Why get the property surveyed?
The purchase of a property is usually the largest single investment you will ever make and many people rely solely on the mortgage valuation report. In undertaking the mortgage valuation the Surveyor is only concerned with problems that might affect the security of the loan for the lender, and not whether you have any defects that need fixing. In some cases the property will not actually be inspected and you may not get a copy of the report.
Before making such a purchase, it therefore makes sense to have an in depth knowledge of the property's condition. Home owners sometimes undertake alterations to extend and alter the property which might include the removal of walls or chimney breasts. These alterations can substantially affect the structural integrity of the building and if gone undetected, may result in considerable expense at a later date.
The Consumer Association advise that you get a survey done before you buy, and not just rely on a mortgage valuation. A survey is a very small price to pay for peace of mind which you may even recover if the survey helps you re-negotiate the purchase price. A study by Which? found that those homebuyers who obtain a defects survey achieve a price reduction which is negotiated based on the findings presented to them in the defects survey, demonstrating the value of such reports.
The need for independent professional advice from a locally based Chartered Surveyor has never been more important.