Buying a house is one of the most expensive purchases most people make in their lifetime. On top of the purchase price there are seemingly endless “hidden” expenses, like mortgage valuations, solicitors’ fees, and Stamp Duty, as well as the cost of hiring a van to actually move.

When it comes to cutting costs, property surveys tend to be one of the first things that get left behind. Whether it’s because buyers don’t fully understand the purpose of a survey, expect that they will be too vague to be helpful or simply because they cost too much money, 80% of buyers don’t bother with a survey at all.

These families are trying to save money, but are actually putting their future finances at risk, especially when getting the right survey for your home can actually save you money. Don’t believe us? Read on…

Problem: It’s unclear what a survey is even for

A lot of buyers simply aren’t sure what a survey is for, and many believe that their mortgage valuation does effectively the same job. Why would you pay for the same thing twice?

Solution

Despite most buyers footing the bill, the mortgage valuation is carried out for the benefit of the lender. It’s intended to confirm that the property is suitable collateral for their loan – not to tell buyers if there are any problems with it. A survey, on the other hand, is specifically designed to warn buyers of defects within the property, so that they can make an informed decision about proceeding with their purchase.

Research conducted by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) found that buyers who didn’t commission a report spent an average of £5,750 on building repairs once they move in. Chances are, most of those defects could have been spotted by a surveyor for a fraction of that figure – can you afford the gamble?

Problem: Surveys are always vague

Some feel that reports deliberately use vague language to protect the surveyor against litigation in case they miss something in the property. Unfortunately, rogue surveyors can sometimes do this, leaving buyers out of pocket for their services and repairs to defects they didn’t spot.

Solution

Check that your surveyor is backed by a reputable industry body, who can guarantee a certain quality of work (and provide a formal complaints procedure should you be unhappy with your report). At Daily Move, our surveys are approved by RICS, assuring our clients that we adhere to a specific code of conduct.

It’s also important that you have a conversation with your surveyor to make sure that the depth of the investigation and the level of detail you expect from the report match – a Condition Report will definitely seem light on detail if you were expecting a comprehensive Building Survey.

Problem: Surveys are too expensive

Most surveys cost between £300 – £1000. After all of the other “little” costs involved with buying a house, it’s easy to see how buyers might try to avoid this one expense.

Solution

Firstly, put the price in perspective. How much is a survey in relation to the cost of your property investment? 0.5%? Less? Now compare that to the amount you could be spending on repairs. As we mentioned above, the average costs are over £5,700, but major repairs can run into the tens of thousands.

Secondly, check that you’re requesting the most appropriate type of report for your home. A comprehensive building survey might seem like the best way to put your mind at rest, but unless the building is very old or in bad shape, it’s probably overkill.

At Daily Move, our focus is making your move as smooth as possible. Our expert team comprises of qualified conveyancers and Chartered Surveyors, who can assist with property surveys, valuations, transfers of equity, remortgaging advice and much more. If we can be of any assistance in your circumstances, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.