Which survey is right for you?

publication date: Apr 29, 2014
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books


Find out which type of survey you need

There are lots of reasons to have a survey on a property. Whether you are buying a property you don’t know, looking at letting a property to tenants, wondering what work will be involved in extending your home or worst case, you are seeing cracks and maybe damp in your home, then a surveyor is the person you need to look after you.

There are lots of different surveys to choose from. For example if your property is over 100 years old, then you are likely to need a building survey from a RICS surveyor. Old properties can have all sorts of ‘hidden’ problems such as dry or wet rot, infestations, poor maintenance in the past which could even mean the property is dangerous to live in.

A Homebuyers Report is needed if you want to understand not just the condition of your property, but also give an independent view on the property’s value. This can be helpful to find out if there are reasons to revise your offer to the seller, to make sure you have offered the right rather than an over inflated figure in your desire to secure the property. It’s a way of your head ruling your heart during the buying process.

Of course a property is worth what a seller will sell for and what a buyer is willing and able to sell for. However, it’s good to know if you have secured a good deal, paying the ‘right price’ or whether you have offered too much.

One of the most cost effective and useful surveys is the condition report. If you are buying a property that ‘looks OK’ and was built since the 1930s when the first building regulations came into being, then it’s still worth spending a few hundred to £500 on a professional surveyor.

The condition report looks for things you can’t necessarily see, such as subsidence or damp. It gives a list of things that need fixing now and ones which can ‘wait a while’!

For more information on choosing the right survey for you and help finding a surveyor, do read our expert checklist from the Residential Property Surveyors Association.

    All our information is brought to you by Kate Faulkner, author of Which? Property books and one of the UK's top property experts.
    This website is Copyright © Designs on Property Ltd and Propertychecklists.co.uk protected under UK and international law.