Do you need a survey for a new-build home?

RICS Property Valuations

The government is aiming to build 300,000 new homes per year to tackle the chronic under-supply of housing in the UK. With residential developments sprouting up throughout Greater London and beyond, there is now more choice than ever for homebuyers who are seeking the lifestyle offered by new-build properties.

Brand-new homes have a wealth of appeal. As the owner of a newly built property, you’ll be the first person benefitting from its pristine facilities, while repairs and maintenance costs should remain minimal in the first years of occupation. For your peace of mind, the housebuilder will provide a NHBC or similar warranty on the property, plus a snagging service to make sure the building’s condition is as it should be.

If you were buying a resale home, you would be commissioning a property survey for reassurance that there are no building defects or problems. But with a new-build home, there’s no need, right?

Well, not necessarily.

Here at Able Surveyors, we have 25+ years’ experience of residential and commercial property surveying in London and Essex. Our Chartered Surveyors deliver valuable professional insights to our clients, with independent property surveys that enable you to understand the condition of the building you are about to invest in. We would advise all homebuyers to get a home survey before purchase, regardless of whether you’re buying a brand-new or an older building.

Are you paying the right price?

It is no secret that many brand-new homes carry a ‘new build premium’, which effectively makes them more expensive to buy than comparable older properties. The sales appeal of a newly built home is simply so strong that higher prices can be commanded. While this allows developers to maximise profits, homebuyers may in fact be paying over the odds.

According to a recent report by Property Industry Eye, the average new build price premium in the UK is 29% (26% for England).

Paying a higher price could be a problem if your mortgage lender refuses to approve the loan. Even if you succeed in obtaining a mortgage (or can proceed without one), you may struggle to sell the property on in years to come without a loss.

At Able Surveyors, we carry out independent RICS Valuation Reports and RICS HomeBuyer Reports where we verify the market value of the property in question, potentially saving you a lot of time, money and heartache. What’s more, if the survey findings detect any issues with the building, you may even be able to request a reduction in the price.

Are there issues with the building?

Your new build may look perfect but without an independent inspection there’s just no way of knowing. New homes have been known to suffer from a wealth of unexpected problems, and housebuilders are not always forthcoming with prompt remedial action. Poor plastering, bad brickwork pointing and damaged windows among the most commonly reported ‘snags’.

With an investment decision that may well be the biggest you will ever make, can you afford to take the risk?

Fortunately, there are different types of property surveys available that can offer peace of mind, both in terms of the market value and the building’s physical state. Our RICS HomeBuyer Report is a mid-level investigation designed to flag up serious defects and urgent repairs including structural problems such as damp, timber decay and subsidence. For ease of use, a templated traffic light condition ratings system is used to indicate the severity of any issues detected.

Having an experienced Chartered Surveyor take an expert look at the property before you buy can protect you against unforeseen and potentially expensive repairs later on. Say the survey identifies an issue with the damp proof course – our advice will include recommendations for repair and maintenance. Cost estimates can be a useful bargain chip to motivate the developer to rectify the issue before exchange or discount the sale price accordingly.

Get in touch for expert advice

There is no doubt in our professional minds that an independent property survey is your best chance to obtain all the necessary facts about your prospective new home, enabling you to make the right decision.

Whether you are considering the purchase of a new-build in Brent, Bromley or Brentwood,  or anywhere in London or Essex, please feel free to contact the Able Surveyors team to discuss your new home purchase and your survey requirements. We’ll be delighted to talk you through all the options, recommend the best course of action and provide you with a free quote.