Anyone buying a home will be asked whether they are opting in for surveys at some point during the process. You may have no idea what that means, or why you need it. The fact is, a RICS surveyor is professionally trained to uncover everything you may wish to know about a potential home, and here’s what you need to know to move forward with all the facts.
What Will a Surveyor Do for Your Property?
There are many reasons why surveys exist. Above all else, they are highly protective for prospective buyers as they uncover any potential drawbacks and concerns with the property in question, and for this reason alone they come highly recommended. A surveyor is trained to look for specific conditions such as flood risks, structural issues, energy efficiency, property boundaries, and enforced restrictions that may prohibit certain renovations. This guide will help you learn more about the role of surveys and why they are important.
The Different Options
It is always wise to listen to your conveyancing solicitor regarding which surveys are necessary and which you can leave behind. However, ultimately, it is your decision. The advice below should give you a clearer picture of the general rule of thumb when it comes to buying property and getting the right survey match.
For a relatively newer property, for instance, something built in the last 60 to 80 years, a RICS Home Survey Level 2, also called a Homebuyers Report, is usually all you will need. As a general rule, if your house was constructed after 1945 then this is the one to opt for. The only exceptions are:
If there have been significant and transformative renovations carried out by the previous owners.
If the property is a Listed Building
For older homes such as period properties and Listed Buildings, the more knowledge you have about the structural makeup and general condition, the better placed you are to make an informed purchase decision. For this type of building, a RICS Home Survey Level 3, otherwise known as a Building Survey, is completely appropriate and necessary.
It is worth noting that this is not a pathway exclusively used in older buildings, as it can also be commissioned for newer houses as well.
Problems can cost a lot of money to fix, and new buyers must be prepared for what’s to come. It is demoralising to pour your hard-earned savings into a dream purchase only to discover there are X number of expensive problems that need addressing, so these things need to be figured out in the pre-sale discussions.
A RICS surveyor is a professional trained to catch any problems with any building. They can highlight useful points of action and ensure that you have all the facts before you buy.