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Property surveys - what you need to know

Property surveys - what you need to know
"And our survey said?!"

For those old enough to remember the gameshow Family Fortunes, the word 'survey' probably sparks images of Les Dennis. For those buying property, it carries with it an entirely different meaning, yet most homebuyers continue to be perplexed by surveys, particularly when it comes to understanding exactly what they are getting for their money.

There are a host of different surveys and prior to purchasing a property it's worth knowing which is which and exactly what you require.

Type of survey

 - HomeBuyers Report
 - Building Survey
 - Home Condition Survey
 - Asbestos Survey
 - Roof Survey
 - Party Wall Survey
 - Subsidence Investigation Survey
 - Structural Engineering Survey

But why do I need one?

When buying a property, most purchasers form a decision based on what they can see. A survey, though, can often reveal what is under the surface of a property, helping you add substance to your decision, not to mention finding out about a major work that may be required.

Nobody likes nasty surprises, particularly when it comes to the amount of money changing hands in a property purchase so surveys are worthwhile processes indeed.

Reassurance, though, is the name of the game and this can be particularly useful when buying from auction or purchasing a listed building.

Which surveyor?

One that knows the area you are buying in is often a good place to start as they will likely be aware of any potential issues with the property due to ongoing local knowledge, but most importantly, your surveyor should be Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) qualified. This professional body provides a level of accreditation, which is a byword for peace of mind when it comes to surveys.

The most foolproof way to get the best from your property survey is to engage with the surveyor. If you are unsure of the report, ask. Follow your surveyor around the property and take an interest in their actions. It is your house, after all, so you have the right to be nosy!


For sound advice on surveys, contact your local Parkers branch.