Surveying a Home

Taking the plunge and finally agreeing to buy your first, or new home and getting that decision right depends heavily on good research. You can’t check Google for reviews of the property that you are considering and while word-of-mouth from friends or colleagues about the area is great, the integrity of the building requires a much deeper dig.

Fortunately, there are options for buyers of all experience levels to help them gain the peace of mind they need before settling. Surveying a home is essential and the importance of engaging with professionals that can deliver reports that will determine any significant defects on the property cannot be understated. This could save you thousands of dollars in the long run, and it could afford you a little more wriggle room when the time comes to negotiate the final price.

So, let’s take a quick look at the options that are accessible to buyers today that could help you navigate the purchase of your new home with a greater level of confidence.

Mortgage Valuation: this is a relatively brief report that usually amounts to a few pages and does not go into a great amount of detail. You can expect to find information about the type of property and any relevant notes with regards to structural works that appear to have been undertaken to date. The purpose of this inspection is to determine a value for the lender who needs to make sure that it matches or closely reflects the loan amount. Given the brief nature of this report, it is best suited where the property under consideration is a new build or in the process of being constructed.

Homebuyers Report: a qualified surveyor is the only person that should complete this report for the buyer. They will complete a detailed inspection of the property that you are thinking about buying and will furnish you with a breakdown of its condition. It is an easily readable and understandable document that highlights any areas of concern and will include any relevant comments in this regard. What’s more, should the surveyor notice any defects that are urgent or developing that could impact on the value of the property and require repairs, they will indicate as much.

Specialist Valuation: this is a property assessment carried out by professional valuers who are either directly employed by the lender, or whose services are outsourced and follow the guidelines created by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority in terms of the methods used to determine a final figure. The valuer will consider the property size and makeup, parking and vehicle access, the condition of the building and any council planning or zoning restrictions applicable. In deriving the valuation of the property, current market conditions, as well as the sale prices of similar properties in the vicinity, will be considered.

Building Survey: where the budget is not an issue then this option offers the most comprehensive survey available. It is particularly useful for those that are considering properties that have had extensive alterations completed to date, or where a large property or an old or non-traditional property is being targeted and may require conversion or major renovation works.

From this survey, you gain a full breakdown of the property including all aspects including defects, advice with regards to repairs or maintenance that is required, as well as the condition of the building as a whole. Those that are planning to spend a lot of money on a property and want to know exactly what they are getting and how much more will be required to get it to the standard that they want will find an immense amount of value for money in this option since it could end up saving thousands of dollars further down the road.