing irreversible damage and health concerns.
Whilst the vast majority of drainage issues can be resolved with adequate repairs, these can be time-consuming and costly. When purchasing a property with known drainage problems, you may choose to have the drains repaired or refitted prior to moving in, for example. However, if you’re unaware of existing drainage problems, you may be unable to budget the time or funds required to carry out appropriate repairs.
Is a homebuyer’s drain survey compulsory?
Although there are a number of legal requirements when buying a property, drain surveys aren’t considered compulsory. However, there are a growing number of mortgage lenders who will only approve mortgage applicants if the home they’re proposing to buy has had a drain survey carried out. Due to this, you may find that a homebuyer’s drain survey becomes mandatory, depending on the lender or mortgagor you’re using.
Similarly, some insurance companies won’t offer customers a new policy if a survey hasn’t been carried out relatively recently. If you plan on obtaining an insurance policy for your drain system, you may find that you’ll need to have a drain survey carried out before you’re able to take out an appropriate and cost-effective insurance policy.
How disruptive is a homebuyer’s drain survey?
Drain surveys are carried out using the latest drainage inspection equipment, so they needn’t cause any upheaval or disruption. By using industrial CCTV systems, dedicated technicians can examine every inch of the pipework, without needing to access the pipes themselves. This means that a comprehensive drain survey can be undertaken without the need for digging or drilling.
Used to identify collapsed and cracked drains, corrosion, leaks, blockages, displaced joints and general wear and tear, a homebuyer’s drain survey will highlight the necessity of any repair works prior to the completion of a property purchase.
Experienced technicians can also advise how much work is likely to be needed, should any issues be identified. This gives homebuyers a realistic idea of whether any drainage repair work will need to be undertaken and, if so, whether this will need to be carried out on an urgent basis. In addition to this, homebuyers will be able to determine how much disruption repair or refitting works are likely to cause them before deciding if they want to proceed.
Helping buyers to protect their investments and find their perfect new property, a homebuyer’s drain survey gives you the peace of mind and reassurance you need when you’re buying your next home.
To find out more or to book your homebuyer’s drain survey now, contact FS Drainage today on 0800 689 3497.