Property Surveys – Buying a Home in the UK

Property Surveys – Buying a Home in the UK
25/02/2021 Joshua George

There are an array of variables to consider when purchasing a property in the UK.

Buying a new home is a substantial financial commitment. While viewing the home will give you a great idea regarding the building’s condition, you cannot fully appreciate the current state without a thorough survey.

What is a House Survey?

A house survey is an inspection on a property, usually carried out by a chartered surveyor.

The type of survey you choose will ultimately dictate the area that the surveyors will inspect. Once the inspection is complete, you will receive a report outlining the structural issues with the property, alongside any specifics you have requested.

Mortgage lenders and insurers make some types of surveys compulsory, meaning they will refuse to lend money against a property until the reports are received. Other surveys are not mandatory but are highly recommended. These extra surveys can give you peace of mind and help reduce insurance premiums on the home.

Valuation Survey

When you apply for a mortgage on a property, the lender will require a mortgage valuation survey.

As the name suggests, this confirms that the amount of money that they are lending you for the home correlates to what the property is actually worth.

Mortgage valuations are usually done by a physical visit to the property. The lender will also research the local area, gaining a much better idea of what properties in the postcode are generally worth.

Although a valuation survey is primarily for your mortgage lender’s benefit, the survey can also offer you great peace of mind. If the lenders are happy with the amount of money they are lending, it is an excellent indication that you are not overpaying for your new home.

In the uncommon instance that you receive a down-valuation (i.e. the mortgage company value the home at less than you intended to pay), your first step is to renegotiate the price with the seller.

If the seller is unwilling to negotiate on price, you must try to find evidence to show that the house is worth what you are willing to pay. This can be challenging and may involve getting independent contractors on board. Failing this, if you are still ready to go through with the sale, you will have to find some way to come up with the shortfall.

Homebuyers Drain Survey

Drains are not likely to be the first thing that spring to your mind when considering a new home. However, any issues with the drains on a home can be inconvenient, time-consuming, and extremely expensive.  

A CCTV drain survey will provide you with a detailed report prior to completing on a home. The report will flag up any existing issues regarding the drainage system of the house that you are considering purchasing.

At this point, any problems can be assessed and budgeted for. The survey will also shine a light on any pipes that are not connected properly, allowing you to arrange for the issues to be rectified before they become a massive problem.

A specialised CCTV drain survey can uncover a range of issues. Most of which may be relatively harmless that can be dealt with quickly and somewhat inexpensively. The CCTV images often reveal a spectrum of items stuck in our pipes, including the common culprits of tissues and toiletries.

These surveys have even shown birds and cats stuck in the cylinders – thankfully, at this stage, all pets were recovered safely!

Aside from preventing a substantial amount of stress and expense later down the line, conducting and documenting a CCTV drain survey can drastically decrease the price of your home insurance premium. When the insurers have a more comprehensive view of the property they are insuring, they can offer much more competitive premium prices.

Additionally, it is becoming increasingly common that a drain survey is mandatory to secure a mortgage against a property. Mortgage lenders appreciate an effective drainage system’s value, therefore are not willing to bet on properties.

House Surveys

Generally, house surveys are not only recommended but often required, when purchasing any home.

Without a thorough survey, certified by a professional, you will not be able to fully appreciate the condition of the home you intend to purchase. Additionally, it is vital for securing a mortgage and lowering insurance premiums.

We only recommend using an independent, accredited company to conduct your house survey. There are various surveys available, ranging in the level of depth and sitting at a span of price points.

The most basic survey level, and obviously the most inexpensive, is more suitable for newer properties. It will provide a general overview of the property and outline the key risks associated with the home you are purchasing.

The middle of these tiers is most appropriate for homes up to 100 years old. This provides a more in-depth survey, which will advise you on any defects the property may have. It will let you know any ongoing maintenance that the property requires.

Finally, a building survey can provide you with the most exhaustive, yet most expensive property overview. It is most appropriate for bigger, older homes, or houses that you are planning on majorly renovating. These premium surveys can be tailored specifically to your needs, letting you know of any issues that may affect the property’s value, or cause you issues later down the line.

Remember, regardless of the level of survey you opt for, there are certain things to look out for. Damp in the property and issues with the roof can be clear red flags.

When to Call a Professional

If you have let the cleaning schedule run away with you, it may be best for you to seek professional advice from a plumbing expert. Blockages can regularly occur and can be challenging to deal with. Although sometimes it can be dealt with by an individual, you do risk causing greater, and more expensive damage to the pipes by attempting to fix the issue yourself.

Additionally, if you come across any leaks whilst deep cleaning the drains, consult a professional immediately who will advise you on how to proceed.

To book in for a CCTV drain survey in the South East, or for any other drain related issues, contract FS drainage today.

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