Seven Million Homeowners Didn't Have a Survey Carried Out
A recent piece of research has found that amazingly more than seven million homeowners in the UK didn't have a survey carried out on their current home before they bought it. This could be a serious financial gamble, as without a survey you can be in the dark about exactly what work needs doing on the property.
The research, which was carried out on behalf of Churchill Home Insurance, discovered that 3.5 million people didn't have any independent assessments carried out before they bought their current property. Then there were a further 3.6 million home buyers who presumed that their mortgage valuation would be enough.
The decision not to have any checks conducted can be disastrous if it turns out that major work is required once the sale has completed and you've moved in. Around 13 million property owners had unexpected building work that was required after they'd bought a property, and of these 56% said that knowing about this prior to purchase would have had an influence on their decision.
There are a number of problems that can only be picked up by a building survey, and according to surveyors the key issues are damp (33%), problems with the roof (23%) and subsidence (15%). However, having a full assessment carried out on the property could also check the condition of conservatories, extensions or wrought iron balcony railings, so you understand the full condition of the property you're buying.
The main reason for this lack of a survey seems to be financial, especially if buyers are stretching themselves to buy at the top end of their budget. This is causing them to cut back significantly on the areas they spend on pre-purchase, including the level of survey they have conducted.
The numbers of home buyers having a base level check as a minimum actually increased over the last 20 years, from 63% to 91%. In comparison, though, the number of comprehensive building surveys that are conducted has fallen sharply from 28% to only 6% during the same period.
Data from surveyors shows that 91% of those purchasing an older property request a full survey, whereas for those purchasing a new-build 51% would opt for just a Home Buyer's Report instead.
A home survey is an added expense when buying a new home, but it could potentially save you thousands if it identifies major problems with a property.