Should I Be Worried About A House Survey? 3 Common Issues Your Survey May Find

Posted on: 20 June 2024

Should I Be Worried About a House Survey? 3 Common Issues Your Survey May Find

While surveys aren’t compulsory when you buy a home, it’s highly recommended. They mostly provide reassurance to buyers. But they also give you an objective view of the property’s condition and a heads-up about anything that needs fixing, either immediately or in the future.

Since a home can be one of the biggest purchases you make in your life, it’s natural to worry about the results of a survey.

It's important to remember that most properties will show up some issues in a survey. But if you’re concerned about what your survey could show, here are three common issues found in UK properties and how serious they are.

3 Common Issues Can Appear on a Building Survey Report

1. Asbestos

When buying an older property in Rugby, there may be asbestos lurking within. While it’s not dangerous to simply have something in your home that contains asbestos, it is dangerous to remove it unsafely. If proper precautions aren’t taken, fibres that cause severe lung damage can be released into the air of your home.

Asbestos is commonly found on the roof, in pipework and within floor tiles. If your home renovation plans include needing to remove something that contains asbestos, it can be a costly experience because of the dangers involved.

Since asbestos was banned in 1999 in the UK, you don’t have to worry about asbestos issues cropping up in your survey of a new build.

2. Unchecked Electricity

Surveyors will visually check the property’s electrics. But since they aren’t electricians, they won’t be able to identify specific issues. The main thing they’ll do is check whether the property has a recent Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR).

Without a recent report, the property may not meet the latest safety regulations. That means you may have to have a partial or full rewire of the property’s electrics, which can cause a lot of disruption.

Before jumping to any conclusions though, it’s best to ask an electrician to check things out if the survey identifies no recent EICR.

3. Damp

Damp in a property is an important issue that needs immediate fixing. Leaving it can cause significant damage to the property and your health. A surveyor will do two main things to check for damp. They’ll look at everything at a visual level, including the walls, floorboards and loft, and they’ll do a sweep of the property using a handheld moisture meter.

Damp is usually caused by two things: water getting in from outside or water leaking from inside the house itself. Sometimes, changes to heating and ventilation systems can fix the issue. Other times, you’ll need to fix the damp course or even the roof.

A survey may not identify the specific cause of the damp. But they should be able to tell if your property has it.

Looking to Buy Property in Rugby?

If you’re looking to buy a property in Rugby, Horts are your local property experts. Our friendly team are happy to chat with you about our available listings and offer advice on the home buying process, including surveys.

Call today on 01788 550044 or email us at rugby@horts.co.uk.

Property not on the market yet, but ready to sell? Book a valuation here.

Frequently Asked Questions About a Property Survey

Do I always need a full structural survey?

Not always! A homebuyer report, which is less expensive, may be sufficient for newer properties in good condition. Talk to the Horts Estate Agents team or a surveyor from the Residential Property Surveyors Association ( RPSA) for guidance.

What if my survey finds problems? Will it affect my mortgage?

Serious structural issues may impact your mortgage offer or even the house price. However, minor issues like a lack of EICR are often factored into negotiations.

Should I be worried if my survey finds damp?

Damp can be serious, but the cause can often be addressed through ventilation or minor repairs. The survey will indicate if further investigations are needed, like a rising damp survey.

What if the survey highlights a few issues? Should I walk away?

Most properties have some issues. The key is the severity and cost of repairs. A good surveyor will use a traffic light system (red, amber, green) to indicate urgency and potential costs.

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