So what kind of house hunter are you? Be honest…
Do you act on instinct and quickly take action if a house you view once just gives you ‘all the right feels’? Or are you more cautious – perhaps you let good properties pass you by because you just overthink everything.
Neither is really ideal, and here’s why…
As with many things in life, the best way to be is probably somewhere in the middle – or at least find a sensible centre ground. In terms of house buying, there’s nothing inherently wrong with responding instinctively, but you do need to proceed in an informed way too.
So how can you do that?
The first thing you need to consider, when you have any house offer accepted, is getting an expert opinion – via a survey.
What is a survey?
A survey is an inspection of a property – a professional health check if you like, of the house’s bricks and mortar. It’s not a compulsory part of buying a property, but it is advisable to be fully informed.
How is a survey helpful?
Well, it’s a great way to identify any potential problems that could affect the property’s value – or might cause you future problems. When you view a house, not everything is always immediately obvious, so it’s worth getting a bit of professional backup.
What type of survey do you need?
There are several types of surveys available – and the one you decide on depends on a whole number of factors. The age or type of property you’re looking at, its value and how thorough you want it to be.
The types of surveys available are:
RICS Condition Report
This is the cheapest and most basic survey and it’s suitable for a conventional house, flat or bungalow in a generally good state of repair. It rates the condition of different parts of the building, services, garage and outbuildings, showing problems that might require attention.
RICS HomeBuyer Survey
Do I need a homebuyer survey? Well, this one is suitable for most modern homes – as well as older properties that are in a reasonable condition. There are two types – one that just involves a survey and one which additionally includes a valuation.
The first makes an assessment on whether or not to proceed with the purchase, the price – and whether any work needs to be done before a sale can take place.
The survey and valuation additionally includes the estimated cost of rebuilding the property after a fire, for building insurance purposes. And the value of the property on the open market
RICS Building Survey
This is the most comprehensive report you can have – and is normally used for larger or older properties, or if you are planning major works.
Home Condition Survey
This is provided by the Residential Property Surveyors Association (RPSA), and is suitable for all types of property.
The surveys are priced according to the level of detail and analysis each provides – the choice of which is most appropriate is really up to you. But we think it’s a great idea to at least consider having one – it’s a better method of buying than just relying on ‘the feels’!