My First Property

What Is The Cost Of A House Survey?

One of the many expenditures that comes with buying a house is that of getting the survey done.

A survey performed on the bricks and mortar of the house will give you an indication as to what state it is in. Unless you want to take the risk of buying something that could crumble after you buy it or could be riddled with subsidence then a survey is a good idea - it costs much less than having to repair any of these problems highlighted above would set you back.

Whilst some people object to the cost of a survey among everything else they have to fork out, it can be seen that it is worthwhile because you can't afford to miss potential problems that could lead to you paying way over the odds for a property due to issues you are not aware of.

And if a survey does pick up some small problems, then it's a good thing that you know about them early: you can either arrange with the vendor to get things fixed before you move in, or use it as a reason to negotiate on price and get it reduced. And, of course, if the worst happens and there are major issues raised or things that you consider to be showstoppers, then you can still walk away.

There are various types of survey available, but the valuation report that a mortgage lender undertakes doesn't count as a survey.

The different types of survey are a valuation survey, a condition report, a homebuyer report and a structural survey.
Below we give more details on the latter three, in reverse order.

The structural survey is the most expensive and sets you back around £1,000. It is useful for those who have concerns about the structure of the building they are buying: thus if you are buying a new build then you probably wouldn't be looking at this type of survey! The survey is very thorough and provides lots of information for you - the survey type is ideal for those buying an old property, something that might require repair or are considering carrying out large scale works yourself.

The most common option is the homebuyer report, costing usually in the bracket of £250 - £450. This report will tell you about any defects found in the survey that could affect the value. It will give you a market valuation of the property so you can have some guide as to whether the price you are willing to pay is within the ballpark of the valuation or not, as well as having potentially important issues highlighted to you.

The least expensive of the three we are looking at here is the condition report, at around £100 - £250. This report does not contain a property valuation, but does tell you about the condition of the property and any major faults. As this is a relatively simple survey, compared to the above, then it suits those who are confident about the state of the property they are buying, perhaps if you are buying a new build or similar.

In summary, depending on the type of survey that you decide to get done, you could be looking at spending anywhere from around £100 right up to around £1,000 for a full structural survey, so it does vary considerably.

Last update: 29 May 2015

More first-time house buying articles:

  1. Renting with People you Don't Know
  2. What to do during a Bidding War
  3. Pros and Cons of Living in a Flat
  4. Deciding on Your Property 'Must Haves'
  5. What is a buy to let mortgage?


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