Which Survey? Which Surveyor?

Lady crouched down with a camera taking photos in an older property in need of some work

There is often confusion about the different types of surveys available and what best fits your needs. In many cases, your mortgage company will carry out a survey. Do you need another?

Think of it like a car’s MOT Vs a service. An MOT checks critical elements for basic roadworthiness. A service looks more thoroughly and provides a detailed report including upcoming issues, maintenance, efficiency, and estimates for repairs. It’s the same with house surveys. The mortgage company survey is likely to be more like an MOT. A full survey will be like a service; and will give you a ‘red, amber, green’ list highlighting what’s good, questionable and urgent, with associated costs.

With this in mind, savvy homebuyers often commission a full building survey on the house they’re planning to buy, especially if it’s old, unusual and/or they’re planning to carry out structural work.

I’ve worked with Allcott Associates for years now; they’re a specialist surveyor offering detailed reports on large, period and/or unusual properties. Tim Allcott is a partner in the business, RICS certified and specialises in residential surveying, listed buildings, and conservation. Here Tim explains the different types of survey and what to look for in a surveyor.

Which survey to choose

Going into a little more detail, here are some examples of what each survey type covers:

What to look for in a building surveyor

Does the surveyor have experience assessing the kind of property you want to survey?

Does the surveyor have access to specialists that may be required, for example, if a structural engineer needs to be consulted?

The post survey service is just as important as the survey. Will the surveyor explain the results and answer follow up questions?

Just like your estate agent, and solicitor, your surveyor needs to be a trusted member of your team. You need to be able to rely on their knowledge to make an important decision.
Photo of a person carrying out a survey with a specialised camera

We regularly sell unusual properties, be they period, riverfront, multi-building, extended, renovated etc. We work closely with sellers to identify potential issues upfront and will disclose any issues we’re aware of. For buyers, we do recommend a building survey for older, non-standard properties so buyers have a clear idea of what they’re buying and any associated costs.

Please feel free to discuss survey recommendations and requirements with us at Kai Carter Estates, or reach out to Allcott Associates.

Tim Allcott MRICS, Allcott Associates

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