RICS recommends homebuyers to have a survey.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) have recommended that homebuyers have a survey before purchasing a propery.

New research released by the RICS has shown that homebuyers in England and Wales are facing bill for thousands of pounds by failing to have a sufficient survey of a property prior to purchasing.

The report says that a quarter of all homebuyers who only had a mortgage valuation report had to make unplanned building works to the property after purchase.  On average, the bill for these works, such as damp proofing or roof repairs, came to £1,818.  The RICS warns that this could be much higher.

Home surveys help buyers make informed decisions on whether to go ahead with buying a proeprty, before legally committing themselves to a purchase.  However, despite their importance, many buyers remain confused about surveys.

A mortgage valuation report is often wrongly assumed to be a building survey when is it acutally only an indication of the value of the propery for loan purposes prepared for the lender, not the purchaser.  The mortgage valuation will NOT uncover any protential problems but 58% of respondents in the RICS survey wrongly believed a valuation report included information about the condition of the building, including potential damp problems and structural movement.  31% of respondents were under the impression that the building survey included advice on any legal issues to be investigated by a solicitor.

The RICS recommends that homebuyers arrange a survey by a qualified surveyor, even if they are paying for a mortgage valuation report.  There are two options available to the homebuyer. An RICS Homebuyer report which provides an inspection and report on the condition of the property and includes a valuation.  A building survey is more details and may be the best option if the propery is in a poor state of repair, has been altered in any way or if the homebuyer is planning a major conversaion or renovation project.

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