Building surveys

When you are buying a home it is important to get a surveyor's report about the property's overall condition. A surveyor is a qualified building inspector who can identify any problems or weaknesses with your prospective purchase.

Types of survey

There are three main types of survey:
  • valuation: this will be carried out by your mortgage company if you need a mortgage to buy the property
  • homebuyer: this is a basic survey that will give you a general overview of the property
  • full structural: recommended for older properties and those in need of work, or simply for peace of mind. Although expensive, it is worthwhile

You can contact the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) to find a suitable surveyor in your area.

New properties

If you buy a house that is less than 10 years old, it may be covered by the National House Building Council (NHBC) Buildmark Scheme or some other warranty. The warranty will transfer to the new owner and will only cover some defects that appear after the house has been sold.

What to do if things go wrong

If you find your new purchase has a problem that you feel should have been spotted by your surveyor, you can take it up with the RICS, if the surveyor is a member.