Our Survey Says: Assessing Your Future Home

Zoopla property news author Robin Stenson looks at the varying costs of UK house surveys

Home inspections are absolutely imperative for anyone buying property in the UK. These inspections (often called ‘surveys’) can inform potential buyers of problems having to do with the property’s structure, any necessary repairs or alterations, as well as the risks associated with the property. However, if you are buying property overseas, check out this great article from simon conn on how to do that, then there will be some difference in how inspections are handled. This will obviously need to be looked into beforehand so that if you do plan on buying property abroad, you have the necessary information and support to go ahead with your plan. Inspections are crucial when looking for a home, no matter where it is.

Surveys can directly inform a potential buyer about the health of their investment. Potential buyers who carry out surveys prior to completing a transaction are in a significantly better position to renegotiate the price of the home if necessary or to ask the seller directly to fix any problems before completion of the home purchase.

UK house survey costs depend on the type of survey you want and there are three main types of surveys:

1. The Basic (or Lender’s) Valuation – Most lenders require a survey of the property to check that it is in fact worth the price it is listed for. This type of survey is commissioned by the mortgage lender but paid for by the potential buyer.

The cost of a basic valuation depends directly on the value of the property, for example a property worth 50,000 might require a survey that costs roughly 125. Some lenders forgo this fee in an effort to entice buyers to take out a mortgage with them.

2. The Homebuyers Report – This survey typically costs between 250 and 500

3. Building (or Structural) Survey– This variety can cost anywhere up to 1,000 plus VAT, depending on the value of the home.

Even if you are considering buying a newly built property, getting an expert to give it a once over first is essential. While the condition of the new property is guaranteed by the builder, it is much safer to deal with any potential problems ahead of time and as a result of intelligence gathered from a private survey.

In this way, surveys are necessary due diligence for potential home buyers. They ensure the health of your property and thus your investment. Attempts to negotiate issues after purchase rarely end well and leave many a new homeowner spending significantly more than they bargained for.

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