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Surveys and Searches

Surveys and Searches

What are the different types of property surveys when buying a home?

Surveyors offer an array of different options depending on the property being purchased. It is best to speak with the surveyor and gain their advice as to what is recommended based on its age, location and so forth. The surveys available are level 1,2 & 3 with different types of analysis involved in each. Level 1 covers the basics being a condition report. Level 2 is a home buyer report which is intermediate. Level 3 is a building survey more advanced with structural analysis too. For those buying a new build they could consider a snagging report.

What type of survey do I need for a new build house?

With a new build a survey is not usually required to have a full survey as the build should have a 10 year warranty as well as building control approval. A snagging survey is a good option as this would address any defects which the developer needs to remedy. It is best practice to check with the surveyor to see if anything further is recommended.

What type of survey do I need for a leasehold flat?

Generally a level 2 home buyers report from a surveyor would suffice for a leasehold flat. It is recommended to check with the surveyor as they can determine the best one based on the properties age. If the building is old or in poor condition further assessments may be needed so you are fully informed of remedial works which may be required.

What are the main conveyancing searches when buying a house?

A Conveyancer will undertake an Environmental search, drainage and water and a search of the local authority. There are further searches depending on where the property is location for instance some areas may benefit from a coal mining search.

What is the difference between conveyancing searches and property surveys?

The conveyancing searches help to gather information in relation to the ground, factors in the area, the drainage and water position and with respect to the roads, whether they are adopted or not and previous works undertaken – gas/electrics/planning permissions/building regulations. A survey is a physical assessment of the property and its state and condition which your Conveyancer can then use as part of the enquiries stage to gather as much information as possible so you can proceed making an informed decision. A combination of the searches and survey are best possible way to gather as much information as possible.

Are homebuyer surveys a legal requirement?

A survey is not a legal requirement and the discretion is entirely on the buyer to arrange this. It is best practice to schedule this in once the offer has been accepted so anything adverse revealed can be investigated early on.

What should I do if issues are raised in the survey?

It is best practice to report this to your Conveyancer who can advise and refer any matters onto the seller’s solicitor. It is also prudent to let the estate agent know in the event there need to be any further inspections/quotes from third parties arising from adverse entries in the survey or in the event of price negotiation.

What other reports might I need when buying a home?

A survey is the starting point. This may recommend the electrics are tested, a CCTV survey of the drains, or a boiler service for example. The survey will help determine any further assessments needed.

How much does a property survey cost?

The costs can range from £200 - £1,500 depending on the chosen survey.

How much do conveyancing searches cost?

Usually in the region of £300 as the local search is variable from council to council it can be a little more or less

How does a property survey impact the conveyancing process?

In theory it doesn’t! if the survey is promptly instructed then any entries can be investigated as part of the enquiry stage. The only impact this can have is if the survey is done later on in the process this can sometimes delay matters whilst the entries revealed are investigated.

Can conveyancing searches delay the conveyancing process?

From time to time there can be delays in searches but as they are ordered once the contract pack is received they should be back in time so as not to hinder the process in anyway.

Is it possible to use a previous property survey report?

No – the survey is bespoke to the home which has been inspected. A new survey would be needed for a new house purchase.

How do I instruct a surveyor?

It is prudent to look for a RICS certified surveyor to ensure they hold the accreditations needed to carry out your survey. If you contact them with the details, they can advise on the best survey and offer a quote. if you are agreeable you can instruct them to go ahead and then they will arrange a time to visit the property. The report will then be produced and issued to you.

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