Do I need a Home Survey?
Do surveyors work on behalf of both a buyer and a lender? This is a frequent misunderstanding of potential buyers, and the answer is a clear no – and here is why…
The sole aim of a Mortgage Valuation is to satisfy the lender that the desired property is worth the price you’re paying – or at least the amount it’s lending – before a mortgage is approved. A valuation is just that – it won’t point out repairs or structural issues – this is why you need a detailed report to protect your interests. Furthermore, you get the opportunity to speak directly to the Chartered Surveyor, something you would not be able to do on a mortgage valuation.
Many purchasers believe that the Mortgage Valuation is a Home Survey. Given that many of these valuations are now being undertaken as a desktop exercise this is not even a physical inspection, in many instances.
20% of buyers get a professional home survey prior to purchasing their new home, which means 80% of buyers are taking a big risk.
There is a misconception that they are costly and not worth the effort. But requesting a survey can also mean avoiding expenses and stress down the line. According to The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), many buyers are unknowingly setting themselves up for an average £5,750 in repair bills on their new purchase!
A survey of 1,017 buyers across the UK, found that consumers are clearly aware of the need for independent advice from a professional. However, nearly a third failed to get it. The new homeowner may then be unable to afford, or have the desire, to fix the faults and may be left with a property they may no longer want to live in but are unable to sell to recoup their losses.
The survey also highlights that it is the young and first-time buyers who are at particular risk, with a lack of understanding of the home buying process.
So, learn your property’s secrets. Some unpredictable problems such as rot, subsidence, and structural defects are hidden to the inexperienced eye and only apparent to a professionally qualified Chartered Surveyor. So, to avoid a property with walls on the verge of collapse, or that’s built on a floodplain, and to be informed about upcoming repairs to the building or work required on the services, requesting a home survey is a very smart move.
View a short video from the RICS on The Importance of getting a Home Survey!
We highly recommend commissioning your own independent Home Survey, which will provide you with a clear understanding of the property’s condition.