Why you should always commission a survey when purchasing a property

Why you should always commission a survey when purchasing a property

When buying a house there are lots of issues to address before the operation can get underway.

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You will need to find a reliable lender, seek out a conveyancer and arrange for a survey of the property.

You might think these would be no-brainers, but a surprising number of people fail to carry out an adequate survey of the property they are purchasing before pressing ahead, according to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).


Placing these priorities in order once you have your lender in place, wherever you are looking for conveyancing solicitors Reading, Manchester or London, you will find useful information at sites such as https://www.samconveyancing.co.uk/conveyancing-solicitors/conveyancing-solicitors-Reading.

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These sites may also offer information on reliable surveyors too. Another check you can undertake is to visit the RICS site to check surveyors against their membership list.

It is likely that your lender will insist on a survey, but in either case you should undertake one, since this is likely to be the most expensive purchase you ever make, and you could be making a costly mistake in the long run by attempting to save costs upfront.

You may be left owning a property you would never have bought if you do not get independent advice on the state of the structure from a surveyor.

There could be serious structural defects, wet or dry rot or problems with the roof or damp-proof course.


It is important not to confuse the valuation report which your lender will insist upon with a full survey of the property. The former will not highlight the structural problems which the property may have.

A thorough survey will also advise your conveyancer of any issues which they should be aware of. Often the survey will pick up planning issues that may need to be addressed where the necessary consents have not been acquired.

The RICS specify three kinds of surveys: a condition report, a Homebuyer Report and a Building Survey often known as a Structural Survey.

The former may be suitable for new builds and is the most basic report, whilst the Homebuyer Report includes insurance rebuild costs and a market valuation. A Building Survey is suitable for older buildings and is the most comprehensive report and is useful if you are planning major works on the property.

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