Why every first-time buyer should get an independent property survey

Row of Edwardian terraced houses

Getting onto the property ladder is a big achievement and an exciting time. However, in your search for the perfect first home, it is essential that you use your head to help you decide whether the property you are about to invest in is good value for money. The financial commitment of a mortgage is a huge long-term decision, so it needs to be the right one for you. And just as you wouldn’t buy a car without getting it checked over first, you shouldn’t buy your first flat or house without a survey.

At Able Surveyors, we have more than 25 years’ professional experience of residential properties in London and the Home Counties. Our independent property surveys are designed to uncover any building defects and potential issues that may not be obvious to the layperson. Without the benefit of a surveyor’s report, these could end up costing you thousands to fix after you move in.

What exactly is a home survey?

Able Surveyors are an independent firm of RICS accredited Chartered Surveyors helping our clients to get the most from their property purchases. As such, we offer the full suite of home surveys endorsed by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, our professional body:

RICS Property Valuations

RICS HomeBuyer Report (Level 2)

RICS Building Survey (Level 3)

While each of the above surveys has a different level of detail, they are all designed with the client at the core. The aim is to provide you with all the relevant factual information you need to make an intelligent decision about the property you are thinking of buying.

Whichever survey you choose, our surveyor will arrange for a site visit of the property in order to inspect the condition of both the interior and exterior of the building, looking for defects or signs of underlying issues. Our findings are then compiled into a user-friendly client report.

Which is the right survey for your needs?

As a first-time buyer with little property experience, you may need guidance to choose the right survey for your property purchase. The team at Able Surveyors would be more than happy to talk you through all the options and guide you in the right direction.

The RICS HomeBuyer Report (Level 2) is a mid-level building investigation, most suitable for conventional modern homes in reasonable condition. The most comprehensive level of reporting is provided through an RICS Building Survey (Level 3). This is the best choice for older buildings, non-standard constructions, larger properties and those that have been substantially altered or are in need of refurbishment. The report includes a detailed analysis of our findings for each building feature and also gives expert recommendations for repair and maintenance.

Is it really worth getting a survey for your first home?

If the flat or house you have your heart set on looks to be in good condition and the budget is already stretched, you may be tempted not to bother with a property survey. However, we think this would be a very risky decision to take.

Sadly, the issues that can easily go unnoticed by an untrained eye are often the most expensive problems to put right. This includes major structural issues, roof and guttering defects, persistent damp, wet and dry rot, faulty electrics and much more. An RICS home survey may cost a few hundred pounds but the potential savings can run into the thousands. The survey report will provide you with the facts you need to know to make an informed decision, be it to proceed with the purchase as planned, renegotiate the asking price, or walk away from the property.

Get in touch

If you’re about to buy your first home and are looking for friendly, professional advice from a reliable property surveyor in London, Essex or the Home Counties, please get in touch with Able Surveyors. We would be delighted to discuss your surveying needs and help you choose the most suitable home survey, putting you in the best possible position to make a confident decision about your very first home. Call us on 0207 164 6628 or obtain an instant quote here.