Building Surveys 101: What It Is and Why It Is Needed

A building survey report often causes confusion and uncertainty. Some people don’t know what it is, its purpose, and when it is necessary. Additional questions raised regarding building surveys include what you can do with the report. This article aims to answer these questions and address all the confusion surrounding building surveys.

What is a building survey?

Another name for a building survey is a structural survey, and by definition, it pertains to a complete inspection of every available component of your property. Included in the report are details about the current condition of your property and any structural issues that may be a potential problem. Furthermore, the surveyor will put notes on areas that require additional investigation. But contrary to the assumption of many, a building survey does not include information on the property value. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors regulates all building surveyors in Leicester.

Building Surveys 101: What It Is and Why It Is Needed 1

A building survey is different from a Homebuyers Report, and these should not be interchanged. While a Homebuyers Report is often needed if you are looking to get financing for a home, a building survey is not something mortgage companies require. Still, it is helpful for personal reference if you intend to buy a particular property.

When is a building survey not needed?

There are specific circumstances when a building survey is no longer necessary before you buy a property, and these are:

  • When you intend to demolish the entire property to build from scratch
  • If you are planning an extensive renovation
  • You are purchasing a brand-new home.

Information found in a building survey is beneficial for a home buyer. It helps draw attention to unexpected issues that you missed when you first viewed the property. Having a building survey will guide your decision on whether or not to buy a home or negotiate the property’s price before you buy.

How much does a building survey cost?

The cost of a building survey varies according to the property type. For example, a building survey for a small flat will be somewhere around £600 or higher. On the other hand, a large house building survey will cost between £1,000 and £1,500.

There are some individual cases, such as when the property is very old or large, you’ll need to hire a surveyor who specializes in these types of properties. If you also don’t know what to do with a building report once completed, ask your estate agent to guide you.

Benefits of a building survey

Identifying any issues with the property you intend to buy will help you develop a realistic offer based on the condition it is in. Although you have to keep in mind that the only time a building survey can help you renegotiate a property’s price is when it enables you to identify underlying issues that are not apparent at first glance. Although all properties indeed have problems, a building survey helps determine your priorities before buying the property.


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