6 Surveys Worth Having When Buying a House

*Collaborative Post

As if the cost of buying a house isn’t expensive enough, there always seems to be lots of extra fees to add on too, e.g., the cost of the mortgage broker, the removal company, and the legal fees. Since most of these are necessary, it can be hard to know where to cut back. However, there are things you can do to save money in the process, such as surveys. Here are six surveys it is worth paying out for when buying a house.

Basic Survey

If you need a mortgage, you will have to get a basic survey carried out. This survey will show the mortgage company that it is safe to lend money against the property. The surveyor will carry out basic checks such as making sure that the house is standing and that it is habitable.

This survey is done on behalf of the mortgage company so you have no comeback if the surveyors miss something they should have picked up on. However, you will be expected to pay for this survey if you want to be approved for a mortgage. If you are a cash buyer and you are getting a more in-depth survey carried out, then you can forgo this survey.

Full Structural Survey

This survey makes sure that everything is as it should be within the property you are buying. It lists any defects or problem areas that you might need to consider when you move in. This costs more money than the basic survey, but it is carried out on your behalf, and if the surveyor misses anything, you can take them to court or ask for compensation.

It is worth carrying out a full structural survey for your own peace of mind, especially if you are buying an older style property or you know that you will need to carry out some work on the house, but you are not sure exactly what needs doing.

Don’t be disheartened if there are any defects listed in the full structural survey as it is better to know what you are dealing with than to get any nasty surprises after you have brought the property. The results of this survey may put you off buying the property, but it could also be used as an effective way to negotiate the price downwards if you don’t mind doing the work.

Homebuyer’s Survey

If you are buying a flat, you will not be able to instruct a full structural survey because the surveyor can’t access every part of the building as they would need to if they were carrying out a full structural survey. Therefore, many buyers opt to have a homebuyer’s survey conducted instead. This is not as in-depth as a full structural report, but it will point out any defects in the property you are buying.

Another reason you might decide on a homebuyer’s report rather than a full structural survey is if the property is relatively new. Houses have a warranty for the first ten years after they have been built which makes the builders liable to repair any structural damage that appears during this time. However, it is important for your own peace of mind to know exactly what you are buying before you hand over any cash so you should instruct a homebuyer’s survey at the absolute minimum.

Tree Survey

This is an important survey to have carried out if you are buying a new build or if the property has a mature garden. It outlines the state of the trees on the property and lets you know if there are any protected trees around. You will need this information if you want to carry out work that requires planning permission. Treesurvey.co.uk are tree survey and conservation experts that have been in business for a long time and carry out hundreds of tree surveys each year. They will be able to provide the right information for you and your solicitor and ease the hassle of applying for planning permission once you move in.

Protected Species Survey

There are a lot of species that are protected in the UK as we don’t want them to become endangered or extinct. Species such as bats, dormice, and otters are all protected, and this will affect the way you can live in your new house and whether you can extend or build on the site. This is worth knowing before you buy the property as getting rid of protected species can be a time-consuming and costly process and ultimately you may decide that it is too big a risk.

Topographical Survey

If you are applying for a mortgage, then the mortgage company will probably ask the solicitor to carry out basic searches such as an environmental search and a water and drainage search. These are basic searches that are carried out for lending purposes but unfortunately, it is the buyer who is expected to pick up the tab.

If you want to get a more in-depth survey that looks at the environmental issues, the features of the land around the house you are buying, and any land issues that might arise in the future then instructing a topographical survey is a great idea.

Exactly where you are buying the property could greatly affect the soil nearby. Many homes are built on old landfill sites which can still produce toxic fumes. If you are buying in an area that has previously been used for mining, you may find that your house has been built over this and you could lose your home if the land beneath you shifts. This survey offers you a full picture of what is going on beneath your feet and it can make or break your desire to buy the house.

Deciding which surveys you need to carry out when you buy a house can be confusing, but if you are in doubt, remember that forewarned is forearmed. You shouldn’t go ahead with a house purchase until you are completely happy you have checked everything as not paying attention to the details can be a costly mistake once you have moved in.

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