Chartered Surveyors or Independent Surveyors may be phrases that you hear thrown around quite a lot if you happen to be buying a house nowadays, but what do these words actually mean? And how can a Surveyor help me when I am trying to purchase a property?
Getting onto the property ladder is an important step into becoming fully independent, securing your future financially and hopefully paving the way for the future if you decide to have children. So it is important to make sure that everything is in order when you finalise the purchase of a property and you are ready to move into a property that is habitable, without defects or other nasty surprises. However this is not always the case.
In short, a chartered surveyor provides a range of property services designed to provide their clients certain information about the property in question. It could be information on the structural condition of the property, it could be raising issues due to boundary disputes, it could even be pointing out any defects found within a property. These are experienced contractors who can take an in depth look at the property in question and help to alleviate any worries the buyers have about this property. They also provide services for existing properties.
How can they help?
- Valuations – Selling/Renting a Property
When you are deciding to sell or rent out a property, you will want to find out how much it is worth and how much you should try and sell it for. In the case of renting, you will want to find out how much similar properties are renting out for, in order to provide an accurate rental fee for potential tenants looking at renting your property.
The valuation provided by a surveyor is just such; it takes a detailed look at the property in question then places a valuation on the property based on findings related to the size, style, structure and condition of the property. This valuation is also given taking into account the location of the property, the current market demands and the price ranges for similar properties currently on the market.
- Party Wall Matters and Other Boundary Disputes
If you and your neighbours are disputing over property boundaries, the alteration of a party wall (the connecting wall between two attached buildings that belongs – in equal parts – to residents of both properties) or other property disputes, a surveyor will be able to properly assess the situation in the hopes of reaching a conclusion that satisfies both parties. The surveyor will take a look at the risks involved and present a solution, which can be used to settle disputes outside of court.
- Building Condition Reports and Advice
This is ideal for those looking to purchase a property. Essentially, building condition reports take a full look at the condition and structure of a property, listing any major or immediate defects and anything else of note and providing a full report including advice on how these defects will need to be repaired. In some cases a run-down of the costs required will also be provided.
This is an ideal survey designed to provide a potential buyer with more detail on the property they are about to purchase, which they can then use to further negotiate costs or continue with the purchase, in light of any defects found. This also helps prevents first time buyers from buying a property and then finding any number of hidden defects later on, all which cost money to repair, so it is incredibly useful.
- Project Management Services
Those looking at conducting a full scale building project or construction project may find themselves up the creek without a paddle, particularly if they don’t have any experience in managing building projects beforehand. A professional surveyor will be able to take over management of the entire project, looking at hiring contractors, making sure the project stays within budget and ensuring that everything runs smoothly from their end. It is a great service for small business owners looking at their own construction project, as they can hire project managers in to manage the construction process, ensuring that time and budget constraints are kept.
- Commercial Expansion Assistance Services
Where a company is experiencing considerable commercial success, they may think about expanding to different areas. While in theory this is a relatively simple job, there are a whole number of aspects you need to consider before simply opening another branch in a new area. Independent surveyors are able to provide a variety of services designed to make the commercial expansion process as stress-free as possible. With health and safety assessments, access audits, general building conditions reports needed and more, enlisting in the help of a professional surveyor while conducting a commercial expansion project is a sure-fire way to greatly reduce stress on your part.
At the end of the day, whether or not you feel you actually need a surveyor is entirely up to you. However they bring a whole lot of knowledge and experience to the table, which is often welcome for first time home owners who need a professional to help point the way. In some cases it may save individuals or business potentially thousands of pounds in time management and identification of hidden defects present within properties, so enlisting in the help of a professional surveyor is always recommended.
Article provided by Hocking Associates; chartered surveyors with over 30 years experience, based in Cornwall.