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When you’re buying a house, there is always going to be a degree of risk involved. You’re taking your flexible, safe, liquid capital and tying it up in a real, long term asset; with no guarantee you’ll be able to sell it for more than the amount you paid…

But whilst there may not be anything you can do to control the fluctuations of the housing market, there are many other potential risks you can take steps to mitigate during the buying process, such as the obvious yet all too over-looked housing survey.

Buying a house is a big financial commitment, on top of forking out a deposit there’s moving costs, stamp duty (if applicable), solicitor’s fees, valuation fees… but all of these pale in comparison to the potential costs of repairing structural issues missed by not thoroughly checking the condition of the property you’re buying.

Not only could a survey potentially save you costs in the future, it could also save you money during the sale as uncovering issues with the property can be a valuable bargaining chip in negotiating a lower purchase price.

Beware, when buying a home, you will receive a number of detailed documents such as mortgage valuations, title checks and other information on the property you’re buying. Although this trove of information certainly is useful, it is not a home buying survey and will tell you nothing about the structural integrity of the property.

Types of survey

There are 3 common types of housing surveys available:

Condition survey

This is the cheapest and most basic survey available, it will give a general overview of the properties condition. It will also highlight any significant issues but not in any great detail. Different parts of the property will be given a traffic light rating. A condition survey is suitable if you’re purchasing a relatively new property and are seeking an element of reassurance.

Home buyers Survey

This is more detailed than a condition report. It highlights major issues and includes advice on necessary repairs and ongoing maintenance as well as pointing out anything that does not meet current building regulations. This survey is recommended if you’re buying a property built within the last 100 years.

Building Survey

This is the most thorough survey you can get and is advisable if you are buying an unusual, listed or period property house over 50 years old. It provides a comprehensive, detailed analysis of any defects and offers advice on repairs and maintenance.

The average house price to income ratio currently sits at 7.6, this ratio is double what it was 20 years ago. Therefore, it’s never been more financially prudent to ensure you aren’t faced with any surprise costs in the future.

If you are buying and selling a house and are looking for an experienced, full service conveyancing team to guide you through the process, give our Residential Property team a call on 0161 930 5151, e-mail or obtain a free quote using our conveyancing quote calculator.

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