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Is a Homebuyer’s Survey Worth the Expense?

A house that needs a homebuyer's survey

It can be incredibly expensive to move home, so if you can find somewhere to cut costs, then that has to be a good thing, right? You could possibly save money by instructing a basic survey rather than a more in-depth one, but is a homebuyer’s survey worth the expense?

What Does a Homebuyer’s Survey Cover?

You will need to get a basic survey carried out if you are applying for a mortgage, so could you just use that one to tell you what you need to know about the property rather than going to the expense of instructing a homebuyer’s survey?

A homebuyer’s survey is more in-depth than a basic survey. It covers things such as details of faults and things that may need attention in the property, conditions of timbers and assessment of insulation. You will not get the same level of depth from a basic survey.

When Might a Basic Survey Be Adequate

A basic survey might be sufficient if you are buying a new-build property. This is because it should be covered by an NHBC certificate or similar. This gives you recourse ten years after the property is built for any major issues that arise from the building.

One difference between a basic survey for mortgage purposes and a homebuyer’s report is that the basic report will be carried out for the mortgage company rather than you which means that you can’t sue the surveyor if they get it wrong. A homebuyer’s report, as well as being more in-depth will be carried out for your own peace of mind which means that you do have recourse if the surveyor misses anything.

Are Homebuyer’s Reports Expensive?

There is no doubt that a homebuyer’s survey will cost you more than a basic survey. However, if the surveyor picks up important issues, then it could save you a lot of money in the long-term. For example, if you find out the property has major issues, you can decide to pull out of your purchase. If you don’t find out and go ahead, you could find yourself shelling out thousands of pounds to have the issue fixed.

You can use a homebuyer’s survey to renegotiate the price of your purchase if your surveyor picks up issues that you are happy to pay for. A reduction in the property price will probably save you a lot more money than the homebuyer’s report will.

How to Get Good Value for Money

The best value for money doesn’t always mean the cheapest as you often get what you pay for. Use a RICS approved surveyor if you want to be sure of the quality of the inspection. Google surveyor RICS approved and research the companies your search brings up. Looking at the area you want the survey carried out in will narrow down your search options further. For example, for Norfolk surveyors or building surveyors in Norwich, look in that location only, as many surveyors don’t like to travel too far. You can also learn more about surveyors Norwich here.

Homebuyers reports are well worth the expense as they as they can highlight more issues than would be found in a basic report, they are carried out for you personally and they can give you great peace of mind or a good case if you want to ask for a price reduction.


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