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Surveys, the types and costs involved

Whether you are selling or buying a property, before any contracts are signed a survey should be conducted on the property.  A survey is basically a health check on the property, it gives us a better understanding of the value of the property and any potentially problematic areas.There are 2 main types of surveys:1.    Homebuyers reportOtherwise known as a Homebuyers Survey and Valuation, this report is ideal for properties in relatively good condition, that have been built in the last hundred years and are under 2000 square foot in size.  This survey is designed to provide the buyer with a snapshot of the current condition of the property and will identify any problem areas that require further investigations. This report looks at:•    The condition the property is in, including all faults regardless of how minor they are.•    Any repairs that need to be made and the potential costs involved in this. •    Any damp or woodworm in the walls or woodwork of the property.•    The condition insulation and damp-proofing is in.•    The costs involved to completely rebuild the property should something happen to it. •    A valuation of how much the property is worth.•    Any further investigations that the surveyor believes should be undertaken. 2.    Building SurveyBuilding surveys are much more detailed than a homebuyers report. This is a comprehensive report that could take hours for the surveyor to complete. Whilst this is a more expensive survey it does look at the property in greater detail, and gives you a better idea what condition the property you are buying is in. If your surveyor is approved by your mortgage lender, this report can be used in replacement of the basic mortgage valuation, however, note that valuations are not typically included in this report, they can however be requested and then included. This report looks at:•    The condition the property is in, including all faults regardless of how minor they are.•    Any repairs that need to be made and the potential costs involved in this. •    A test for dampness, the results of which are published in the report. •    A test for woodworm, the results of which are published in the final report.•    The condition insulation and damp-proofing is in.•    Detailed information about the construction of the house, i.e. when it was built, what materials were used etc. •    Location information, regarding the area the property is situated. •    Any further investigations that the surveyor believes should be undertaken. The costs associated with these surveys are variable, and largely depend on the size and location of the property. An example of costing is, if your property is worth £150,000 - £200,000 a homebuyers report will cost between £300 and £450, for a full building survey, the costs involved are likely to be between £550 and £750. If your mortgage provider requests a survey to be carried out, and helps you to appoint one, the costs involved will be higher as you will also need to pay an administration fee from the mortgage lender. If you want to appoint your own Chartered surveyor, the best thing to do is to log onto the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) website.  They will be able to provide you with a database of all the chartered surveyors working within your area, all of which will be registered to RICS and therefore will be fully qualified and experienced. Before you do this, ensure that your mortgage provide is happy to accept a report put together by one of these chartered surveyors, as it is often the case that they will not accept reports unless it has been conducted by one of their ‘in-house” surveyors.