New home, no survey. Big mistake?

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You’ve found your dream home and can’t wait to get the contracts exchanged and completion date set. Chances are this will be your biggest investment to date. But with your moving costs quickly mounting up, you might feel tempted to skimp on a home survey.

So is it really worth the risk?

Research by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors has shown that 25% of home buyers who don’t get a home survey need to undertake unplanned work in the first year, costing on average £1,100.

And if you’ve already stretched your finances to buy your new home, unexpected expenses shortly after moving will likely come as an unpleasant surprise.

Our conveyancing solicitors run through a few of the reasons why they always recommend that you invest in a home survey.

What is a home survey and what information will it give me?

A home survey is a detailed inspection carried out by a qualified surveyor, which will provide information on:

  • The condition of the property
  • Any issues or defects to the property in need of attention.

Depending on the type of survey you get, your surveyor can also:

  • Provide advice on necessary repairs and maintenance of the property including estimated costs, helping you to budget for such work.
  • Highlight potential legal issues that need to be addressed by your solicitor.
  • Offer an independent view on the property’s value.

What are the advantages to getting a home survey?

Not only will a home survey reduce your chances of getting stung by unexpected and costly repair work, being aware of any faults or defects can provide you with a means to renegotiate a price for the property that takes into account these issues.

For example, we acted for a client who, after getting a home survey, managed to negotiate £30,000 off the cost of the property.

Alternatively, you could request that the seller repair any defects before you move in.

A survey may even lead you to reconsider buying the property altogether if you do not feel financially able, or willing, to purchase a property in need of significant work.

So while it may seem like further expense at the time, a survey could end up saving you money in the long run, along with a great deal of stress.

What type of survey do I need?

There are three levels of survey:

  • Home Condition Report
  • Homebuyer’s Report
  • Building Survey

The most appropriate level of survey for you will depend on the age and condition of the property you are looking to buy, and whether you intend to carry out significant work on the property.

Your conveyancing solicitor can refer you to an experienced surveyor who will discuss your property, as well as the most appropriate survey and its cost.

I’m buying a new property. Do I still need a survey?

While a new build should have passed regulation inspections and be covered by an insurance certificate, it’s still worth investing in a new build snagging survey. This will identify any faults with the building that the property developer can be asked to put right before you move in.

I’ve had a mortgage valuation. Do I still need a survey?

A mortgage valuation is for the benefit of the mortgage lender to ensure that the amount they’re lending you is less than the property is worth. A home survey, on the other hand, is for your benefit.

With a full and detailed picture of the condition of the property, you’ll have peace of mind that your big investment is also a well-informed one.

Buying or selling your home? Contact us for a no obligation quote

For a free quote, complete our short form. Our charges are transparent and we quote for all fees and disbursements up front, meaning that you’ll understand the full extent of your conveyancing charges from the very start.

Further information

If you’d like further advice from our conveyancing solicitors in Bristol about buying or selling property, call us on 0117 325 2929.


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