5 reasons to always survey a house before buying

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Buying a new home is an exciting chapter of your life and it can be very easy to just jump in, with lots of enthusiasm, and trust you are buying the perfect home.

But buyer beware!

While you should take time to enjoy the big step you’re about to take, it’s also important to be cautious, take a breath and make sure you know everything you can about the property before making the biggest purchase of your life.

Top of the to do list is a home survey (also known as a property inspection or building inspection). 

This is crucial and while it may seem unnecessary or a hassle, there are real risks and costs at stake if you choose to forgo it.  A survey will actually make your big decision much easier - simply because it gives you peace of mind that what you are buying is sound.

In New Zealand there are some key concerns to be aware of including the ongoing issue of leaky building and the more recent issue of the standards of earthquake repairs.

Here are five big reasons why a home survey should never be ignored:

1.  You’re making a huge investment

For most, a house is likely to be the single biggest purchase of your life so it only makes sense to  spend a little more time and money on a survey to make sure your investment is a good one.

When you move into your new home, your budget is going to be tight since you’ve just spent lot of money on the house.  The last thing you want is to be surprised by repairs that need to be carried out because you weren’t aware of the issues before buying it.

2.  You get a professional opinion

Getting a qualified surveyor to take a look at your potential new home is a valuable investment.

While a home may look amazing on the outside, there may be many hidden faults or structural concerns under the surface that will eventually cost you.  Having a professional set of eyes look at everything will help uncover exactly what you’re buying.  Most property inspection reports are very detailed, including photographic evidence, as well as details on not only the build of the home but materials used and any illegal extensions as well.

You may think that a survey is unnecessary, especially if you’re buying a newly built home. The truth is, you can’t judge a house by its appearance alone, no matter its age.  The majority of red flags are not visible to the untrained eye, which makes the advice of an expert essential.

As a home buyer, you may not be able to identify problems with electrical wiring, plumbing, or insulation, but trained surveyors or property inspectors can.  It’s their job to look out for you, so don’t make the mistake of not seeking out their help. You might regret it.

3.  You will know about any potential costly repairs in the future

Spending money on a survey can seem like a step you can skip, especially when you are already going to be spending a great deal of money on the home itself.   However, spending the money upfront to be certain there won’t be surprises in the future is never a bad idea.

The average cost of a survey is from $450 to $1,200, depending on a wide range of factors such as the size of the house, what type of house it is, and where it’s located.  It’s better to spend a little money up front rather than pay thousands of dollars on unexpected repairs.

4.  You get the edge when re-negotiating a deal with the seller

If your surveyor finds serious problems—like structural issues— you can take advantage of this information to renegotiate your offer and get a better deal.

Depending on the negotiation, the seller may offer you a lower price to account for the cost of repairs.  Alternatively, they may keep the asking price but offer to finance the repairs themselves.  Either way, a property survey insures you are getting the best deal possible.

Another benefit of the survey is that if problems found in the course of it are too severe, you’ll have the opportunity to back out of buying the house. This may not seem like the best financial decision but paying the cost of the survey is nothing compared to buying a home with bad issues you will have to pay to fix.

5.  You get peace of mind

You also need to consider the health and safety of you and your family.  After all, you’re going to be living in this house for the foreseeable future, and want to make sure there are no hazards such as dangerous moulds, dampness or even fire issues. 

Before making one of the biggest purchases of your life, you will be thankful for the assurance that it’s a good investment. A survey will eliminate any anxiety or stress you have regarding what may be wrong with the house.

If no issues are discovered, then you’ll have peace of mind.  And even if some issues are found, you can assess whether it’s still worth buying the house - at least you will know what’s necessary to bring the house up to 100%

Choosing a surveyor or property inspector

Finding the right surveyor for you is as vital as the survey itself.  Here are the most important qualities you need to look for when choosing one to survey your future home:

  • The ideal surveyor is a qualified building professional who has plenty of experience in surveying homes of all types and sizes.
  • The surveyor must be independent, meaning he or she is not employed by your seller or real estate agent. This creates bias that may affect the outcome of the report or the degree of depth of the findings.
  • Ahead of the survey, the surveyor must be able to provide you with a sample report containing the kind of information the surveyor will be able to offer

When looking for a surveyor, you can get recommendations from those in the real estate or building industry or contact the following professional associations:

  • Building Officials Institute of New Zealand
  • New Zealand Institute of Building Inspectors
  • New Zealand Institute of Building Surveyors

While it may take a while for you to find the best surveyor to fit your needs, patience is key because it will be more than worth it in the long run.

Are you needing advice on the steps to take to buy a home?  We would love to talk to you.

The experts at Taurus Home Loans like nothing more than sitting down over a coffee and talking about how to help you buy the home you’ve always wanted, safely and securely.

Paul Townsend 
Mobile: 027 352 6262
Phone: 03 366 6087

Website: http://www.taurushomeloans.co.nz/contact/ 

Posted 20 Jun 2018