Carry out building survey, buyers urged
4 November 2011
Buyers in the UK property market are being urged to carry out a professional building survey, in order to avoid hidden problems with their new property.
Up to 30 per cent of buyers do not carry out this form of survey, according to property professionals Manning Stainton - preferring instead to rely on the mortgage valuation.
However, this may not prove sufficient when buying certain types of property, according to the surveyors.
"A mortgage valuation is not a survey, it is a limited check that the mortgage lender carries out to make sure the property worth the money they are lending you," said Mike Andrews, Manning Stainton's professional services director.
"If you are planning to buy an older, larger or more unusual property - or are planning to renovate or alter the property - it is well worth getting a building survey which typically costs a fraction of one per cent of the value."
This type of scrutiny is a very thorough examination of a potential purchase - including an examination of structural condition of a property, its wiring central heating and drainage.
A survey of this nature is likely to cost between £500 and £800 - but can save buyers thousands in the long term.
"Replacement central heating systems will cost around £5,000, re-wiring about £3,000 and roof problems can be off the dial in terms of repair costs," continued Mr Andrews.
Precautions are particularly recommended in older properties.
"We are not saying a house is necessarily going to fall down, but the old adage that 'they don't build them like they used to' is simply a myth.
"Increasingly stringent building regulations mean that more modern properties - though perhaps smaller are much better built," explained Mr Andrews.
He concluded by explaining health and safety regulations mean the days of cheap building repairs are gone.
Roof inspections and/or repairs usually require scaffolding for example, certain repairs are beyond the reach of the average DIY enthusiast, and it's now illegal to undertake any electrical work unless fully qualified.