Getting a home survey is often an underestimated step in the homebuying journey.
After the initial excitement of finding a potential dream home, the process of understanding its structural and functional integrity begins.
A home survey offers peace of mind by unveiling any lurking issues in your would-be residence. Here’s why obtaining a home survey and a list of the common problems that might emerge is paramount.
What is a home survey?
A home survey is a comprehensive inspection conducted by a professional – usually a chartered surveyor, like GB Home Surveys – to assess the condition of a property.
Think of it as a health check for homes. While outward appearances might be deceiving, a home survey delves deeper, scrutinising visible and underlying issues to provide a detailed report on the property’s condition.
The home survey report becomes a valuable tool for the buyer, equipping them with knowledge, which is imperative when making one of the most significant financial decisions of their life.
Whether renegotiating the property’s price, understanding potential future repairs or deciding if the investment is worth it, a home survey is an indispensable guide.
The importance of getting a home survey
With a comprehensive understanding of the property’s condition, you can decide with clarity whether to proceed with the purchase, renegotiate the offer or look for a different property.
A home survey can flag potential repairs and maintenance you’ll need to undertake. This insight is vital in budgeting and negotiating the home’s price.
Above all, your new home should be a safe haven. A home survey ensures no hidden dangers lurk within its walls, floors or foundations.
Common problems uncovered by home surveys
Many homes have issues, either obvious or hidden, that can affect their value and cause problems later down the line. Some of the most common problems a home survey aims to uncover include:
- Damp: One of the most frequently encountered problems is damp. Whether it’s rising damp from the ground, penetrating damp from external walls or condensation-related issues, damp can lead to mould growth and structural damage if left unchecked.
- Structural integrity: Any signs of a building having shifted on its foundations, such as bulging walls or cracks, can be a significant concern. Causes range from tree roots and subsidence to inadequate structural repairs.
- Roof problems: Roofs have a lifespan. From missing tiles, sagging or wear and tear to more severe issues like woodworm in roof timbers, roofing issues can lead to water ingress and substantial repair costs.
- Faulty wiring: Outdated or subpar electrical systems are expensive to fix and can also be a fire hazard. A home survey can highlight areas needing an electrical overhaul.
- Poor insulation: Inadequate insulation can lead to escalating heating bills. If a home is not sufficiently insulated, it’s essential to know upfront to prepare for higher energy costs or the expense of adding insulation.
- Plumbing and drainage issues: Old or faulty plumbing can result in low water pressure, leaks or even the risk of pipe bursts. Moreover, drainage issues can lead to damp or, in severe cases, structural damage.
- Woodworm, rot and infestations: While woodworm holes might look harmless, they can compromise the structural integrity of the timber. Similarly, rot, if unchecked, can damage wooden structures. Infestations, whether rodents or insects, can pose hygiene concerns and potential structural issues.
- Windows and doors: Inefficient sealing or outdated single glazing can lead to heat loss. Problems with window frames, such as rotten wood, can also lead to future expenses.
- Asbestos: Asbestos, particularly in older properties, can be a significant concern due to the health risks associated with its fibres. Identifying and safely removing asbestos is vital.
- Legal issues: A home survey can highlight boundary disputes, rights of way issues or problems with planning permission and building regulations. While not physical issues, these can become significant hurdles in the homebuying process.
Why you need a home survey
Unveiling the secrets that a home might be hiding is crucial for every prospective buyer.
While a property might appear perfect during a viewing, underlying issues can turn a dream home into a financial and emotional nightmare. It’s like peeling an onion; each layer might reveal something new.
This is where a home survey becomes invaluable. By understanding potential problems beforehand, you’re in a position of knowledge and power.
You can make a well-informed decision, negotiate a better price, or set aside funds for future repairs. It’s always better to tread with caution and insight, ensuring your investment is sound for years to come.