Whether you have been looking for months on end or you have only just started your search, looking for a new property is often one of the most important investments you can make in your lifetime.
SO what do you need to remember when out house hunting? Should you always take an elderly relative to viewings with you? Are you allowed to ask certain questions about the house’s history or should you just view the property in silence?
There are a lot of questions surrounding looking at a home, particularly if you are looking at a ‘pre-owned home’ or one that is a part of a chain. It can be difficult to get all the answers you need in comparison to a newer property or uninhabited property, and the presence of other furnishings can also make it hard to imagine your own furnishings in the property, but it has its advantages as well.
For example, you can always ask the current tenant about energy performance, any potential issues they may have had, or problems they might want to divulge. After all, they’ve lived in it and can give a good idea of what shortcomings or benefits the property may have.
However both your analysis and the analysis of the previous tenant or owner can sometimes be unreliable and can be swayed by personal opinion. You may not have prior knowledge of what to look for in a property and you could miss things.
So why not invest in a professional surveyor, to provide an accurate and in depth full analysis of the property in order to ascertain whether or not it is right for you?
Home or Investment?
We need to get this sorted out straight away; are you purchasing a home for you and your family to live in, or are you looking at a buy-to-let investment or similar investment?
Depending on the purpose of the property in question, you may need to look at specialist surveyors who have experience in those fields. Some surveyors have experience in surveying all property types and can provide expert advice on buying, selling and even renting out a property.
However others may be more specialist so bear this in mind when considering a surveyor.
Collecting all the Necessary Information
A professional surveyor will be able to collect all the necessary information about a certain property and compile it in a comprehensive, easy to understand report that you will have full access to.
As a professional hired for your benefit, surveyors are there to help you through any misgiving and will offer advice on what the best thing is to do in your situation.
By taking an in depth look at the property in question, you may be able to look at things from a more lateral perspective instead of looking at it from an emotional point of view (i.e.; dream home, fell in love at first sight, these sorts of concepts can sometimes cloud your judgement).
A surveyor will also be there to provide a professional second opinion, which you may not have had access to before and in some cases it can really help you make a decision, particularly if you have never bought a home before.
Hidden Defects and Repairs Needed
This is where we get down to business. A professional surveyor is hired in order to look through all visible and accessible elements of the property, listing any and all hidden and major defects they find.
This can be anything from cracks in the ceiling and along the skirting boards to damp and mould, missing roof tiles and warped timber beams.
As a surveyor has specific experience in looking out for these issues, they may notice a lot of things you may have missed during your initial inspection.
A surveyor will also be able to provide advice on what can be done to repair these defects, potential costs involved in the reparation and whether or not any other works need to be done in order to make the property fit for living in.
The cost of these defects can be anywhere from a couple of hundred to thousands of pounds and can have a great effects on your quality of living within the first few months of moving in, so being properly alerted to these defects before you buy is a big plus.
While surveyors themselves can run a hard bargain when it comes to pricing, the cost of a survey for a couple hundred pounds is well worth it when you could potentially save thousands of pounds worth in repairs.
As surveyors will be able to highlight any major issues straight away, they offer advice on how to deal with those issues and some surveyors will even give a rundown of the costs involved.
This allows you to then make an informed decision on whether or not to proceed with the purchase. Ultimately it is up to you whether or not you choose to ask for the advice of a professional surveyor, but it often comes highly recommended.
Article provided by Southdown Surveyors; a multi-disciplined Chartered Building Surveying firm offering an independent, professional service along the South Coast since 2006.