Top Tips for Getting a House Surveyed
When buying a house or apartment, one of the things which can catch a buyer off guard is when you are asked to get a structural survey completed on the property.
A lot of banks and financial institutions require this to be completed before finalising the mortgage for the property. Others just strongly recommend you get one.
Either way, getting a house survey is a good idea as it can bring a number of things to your attention which you may not have been aware of before you commit to purchasing.
What is a House Survey?
A House Survey (also known as 'Structural Survey', 'Building Inspection' or 'Pre-purchase Survey') is a visual inspection which gives the buyer a report on the condition of the property.
The surveyor will comment on the structure i.e. roof, walls, windows, attic, access to drains etc. They will also highlight any defects which are spotted including damp or structural cracks and can suggest options in terms of remedial work.
The report will include comments on the cosmetic finish of the property including floors, kitchen fittings, bathroom fittings, doors etc. stating anything of concern. In most surveys, the light switches are turned on, heating is turned on but not individual appliances.
It is recommended that you get a registered Electrician and Plumber to inspect electrics and plumbing / boiler respectively, especially if any concerns are raised by the surveyor.
As this is a visual inspection, the surveyor cannot check everything but they will provide any recommendations they have on work to be carried out or further checks to be carried out.
For example, the report may include something like “Very little insulation in the attic resulting in poor heat retention. Additional insulation required.”
If any defects or planning issues are highlighted, the buyer will have the opportunity to not continue with the sale or to renegotiate the sale price.
Depending on what is found, the bank may also make a decision to not release the mortgage for that particular property.
Apart from being a bank requirement, even if you are buying with cash it is still a very good idea to have a Building Survey complete.
Who can do Surveys?
A “surveyor” is anyone who is qualified to conduct structural surveys on properties. These can be architects, engineers, quantity surveyors etc. They should be registered with one of several governing bodies who operate in Ireland and have their own professional indemnity insurance.
Our Top Tips
Ensure the Surveyor is Registered with a professional body.
These organisations will ensure that the person is qualified in their field and most will have a list of their members on their website.
Ask if they have Experience in Pre-Purchase Surveys
Why? The more experience a surveyor has, the higher the chances of them spotting something serious. Even though a surveyor does not check for things like Pyrite (this requires drilling into foundations and a lab test), if they spot any warning signs they can recommend you get a full test complete.
Ask for a Recommendation or Referral from a Past Customer
Why? You want to know that the survey content and format you receive will meet the requirements of any bank or financial institution. A good surveyor should happily display or share their reviews.
After getting your Report, if you have any Questions about it, Ask your Surveyor!
Buying a house is one of the biggest decisions and financial commitments most people will ever make. After you buy it, you want to make sure you don’t get any nasty surprises which cost you a lot of money and stress.
A survey is a very matter of fact document. The surveyor will list exactly what they observed. A lot of the content on it may contain terms or phrases you haven’t heard of. A surveyor will happily talk you through any elements of the survey you aren’t sure of and give you further detail on it. But do ask!
Follow the Surveyor's Recommendations
After you have bought your new house, follow the surveyor's recommendations - no matter how small. Surveyors know what they are doing. If they give recommendations like “clear moss from the roof”, “clear gutters”, “replace insulation in the attic” etc. They are mentioning them for a reason. Doing so could save you a lot of time and money in the future.
Finally, go to GetHouseSurvey.ie
Buying a house should be a special and exciting time. But the sheer amount of effort, phone calls, emails, forms and running around you need to do is going to stress out even the most relaxed of us.
At GetHouseSurvey.ie the process of getting your house surveyed is quick and easy, with one set fee and have no hidden charges.
All their surveyors have at least 10 years experience and are registered with the RIAI, IEI, RICS, SCSI or the MCIAT. Plus GetHouseSurvey.ie surveys are bank approved and give you the information and peace of mind you need.