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Why Property Surveys are so Important

The best way to protect yourself from nasty, expensive surprises once you’ve moved into your new home is to arrange an independent property survey. While you may think that your Mortgage Valuation Report is sufficient, what a lot of estate agents won’t tell you is that this isn’t the case. Mortgage Valuation Reports are conducted for the benefit of the lender, and it won’t ask the right questions to protect you should anything about the property be untoward.

All your bank wants to know is whether or not the property you’re buying is worth the money you want to pay. While this has its uses, it isn’t especially useful if, a month after you move in, you discover a serious structural problem, or you discover that your house is suffering from subsidence. Once the bank has the information it needs, it won’t request the extra information that a surveyor would obtain for you.

The main things a property surveyor will do for you include checking the condition of the property, locating any major faults which may affect the value of the house.  Tests for issues such as damp and woodworm are also conducted, as these are problems which may seem insignificant at first but can spread rapidly, causing serious damage to the house and severely affecting its value.

There are different levels of property survey. One, the homebuyer’s report, is best for standard properties with no obvious problems which are less than 30 years old.  This will include a valuation of the property on the open market. A more comprehensive survey which is suggested for older properties or those which are suspected to have structural problems is the full building survey. If you’re planning on renovating the property, or it has undergone major renovations of its own, this is the better option. While it costs more to carry out, it’ll be cheaper in the long run if any large-scale problem is discovered.

Based on your survey, the surveyor will suggest the best way to overcome any problems identified in the house evaluation. This could include small tasks you can undertake yourself once the property is in your possession, or a recommendation that you pay be paying too much for what the property is worth given its problems.

If you want to make sure you’re getting your property for the best possible price, and to avoid getting any nasty surprises further down the line, arrange for a property survey before you agree to anything. It’s the most sensible way to protect yourself should anything be amiss.

About the author

Jack Freeman is a property expert specialising in new real estate opportunities

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