So you’ve started looking for a property. You’ve had a look at a fair few and there are a couple that you really love. Whether it is as a new home for your growing family, a new property for an expanding business or you are perhaps looking at investing in a Buy-to-let, you’ve decided on your final property and you’ve put an offer in. So…what next?
Surveys? Valuations? Reports? All these terms can become confusing and honestly quite daunting, particularly when you think the hard part is over. You’ve done all the searching for the right property, all there is left is to finalise the purchase…right? However if you don’t make sure that you have all the information needed before entering into property negotiations, you could find yourself with a few nasty surprises later down the line.
Conducting some sort of survey or report on the property in question is incredibly important, because you don’t want to suddenly find a whole bunch of hidden defects that take months to repair, eating away at your dwindling budget. However, what type of survey is best for your property? We’ll take a look at the different reports you can get in order to give you a better idea of what you might need.
Home Buyer Report
This is a generic in depth survey ideal for newer properties or generally those that have been constructed within the last 150 years. It is a detailed survey that takes a look at all accessible and visible elements of the property, listing any major defects and potential issues found that may be expensive to repair.
In some of these reports, an estimated costing of the repairs needed may be included, along with photos of the defects and advice as to how thee defects may be repaired before proceeding. It is a good way of getting an idea of what may need to be done to the property in the event of a purchase.
Residential Building Condition Report
A Building Condition Report for residential properties works in very much the same way as a HomeBuyer report, but it is designed for older properties, listed and historic properties and properties of altered or non-traditional construction. It consists of a more thorough detailed report which also looks at the foundations of the property, again listing any potential or major defects and providing advice on how these can be rectified.
Commercial Building Condition Report
In the case of a commercial Building Condition Report, it consists of a similar report listing any major or potential defects which may affect the condition of the property, including a run-down of the costs required to repair these defects. In addition to a commercial building condition report, a number of other reports and audits may be required for a commercial property in order to make it safe for employers and colleagues. They are as follows;
Fire Insurance Valuation – It is important not to under or over-value a property when requesting a fire insurance valuation as it could cost your dearly in the event of a fire. A professional fire insurance valuation will provide an accurate assessment of the insurance coverage needed.
Health and Safety Audit – Health and safety of all colleagues and employees is incredibly important. A Health and Safety Audit is designed to assess the efficiency of health and safety protocol in the workplace. It takes into account those most at risk and any potential major issues with the property. It will provide advice on what can be done to improve the current health and safety management system.
Access Audit – The disability discrimination acts of 1995 and 2005 has made it illegal for a person to be discriminated against on the bases of their disability in many working environments. As a result of this, you may need to make certain amendments to the property in question so that it is accessible by various persons. The audit consists of a detailed inspection of the property, providing advice on what can be done to make it more accessible to those with disabilities where necessary.
Normally used when selling or renting out a property, this report will take an in depth look at the condition of the property and give it an estimated valuation based on the size and condition of the property. The valuation is also dependant on the location of the property and its condition in comparison to similarly sized properties currently on the market. This is why it is important to take a look at similar properties currently on the market before deciding to sell, as property values may increase or decrease depending on current property value in your location.
At the end of the day, obviously it all depends on what you are going to use the property in question for. If you are looking for a commercial property, a commercial building condition report or survey is ideal, along with a number of other reports. For a newer property, a HomeBuyer report is recommended, whereas older properties or properties of non-traditional construction would be better off with a residential building condition report. If you are unsure or you are having trouble discerning what type of report you may need, you can always request the assistance of a professional surveyor or conveyancer, who will happily help you. Good luck and happy property hunting!
Article provided by www.southdownsurveyors.com, a Chartered Surveyors and Building Consultant company based in Sussex since 2006.