New builds are popular with buyers as they can be much more affordable and seem to require less work than an existing property. But, does this mean that it’s wise to skip the survey altogether?
What is a building surveyor?
Most qualified building surveyors are members of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). They are the people who provide guidance during the design, construction, maintenance, and repair of a property.
Their job is to assess buildings and report on any problems found during or after construction. Their goal is to make sure that all properties are built:
- on time
- within budget
- to a high standard.
What is a property survey?
A property survey is a thorough inspection of a property. You can have one done at any time, but it’s best to get one done before you purchase a property.
The report you receive after the inspection documents everything you need to know about the property and describes any major or minor defects that have been identified. It will also document the potential cause of any defects, how urgent the repairs are and how much they are likely to cost. Having a property survey done can prevent you from buying a problem property or from making any costly mistakes.
However, this would be less likely with a new build property which is why it is advisable to get a snagging survey done instead.
What is a snagging survey?
If you’re buying a new build property it’s advised to have a snagging survey done before contracts are exchanged. A snagging survey is less comprehensive than a property survey but will still alert you to any problems or ‘snags’ that need to be fixed before you move into your home.
The problems are usually caused by design defects, poor construction, or poor workmanship.
Although it’s advised to have your snagging survey done prior to exchange, as long as you get it done within the first two years of your purchase you’ll not be responsible for any fixes. If you don’t get a snagging survey done you could end up spending lots of money later down the line, should there be any problems.
How much does a snagging survey cost?
Snagging surveys usually cost between £300 and £600. The price can vary depending on the size of the property being surveyed. The smaller the property is, the cheaper it costs to get it surveyed.
It can seem like a lot of money to pay upfront, but it can end up saving you hundreds, even thousands of pounds in the long-term. Not only will you be secure in the knowledge that your home is a safe and secure place to move into, but the building surveyor will deal with everything on your behalf, so you won’t have to put up with any of the stress.
What should be included in a snagging survey?
Every snagging survey should:
- have a list of checks that have been done inside and outside of the property accompanied by photographic evidence
- highlight anything that hinders the property from meeting warranty standards
- document anything that violates building regulations
- outline any work that needs to be done.
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