When buying a house money is almost always in short supply and difficult decisions have to be taken about how to prioritise expenditure. And the first question many people ask themselves is whether or not they should bother having a survey, particularly if the house is quite modern. After all, the mortgage company will be doing their own survey, won’t they?
The fact is that your lender has only one interest, and that is whether or not they can get their money back if you stop paying the mortgage. They’re not too bothered if the boiler was old, or the drains are a bit blocked. Those are minor details in relation to the overall security of their money. But those things are probably very important to you.
So, instead of being a 15-minute surface scan of your new home, a proper survey will give you an in-depth review of the condition of all of the elements that go to make up the building.
But most surveys are so full of excuses about why something couldn’t be examined, and so vague about whether or not something is right or wrong that they really aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. Aren’t they?
The sad fact is that some surveys, particularly when they are provided by your lender alongside the valuation, and prepared by a corporate-employed surveyor, are like that.
But not all.
Surveyors like myself take pride in providing our clients with clear and valuable information and try to avoid those annoying caveats and get out clauses.
My approach is that I will look at everything I can possibly, reasonably, inspect during the course of a non-invasive inspection, and give you my own honest opinion of the condition of as much of the property as possible. Surveyors don’t have x-ray vision, but what we do have is an in-depth knowledge of the way a house is constructed. And we can use that to extrapolate the evidence we see on the surface to understand what is going on beneath.
So a good survey will give you the knowledge and information to allow you to make an informed judgement about your new home purchase.
When you’re making the biggest purchase of your life a few £hundred spent at the outset on a good survey can help you negotiate £thousands off the purchase price, or save you facing large and unexpected repair bills.
And when money is tight it makes good sense to know what you’re spending that money on.
But if you’re not sure about whether or not a survey is right for you then feel free to call me for an informal and impartial chat. I won’t force you to buy a survey if you don’t need one, but I’m happy to explain how it could be of benefit to you. Call me on 01243 887999.