The importance of getting a survey when buying your home

There are few feelings as good as the first time you walk through your new front door. Buying a home is an exciting and complex process but the survey isn’t just another bit of paperwork, there are many ways that a surveyor can help you when buying a home…You might think that a construction surveyor is only needed when you are looking at building a property. However, they can offer a valuable service when purchasing a property that has already been built. If you don’t complete the right surveys and other paperwork during the purchase process you can easily find your new dream home turning into a nightmare as you uncover all kinds of issues. Here are a few important things that the survey will show you and how you can use it to your advantage:

CHECK STABILITY

The fundamental role of a surveyor is to look at your property for any signs of subsidence, movement and other obvious issues. This can include damage to your roof, electrical issues or even termite problems. In some cases you’ll need a secondary survey to assess how serious a problem is. The idea behind this is to ensure you know what you are buying. Assuming the property is not about to fall down the surveyors report is unlikely to put you off purchasing it. But it will highlight issues so that you can negotiate the price or be aware of how much funds you’ll need to fix the problems.

GRANTS

A good surveyor may also be able to tell you about what grants might be available for you. I’m not talking about grants such as first time buyer’s saving account as this would have been discussed at an earlier stage with your mortgage adviser or financial provider. The surveyor will know of any government grants that are available for home improvements, such as new boiler discount or insulation grants. These can help you to limit the cost of repairs.

PLOT BOUNDARIES

An added benefit of having a survey completed is that you can have the outlines of your plot clearly marked. This will help to avoid any issues in the future regarding which bit of land is yours and which is your neighbour’s.

EASEMENTS

Similarly, a surveyor will also verify if there are any easements attached to your property. These are rights of way and rights of access for utility companies and neighbours. You should also be informed of any utilities running under your new home or the yard. This might not affect your decision to buy but it could cause an issue in the future if you are planning to undertake any building work. It is certainly best to know in advance!

NEGOTIATE

Discovering any issues with your property will enable you to negotiate with the sellers. This might be an issue with the described size of the plot or the condition of the building. If so, you can ask for a reduction in price to reflect the work required.

Or, you might be lucky and find everything is in perfect order! This doesn’t mean the surveyor’s fee is a waste; it simply gives you peace of mind. After all, the more you know about your new home before you move in the easier it will be to plan for the future. This will allow you to enjoy the home you have bought!

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images source from Unsplash

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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