Alan profile image.jpg

Author - Office Dog, Alan

Always ready to sniff out the news

Do I really need a survey?

Posted by siteadmin on Tuesday 21st of September 2021.

Well, the short answer is yes.

Contrary to costs such as legal fees, estate agency fees or Stamp Duty, having your new home surveyed isn’t actually compulsory. However, with a property being the most expensive thing most of us will ever buy, the price of not having it checked by a surveyor could be devastating.

If you buy a property for the seller’s asking price and later find it has serious defects, it’s too late to back out of the purchase or renegotiate a price with your seller. You’re also likely to find yourself paying out to rectify the fault – and probably a lot more than you would have paid for a survey in the first place!

A survey to suit your needs
There isn’t just one type of survey available – you can get different ones that range in cost, according to the kind of property you’re buying:

  1. Condition report
    What is it: a basic overview of the property that only highlights the most significant defects; it doesn’t go into detail.
    Suitable for: those buying a relatively new homes in good condition.
  2. Homebuyer report
    What is it: a more comprehensive survey that highlights obvious defects such as damp or subsidence. It will include advice on any necessary repairs or maintenance and may also include a valuation or an estimation of rebuild costs. However, it’s not an intrusive survey, meaning the surveyor will only be picking up on visible issues.
    Suitable for: those buying a standard property in a reasonable condition.
  3. Building survey
    What is it: the most comprehensive type of survey, which looks at the property’s structure and condition, lists any defects and advises on repair and maintenance work. Unlike a homebuyer report, this is a much more hands-on survey, so the surveyor will do things like going up in the loft or looking under floorboards or behind sofas.
    Suitable for: older or listed buildings, or properties that are in poor condition or have an unusual design or structure.

But what if I’m buying a new build?
Even though it’s tempting not to have a new build property surveyed, there can still be issues with new build homes that could be costly to repair. If you’re buying a new build, you’ll need a slightly different survey called a snagging survey. It identifies any defects with new build homes, from cosmetic issues to structural problems, which the developer will then have to fix within the two-year warranty period.

We can help
As a member of Openwork, we can refer you to our specialist Surveying Service, which offers access to a large network of approved surveyors across the UK. For your peace of mind, get in touch.

Surveying is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

man on computer

Key takeaways

  • Do you need a survey of your new home? The short answer is yes!
  • Getting a survey done ensures you won’t buy a home only to find out about serious defects that could cost you a lot of money to repair
  • There are three types of survey: a condition report, a homebuyer’s report and a building survey
  • Each goes into more detail than the last, with the condition report being the most superficial and a building survey the most comprehensive
  • The type and cost of the survey you commission depends on the property you’re buying; if it’s a relatively new property in good condition, a condition report will be most appropriate
  • If you’re buying an older, listed or unusual property, you’ll likely need a building survey
  • As a member of Openwork, come to us and we’ll refer you to our Surveying Service.