Purchasing a property is an exciting life step, but it can also be a stressful one.
There are endless amounts of paperwork, financial decisions to be made, and a multitude of tests to ensure that the property is in good condition.
One of the most important tasks a potential home-buyer can do is hiring a building surveyor to inspect the property before the purchase is made.
It is essential to hire a local building surveyor to reap the following benefits:
Knowledge of Local Area
Local building surveyors have an immense knowledge of the local area and the type of buildings within the neighbourhood.
They have a deep understanding of how area-specific factors such as the soil, climate, and construction materials can effect property issues such as damp, subsidence, and soundness.
They will also be familiar with the regulations and building codes specific to the location, which is essential for assessing the structural integrity and safety of a property.
They might be able to spot planning anomolies for alterations made to a property that they happen to know wouldn’t usually be permissible (due to their local knowledge raising suspicions in their mind) and advise on the correct questions your solicitor should be posing to the vendor’s solicitor to ensure such an alteration was properly signed off prior to purchase.
These are elements that might not be flagged up so readily by an out of area surveyor who is unfamiliar with the local planning norms.
Hiring a local building surveyor incurs lower costs for several reasons.
Firstly, they are located closer to the property, so no extra funds are needed to cover their travel expenses.
Secondly, they usually have long-established relationships with local contractors and tradespeople, which translates into discounted rates for repairs or maintenance that may be needed.
Local building surveyors are well known in the area, and their reputation depends on consistently providing high-quality services.
They are motivated to cultivate lasting relationships with property purchase clients (or at least some goodwill referrals), so they are focused on delivering reports that are thorough, accurate, and clearly presented to help you make the most informed decision on your investment.
They value the integrity of the community and act with responsibility to ensure the continued high standards of construction in the area.
Easy to Reach
Most of the time, property purchases and selling are time-sensitive.
Local building surveyors are more easily accessible if any urgent concerns arise during the survey process or in the aftermath of the purchase.
Face-to-face meetings can be arranged quickly and easily, and there is no need to worry about lengthy wait times for travel as the building inspector knows the location well and can be on site at short notice.
In summary, a local building surveyor is an indispensable asset if you are a potential home-buyer.
They provide a comprehensive inspection of the property and help identify any hidden defects that may cost significant repairs down the road.
By hiring a local building surveyor, you can benefit from their local knowledge, cost-saving potential, reputation, and reliable accessibility, providing peace of mind that you are making an informed investment in a local property.
Checks You Can Make Before Engaging a Building Surveyor
After making common sense checks to ensure that the surveyor you are intending to use is a suitably qualified member of the CIOB (Chartered Institute of Building) or RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) and that the firm carries the appropriate Professional Indemnity Insurance for the work they carry out.
This is usually a regulated firm membership requirement of the UK Chartered Institues covered by Royal Charter such as the CIOB or RICS for example.
A simple web search can be carried out to establish if they are actually locally based or not.
A follow up call to the firm after making these checks is also a good idea to gain a feel for whether an in house surveyor that works for that actual firm would go out or whether they are in the business of sub contracting to a network of surveyors who are third parties to their actual company.
A person carrying out the survey that actually works for the chosen company is preferable as it could make it easier to ask the individual questions for clarifications etc. after the report has been produced if needed.
Hope this helps you
Mike Brebner of MB Design and Surveyors Ltd. (South Essex Based Chartered Building Consultancy that produce pre-purchase building surveys)