One essential rule of buying a property, and especially a property needing modernisation is to get a survey done. The surveyor's job is to identify any problems or weaknesses with your proposed purchase. That way you will know what you are letting yourself in for. This is a significant extra cost, but one which may end up saving you thousands of pounds in extra work which you didn't know would have to be carried out. If he identifies any problems, you can use this information to negotiate the price of a property downwards.

There are three main types of survey:
  • valuation: this will be carried out by your mortgage company if you need a mortgage to buy the property
  • homebuyer: this is a basic survey that will give you a general overview of the property
  • building (previously called 'structural'): recommended for older properties and those in need of work, or simply for peace of mind. Although expensive, it can be worth doing.

If you are buying an older Listed Building we would advise instructing a specialist surveyor with experience of such buildings, as there are restrictions on the types of work that can be carried out which some surveyors may not be aware of.

Surveyors have a professional body, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), which oversees the work of its members and ensures they carry out their work professionally.


Find a surveyor: