Why your head should lead your property search

When you’re looking to buy a new house, it’s very easy to let emotion get in the way of your choice. Perhaps you have fallen in love with a garden, or the fact that the living room is south-facing. Perhaps your future home has a lovely atmosphere or beautiful decoration, or you love the location next to the park.


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When we fall in love with a certain feature, it’s suddenly very easy to fall victim to the ‘bias effect’, which means that we overlook more fundamental concerns. From making sure you have understood all you need to know about house surveys to objectively assessing your needs, it helps to be strategic in your search.

The importance of the survey

Do you know all you need to know about house surveys? If not, now is the time to really find out more, because this is the professional survey which will tell you how structurally sound the house of your dreams is. Yes, the wallpaper and plastering may look perfect, but this report will tell you whether it is in good condition behind the decor. The surveyor will look at crucial areas such as rising damp, foundations and slippage, any signs of subsidence, any structural problems or concerns, any issues with windows and damp, any risks with the roof and so forth.

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What type of surveys are there?

A RICS condition report is your basic report, and it costs around £400 to £600. It is sometimes chosen by buyers looking at new and standard homes in a good condition. The homebuyer report is the next level of survey, and it costs up to £1,000. Again, it is good for standard properties which seem to be in a fairly good condition, and it provides a good general picture of the house, including any risks, concerns, market value, work that may need doing and so on. For all you need to know about house surveys, your chartered surveyor can assist.

The third level is the building survey which costs up to £1,500. It’s good for older homes, bigger homes and more unusual homes, and it will provide a full picture of the state of the house. So, which is best? Your surveyor can advise, but it’s generally best to get the most comprehensive survey you can afford.