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Why do I need a survey?

Property is expensive. Buying a home will probably represent one of the biggest financial commitments you will ever make, and with the purchase will come ownership commitments and responsibilities including liability to repair which can often be costly and onerous. So before you make a commitment to buy a property, it is essential that you are aware of the implications of the purchase, particularly as regards condition.

Most people rely on some form of professional advice when buying a home, and this should ideally take the form of a survey. In many cases a mortgage valuation will be undertaken, and some people place reliance upon this for information on the condition of a property, but it is important to be aware that this valuation is carried out purely on behalf of the lender simply to check that the property is adequate security for the loan. A mortgage valuation is not a survey at all, involves only a very limited and superficial inspection, and will not provide the purchaser with a comprehensive report on condition. Indeed, many defects, even if noted, are frequently not mentioned.

So, what is the best way forward? You need to obtain a comprehensive health check on the property in the form of a proper survey. We offer two main types:

  • RICS HomeBuyer Report
  • Building Survey

Is it worth obtaining one of these surveys? Emphatically, yes. A survey is essential in helping you decide whether to buy, and possibly whether you will need to re-negotiate the price to take into account the defects which will undoubtedly be revealed. Whether you proceed with the purchase, pull out, or renegotiate, you will be sure that acting on sound professional advice will at the very least give you peace of mind, but could well save you thousands of pounds in costly repair bills. A survey will cost more but is still only a tiny fraction of the capital cost of the property investment.

But don’t just take our word for it - the Consumers’ Association and The Council of Mortgage Lenders advise you to get a survey before you buy, and not just to rely on a valuation.

Michael Roberts and Associates, Chartered Surveyors, carries out surveys (Building Surveys and Homebuyer Surveys) in the following areas of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire:

Arborfield, Binfield, Bracknell, Burghfield, Camberley, Caversham, Crowthorne, Earley, Eversley, Finchampstead, Henley, Maidenhead, Marlow, Mortimer, Pangbourne, Reading, Sandhurst, Shiplake, Sonning, Sonning Common, Theale, Tilehurst,
Twyford, Warfield, Wargrave, Winnersh, Wokingham, Woodcote, Woodley and Yateley


 Rev : 6th November 2013 © Michael Roberts 2006