First Time Buyers – Choosing the Right Survey
Buying your first home and getting onto the property ladder is a really exciting time. It’s likely to be the biggest purchase you’ve ever made. We want to make sure the surveying side of the purchase is as stress-free as possible, so we’ve put together some common questions that we get asked by First Time Buyers to help you choose the right survey for your property.
Our team are renowned for their great advice and easy to understand approach, so if you’ve got any questions or you are unsure of anything then please contact us.
My Experience as a First Time Buyer : Nicole’s Story
Why not take a look at Nicole’s journey with Barnes and Barnes. She was a first-time buyer and wanted guidance as she bought her first property in London.
“The biggest benefit of Barnes and Barnes was that we felt secure in our purchase”.
Common Questions About House Surveys
What is a House Survey?
A property survey is an inspection of a property’s condition, carried out by a professional by visiting the property and inspecting internally and externally.
The survey will not only determine the value of the property, the surveyor will also tell you if there are structural problems like unstable walls or subsidence and highlight any major repairs or alterations needed. A property survey confirms a property’s boundary lines and legal description. It also determines other restrictions or easements included in the property. This will all be documented in a survey report which is yours to keep.
Why do I need a House Survey?
Most mortgage companies require a property survey to make sure the property is worth the amount of money they’re providing in the loan.
But that’s not all. The survey will bring you peace of mind, leave you less likely to have any nasty surprises when you move in and be confident the property is worth what you are paying for it
What is the Difference between a Valuation and a Survey when Buying a House?
A valuation is used to determine the value of a property mostly for mortgage purposes. This can be done on site or remotely. It is for the benefit of the lender.
The property survey is a much more detailed onsite inspection of the property. This is completed on behalf of the buyer and supports them in their property decisions.
Do I need a Chartered Surveyor?
Surveyors are property experts familiar with the intricacies of properties in your area. To qualify for Chartered Status from the Royal Institute for Chartered Surveyors (RICs), surveyors will have to have gone through rigorous training.
A RICS surveyor gives the highest level of skill and experience, but RICS also ensures that all qualified members follow strict rules, regulations, and codes of conduct to ensure professionalism is maintained at all times to give you peace of mind.
What is a Level 2 and Level 3 House Survey? What is the Difference?
A Homebuyer’s Survey is designed to help you make a well-informed decision about purchasing a property in London. It is sometimes also referred two as a RICs Level Two property survey. It can help you to assess whether you’re paying a fair price as well as minimise the risk of unexpected issues and costs arising in the future.
A Building Survey is the most detailed of our property surveys. It is sometimes referred to as a RICs Level Three property survey. The Building Survey gives you a thorough assessment of the structure, condition and construction of a property, as well as technical advice on any repairs needed.
How do I Choose the Right House Survey?
The best property survey for your situation depends on the age and condition of the property as well as what you have planned for it. The RICS property surveys vary in how much technical detail and advice they provide and in how in-depth the survey inspection is.
Follow our handy flowchart (link) to find out which survey is right for you.
If you are in any doubt, our team will be able to guide you.
When should I book the House Survey?
The survey should be booked in when the bank has carried out its valuation and made an offer to the client. This ensures that the client is aware that the bank is satisfied that the property is considered suitable for bank lending and will offer the necessary amount to proceed with the purchase. Whilst an agreement in principle (AIP) offer is helpful, it would be wise to wait until a formal offer has been made before commissioning your survey.
When do I get the Survey Report?
We usually aim to have your report completed 7 working days from the survey date.
How long is the Survey Report?
Depending on the survey you choose, your report could be more than 100 pages long. This ensures no details are missed out. But don’t panic, in our reports, there are lots of images and also summary sections and traffic light systems to guide you to the most important information.
We also offer post-survey calls to give you a chance to talk through any questions that arise from the report.
You are then armed with all the information you need to make decisions on the property and negotiate if necessary.
RICS Building Surveys
A RICS Building Survey is the most detailed of our property surveys. The Building Survey gives you a thorough assessment of the structure, condition and construction of a property, as well as technical advice on any repairs needed.
RICS Homebuyer’s Surveys
A Homebuyer’s Survey is designed to help you make a well-informed decision about purchasing a property in London. It can help you to assess whether you’re paying a fair price as well as minimising the risk of unexpected issues and costs arising in the future.
RICS Condition Reports
The RICS Condition Report is the most basic of our property surveys. It covers the defects, urgent problems or potential dangers of a property and helps you to make the most well- informed decision about your purchase of property in London.
Whether you know exactly what survey you need or out need some guidance, you can trust Barnes and Barnes to be on your side and give you the advice you need to make the right property decisions.