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Surveying Guide

This guide introduces you to surveys, explains their importance and how to choose a reputable surveyor.

Surveying Guide

1. What is a survey?

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A survey is a property health check, carried out on behalf of any individual considering the purchase of a property. The inspection will result in a detailed report providing information about the condition of the property and any areas of concern.

2. Types of survey

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When buying property there are three levels of survey to consider.

  • A valuation is a basic review of a property undertaken on behalf of a mortgage lender.
  • A Homebuyer's survey is more detailed than a valuation and is carried out on behalf of the buyer. This survey type is generally suitable for most conventional properties that are less than 100 years old.
  • A Buildings survey involves a more in-depth investigation and is generally recommended for older properties.

3. Why a survey is necessary

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Many people neglect to commission anything other than a basic valuation when buying a home. However, a property survey, involving a detailed inspection of the property will ensure you are fully aware of its condition before you buy it.

It is the buyer's responsibility to be certain that the building is structurally sound, the vendor has no obligation to declare any faults.

4. The difference between a valuation and a survey

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It is important to understand the differences between a valuation and a survey.

  • A valuation is a basic check, carried out on behalf of a mortgage lender, to ensure the property is worth the loan being secured against it. Ideally if you are buying a property it is important you do not rely solely on the valuation, you should also instruct a survey on your own behalf.
  • A survey is a property inspection carried out by a qualified surveyor on behalf of the buyer. There are various levels of survey and the option used will be dependent on the property.

5. What a survey tells you

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The surveyor will inspect and report on parts of the building that are visible and readily accessible and will assess the condition of those parts.

When you receive the survey concentrate on any issues highlighted as urgent or significant.

The Homebuyer's report grades problems in the following way:

  • Urgent repairs (e.g. faulty wiring or gas leak): this indicates that an issue that needs urgent attention and immediate rectification.
  • Significant matters requiring further investigation by specialist contractors.
  • Significant (but not urgent) repairs.
  • Other significant considerations.
  • Matters identified by inspection.

6. Instructing a surveyor

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When instructing a surveyor, you should ensure they are qualified and a current practicing member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Your estate agents may be able to recommend a surveyor, alternatively Countrywide employs a large number of RICS qualified surveyors based throughout the UK. Our surveyors are experts in their field and have a vast knowledge of all property types.

Call Countrywide Surveyors on 01332 565 220 or contact us.

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