Buying property tips: First time buyers
When buying a new home it is important to stick to a budget. However do not try to save money when it comes to having a survey commissioned.
A few hundred pounds spent now could prevent you buying a property
that needs costly repairs in the near future.
It's impossible to avoid surveys altogether because your mortgage
lender will insist you have a basic one done. The lender may charge
you for this - usually around £250 - or it may offer the service
for free. It will probably instruct its own surveyor who will report
back to the lender, not to you.
This kind of survey is done simply to assess the value and suitability
of the property as security for a mortgage. It may highlight any major
structural problems but cannot be relied upon to spot anything other
than superficial problems. You will probably have noticed any of these
major problems yourself anyway when visiting the property.
To learn more about the property you need to commission a more-in-depth
survey - either a homebuyer's report or a buildings survey. In most
cases a homebuyer's report will be sufficient. The standardised survey
offers an assessment of the general condition of the property, its
value and any causes for concern.
A more detailed survey will need to be completed for older homes.
A buildings survey can cost up to £1,000, again depending on
the value of the property. The format will depend on the firm of surveyors
you have chosen. As well as reporting on the structural condition
of the property, a buildings survey will indicate the need and cost
of essential repairs and can therefore provide the basis for obtaining
quotes for such work. For further information look to the Royal Institute
of chartered Surveyors (RICS).
RICS is one of the most respected and high profile global 'standards
and membership' organisations for professionals involved in land,
valuation, real estate, construction and environmental issues.
There are a number of other kinds of specialist report which can be
undertaken by experts in their specialist field, such as damp proofing,
foundation work, timber treatment, drainage etc. In many cases such
surveys are undertaken free of charge as a part of the firm's quotation
for the repair work.
See our guide to mortgages for a simple
guide to the common types of mortgages available. It is worth noting
that as the property market continues to expand the market for mortgages
is strongly competitive. As a consequence rates for first time buyers
are getting better and better and preferential deals can be found
by shopping around.
In-depth mortgage guide
Choosing a property
Search for property online