How a Homebuyer Survey Can Save You Money in the Long Run

Purchasing a home is likely one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make. While the excitement of homeownership can cloud better judgement, it’s crucial to enter the process with eyes wide open. Obtaining a survey by a qualified homebuyer surveyor can uncover issues you’d otherwise miss, saving you money now and in the long run.

Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

What is a Homebuyer Survey?

A homebuyer survey, also known as a building survey, is an in-depth inspection performed by a chartered surveyor. The property surveyor thoroughly examines the interior and exterior of the property, providing professional judgement on the condition. This differs from a mortgage valuation survey which focuses on determining if the property is sufficient collateral for the loan. 

A homebuyer survey provides a comprehensive view of the building’s state. The house surveyor in Norwich will investigate everything from the roofing and walls to the electrics and plumbing. They’ll determine if issues exist and estimate repair costs and ongoing maintenance needs. Their detailed report allows you to make an informed decision on the purchase.

Why Invest in a Survey?

Many buyers try to save money by skipping the survey, instead relying on a basic home inspection. However, home inspections only scratch the surface. Hiring an accredited surveyor RICS digs far deeper, uncovering hidden defects not visible to the naked eye. For example, issues often missed include:

  • Structural movement cracks disguised by new paint
  • Outdated and dangerous electrical wiring behind walls 
  • Broken pipework buried under floors
  • Damaged roof coverings not visible from the ground
  • Risks of flooding, subsidence, and other issues 

Buildings surveyors will detect these problems and more. Their detailed analysis empowers you to negotiate on price and repairs to reduce your upfront and future costs.

What’s Included in a Homebuyer Survey?

While the exact scope varies, a standard building survey inspects everything influencing the property’s structural stability, condition, and value. The surveyor examines:

  • Foundations – checks for signs of subsidence or heave
  • Walls – investigates cracks, damp, and other damage  
  • Roofing – inspects coverings, drainage, chimneys, and flashings
  • Electrics – tests wiring safety and compliance
  • Plumbing – assesses pipes, water pressure, radiators
  • Drainage – examines waste disposal systems  
  • Flooding risks – checks historical records and flood plains
  • Timber defects – identifies rot, infestations, and other flaws
  • Hazardous materials – tests for asbestos, radon gas, lead, etc.
  • Energy efficiency – evaluates insulation, glazing, ventilation

Understanding the Potential Costs

While not cheap, a building survey is a wise investment before purchasing a home. Expect to pay around £500-£1,000 depending on the property’s size and location. Older, larger, and unusual buildings incur more time and expertise, increasing costs. With hundreds of thousands at stake buying a home, this is a small price for peace of mind.

Buying a home is a major investment where a lot can go wrong. To make the smartest decision, obtain an expert property survey before exchanging contracts. While a basic home inspection scratches the surface, a comprehensive building survey digs deep to detect hidden defects.