Surveys – Would you risk it?

When purchasing a house you could be forgiven for thinking that you don’t need a survey carried out because “the mortgage lender has carried out a valuation”.  Unfortunately many buyers assume that the mortgage lender wouldn’t lend on a property if, for example, the roof was likely to fall in within 2 years.  What they don’t realise is that there are different levels of surveys carried out but the cost of these is minimal when you consider what the survey could reveal.  For example, a Homebuyer’s Report costs around £500.00 but if it establishes that the roof requires replacement you can speak to your estate agent and renegotiate the purchase price to take this into account, saving you thousands of pounds and lots of stress.
According to Chartered Surveyors, e.surv, 8 out of 10 buyers still don’t have a survey carried out on their new property.
HMRC report figures in the region of around 880,000 residential property transactions across the UK in 2010.  This means that some 700,000 buyers could end up paying out more than the initial cost of the survey.
Richard Sexton, Sales Director of e.surv said: “Four out of 5 of homebuyers don’t have a survey carried out before they buy a house and this is down to a number of factors.  The main one is a common misunderstanding that the lender’s mortgage valuation will tell you all you need. Buyers should appreciate that this report is not for your benefit but to help the lender assess how much to lend.”
“Interestingly, people buying more expensive properties are more thorough when they buy,” says Sexton, “despite the fact they are the ones who can afford to fix dodgy roofs or unexpected damp patches.  But they’re not just being risk averse — they use surveys to barter down sellers very effectively.  It’s the people who can least afford something to go wrong who are missing out.”
Sadly this is probably down to the homebuyer budgeting every last penny when it comes to conveyancing costs but in the grand scheme of things you can’t afford not to budget for a survey.
Do you recommend your clients have a Homebuyers/Building Survey carried out and how strongly would you recommend them?
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