Home Buyers Report
A common question is “why do I need a survey when the mortgage company is already doing one”?
The fundamental difference is that the mortgage company are doing a valuation for their own purposes to ensure that the funds they lend you are secure. It is not a comprehensive survey on the condition, and it is not primarily for your benefit. It is always advisable for you to have your own survey when buying a home so that you know precisely what you are buying.
Incredibly only about 20% of purchasers have a survey! Yet we rarely survey a building that has no defects. It is very often the case that the report highlights defects which are sufficient to negotiate a discount, very often more than off-setting the survey cost.
Basically there are 2 types of pre-purchase surveys, and both would include inspection of the whole property, which includes the roof coverings; roof structure; external walls; guttering; damp-proof course and sub-floor ventilation; windows doors & external joinery; drainage; internal walls floors & partitions, internal joinery; kitchen fittings; sanitary appliances; decorative condition. Visible defects would be identified, such as the presence of dry-rot, rising damp, woodworm, cracks in the structure etc. The testing of services is not covered, but usually a report on its visible condition is given. If required the survey can incorporate an energy survey and testing of services at additional cost.
The RICS produce a guidance note “Choosing Between Surveys”. A copy of that guidance is HERE.
However the depth of investigation and reporting between the two surveys differs considerably:
Home Buyers Report (HBR)
This is the briefer of the two reports, intended to identify urgent or significant defects to the prospective purchaser. It identifies defects which are considered to be urgent or of significant importance, and likely to affect the value of the property. It also provides a market valuation and rebuilding insurance valuation. It is presented in a format dictated by the RICS which uses a traffic-light system to identify the seriousness of the defects.
The RICS produce a sample of the Home Buyer Report. A copy of that guidance is HERE.
These used to be called Structural Surveys, which is misleading because they cover much more than just the structure, and they are now referred to as Building Surveys. They are a much more detailed survey than the HBR, and will include advice on the structural stability of the building, identifying the cause and remedy of any defects found, together with recommendations for remedial works. It will give a detailed description of the construction and inherent defects which may occur over a longer period of time. It will also offer long-term maintenance advice. A valuation is not normally provided, but can be if requested.
We have produced a sample of our own Building Survey. These are the main headings. The report is specific to the particular property and each survey is unique.
A copy of that sample is HERE.
The price of a Home Buyer Report and Building Survey depends upon the type, size and location of the property.
Please call us for a quote.
Call us on 020 8840 5445, or use the Contact Form to obtain a quotation or organise your Survey.