Home » 5 Reasons Why You Should Have a House Surveyed Before You Buy It

5 Reasons Why You Should Have a House Surveyed Before You Buy It

(June 19, 2023)

House buyers might deem the cost of a property survey unnecessary. Especially considering the amount of money that’s involved with moving house or buying your first home. But you must look at a home buyers survey as an investment rather than just as another expense in the process. According to Churchill, over 7 million homeowners didn’t have a survey carried out before buying their house. They also reported that around 13 million homeowners faced unexpected building work when they moved into their property.

56% of those asked stating that knowing about those issues in advance would have influenced their decision when it came to buying the property in the first place. The top three issues, according to the same source, found by surveyors are, typically: subsidence, damp and issues with the roof. But that isn’t the end of it. Trinity Rose states that the top ten most common structural problems found at a property during a survey include:

  1. Subsidence
  2. Damp and mould
  3. Roof damage or wear
  4. The presence of asbestos
  5. Japanese knotweed and other invasive plants
  6. Trees and shrubs being planted too close to a property
  7. Faulty drain pipes or general drainage issues
  8. Electrical safety problems
  9. Poor quality windows 
  10. Insufficient insulation throughout

If you do not have a house survey done, then the likelihood of you unexpectedly coming across at least one of these issues is extremely high. If you do, then it’s also possible that it could cost a considerable amount of money to rectify, or you will be forced to rely on your house insurance provider paying out. Especially if you have roof or structural issues. If that isn’t incentive enough to have a house survey carried out on your home before you purchase it, then here are five reasons why you should hire a surveyor if you’re looking to buy a house:

 

1. A surveyor can identify subsidence issues

We have already discussed a wealth of structural and building issues that a surveyor will be able to identify. But one of the most common problems that surveyors find is subsidence. This is an incredibly damaging structural issue to have, affecting many different aspects of your home as the condition worsens. Over time, subsidence can cause:

  • Doors and windows become jammed
  • Sinking floors
  • Cracks in both internal and external walls
  • Extensions to move away from the property
  • Noticeable leaning of the property
  • Water stains on walls or ceilings
  • Chimney separation from the rest of the house
  • Tilting of driveways, garden paths or patios

Despite subsidence being detrimental to the integrity of a property, it can be rectified by us here at Geobear. We offer innovative underpinning solutions by way of the resin injection method. The material we use is injected at pressure forcing its way into voids, expanding as it goes. This reinforces the ground the property is sat on, thus rectifying your subsidence problem. It’s also hassle-free and non-disruptive. This means that you can carry on with your everyday life even while we carry out the work. On the other hand, you will need to have a house survey carried out to ensure the property you’re purchasing doesn’t have subsidence issues. 

 

2. A mortgage provider’s valuation isn’t for the benefit of the borrower

You might think that your mortgage provider is doing you a favour by carrying out their valuation of your prospective property. But this isn’t for the benefit of the borrower. It’s important that you know the difference between a valuation and an evaluation. Your mortgage provider is valuing the property, not evaluating it. 

This essentially means that they’re simply checking whether or not the house is worth what they’re lending you. Most of the time, providers will look at house sale trends in the area and take a look at Google Street View as a way of valuing the property. Rarely someone will physically go and visit the property you’re interested in. An evaluation is very different. 

An evaluation would uncover structural issues with the house. But your mortgage provider will not do this for you. You will need to employ an independent surveyor to carry one out for you. Seeing as your mortgage provider will not see the property, it’s highly unlikely that they’ll be aware of any major issues with the house. So do not rely on them to uncover those for you.

 

3. Buyers who didn’t have a property surveyed spent an average of £5,750 on unexpected repair costs

According to Bromley Property Company, buyers who did not have a survey done on their property faced an average of £5,750 in unexpected repair costs. 17% of those asked said that they paid upwards of £12,000 on their home just to make it safe and habitable. This comes as a result of not having a home survey carried out before buying their home. 

They could have saved money by negotiating the price as a result of finding those problems. On the other hand, they could have found another property with far fewer issues. This means that they wouldn’t have to carry out such major, expensive repairs when they moved in. To prevent this from happening to you, make sure you have a house survey carried out before you make your purchase.

 

4. It has the potential to help you renegotiate the price of the property

As we’ve already touched upon, you can use the findings of a house survey as a way to negotiate the price of the property. If the roof needs replacing, for example, then you could get a quote from a qualified, competent roofing company and then subtract that amount from the asking price. This way, you’re making reasonable deductions based on work that needs to be done to make it both habitable and safe. If you decrease the amount you pay for the house, then you’ll have the cash to carry out the repairs. In addition, it won’t be an unexpected expense, either. Having a house survey carried out might be just another fee to pay. But it has the potential to save you a considerable amount of cash in the long run.

 

5. Surveyors impartially & objectively inspect your prospective property

Surveyors have absolutely no attachment to your prospective home. This means that they’ll go around and inspect it completely objectively, notifying you of every problem they can find. It will enable you to make the right decision when it comes to whether or not you should purchase the property. The report you receive can also be sent to a wide range of people involved in the process, including conveyancers, solicitors, your mortgage provider and even the estate agents. As already touched upon, you can use the report as leverage to reduce the asking price. It only ever benefits the house buyer, so make sure you have one carried out before committing. 

 

 

Geobear is on hand to deliver meticulous, effective subsidence solutions, including underpinning. We are also able to provide water sealing services and rectify other structural issues, whether you’re a commercial or domestic client. For more information about how we can help you today, get in touch with a member of our professional, specialist team – we’re always pleased to hear from you.

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