First time buyers, how we can help you
How an independent survey of your own
can help you save money when buying
your first home
If you are in the process of buying your first ever property we can provide help and advice with regard to independent valuations, building surveys, structural surveys, home buyers reports, property surveys, or any other property matters.
How to book a survey
Quite simply, to book a survey you can free phone us on 0800 298 5424 or another independent surveyor.
Free phone 0800 298 5424
Make sure they are members of the Independent Surveyors and Valuers Association (ISVA)
We would recommend you make sure the surveyors are part of the Independent Surveyors and Valuers Association, known as ISVA, and check that the surveyor is used to carrying out building surveys on your type of property, by this we mean if your property is:
Is it a conversion of a Victorian, Georgian or Edwardian property, or is it a purpose built flat from the 1920's / 1930's to the 1960's when concrete was used a lot, or a more recent purpose built flat which could possibly have a metal structural frame and be highly insulated.
When should I book a survey?
We would say the sooner the better, or maybe we should say the sooner you talk to someone who's working just for you and employ them the better - remember the estate agent isn't, the financial adviser isn't and often the solicitor is working for you and the bank, or building society, or mortgage lender.
Why you shouldn't use an estate agent recommended surveyor or contractor?
We would also recommend you take your time as a first time buyer and not be rushed into a purchase that you may later regret, no matter how good a property deal you are being offered usually something else will come along sooner or later.
Find a trusted and knowledgeable friend to discuss your house with
You shouldn't use the surveyor the estate agent recommends as they are likely to have a special interest. Equally you shouldn't use the contractors that the estate agent recommends. In our experience as they have been recommended a lot by the estate agent it is them that they want to please and not you as the person they are carrying out the work for. No matter how good a contractor is they will usually be more loyal to someone that regularly gives them work to the person that gives them a one off job.
Should I meet the surveyor at the property?
Yes. We find that most customers find it of great benefit to meet the surveyor at the property as you can ask so many questions that you have been wanting to ask. It is also good to spend time with the surveyor just getting to understand what they see when they look at a property as it can be very different to what you see. We surveyed a property where a first time buyer had literally seen nothing but the beautiful interior, whereas from a surveyor's point of view the buildings were non-traditional buildings and had potential problems when you live in them, and also potential problems with mortgages, and also potential problems with selling.
1. They are working for the seller and as such any problems that are identified they may say have already been included in the valuation of the property or they may say the property is being discounted to allow for these (pretty much the same thing).
2. They may worst still say that they have got contractors and builders, damp proofing contractors and damp proof specialists and woodworm specialists that will be able to sort out your problems no problem at all.
The estate agent says the property has already been discounted and is considerably lower than it should be!
If you are getting this sort of nonsense/comments from the estate agent you do need to remind them that any offer you have made is subject to survey as you are not a property expert and possibly remind them in the nicest possible way that they are sales people and not property experts, so whilst they may be used to the type of things that surveyors identify they are not experts.
If you talk to your chartered surveyor whilst the estate agent is there you may be throwing away a good opportunity
Your chartered surveyor will have some things to say about the structural survey that they have just carried out that are very personal to your particular situation or circumstances and as such the estate agent may glean information that you are not happy or interested in them knowing, or simply don't think it's any of their business to know. We believe that you always need to be aware that estate agents are working for the seller and only get paid when they sell a property and as with any sales people that are commissioned they are very focused on selling the property.
Compare the quality of our website and compare the quality our surveys
Have a look around our website 1stAssociated.co.uk to check out the quality of our website and our building surveys, structural surveys, property reports, schedules of condition, specific defects reports, etc. We pride ourselves on our professional standard and easy to read reports which we have been carrying out for many years on every age, type and style of property across the UK.
We have written several surveying articles which may also help if you are looking to purchase a property:
Advert for our surveys
If you are interested in having a structural building survey why not free phone our independent surveyors on free phone 0800 298 5424. Here's a blatant advert for our structural surveys.
We would also be more than happy to email you examples of our tailor made survey reports.
The good, bad and ugly survey
We would also like to introduce to you what we call our good, bad and ugly survey which is a building survey which is sometimes known as a structural survey which we have developed over many years, in fact several decades. We have taken on board feedback from clients and amended and altered our building survey reports to make them easy to read and understandable and written in plain English.
What do the circles and ovals mean in our building surveys?
In our building surveys and structural surveys you will often see circles and ovals on photographs and sketches. This is a system that we use to emphasise property problem areas so that you are not left wondering what the property problem is. In addition to this if the survey photographs do not we believe explain the property problem enough together with our survey report we also add in one of our own survey sketches.
Excellent Quality Surveying Equipment
We use state of the art surveying equipment on all our surveys, for example we use a 16x optical zoom digital camera to take photographs throughout the property, working top to bottom, inside and out. We can also use thermal imaging photographs to show any areas of heat loss should you wish this. We use specialist resistance meters to locate dampness and surface temperature testers and humidity measurers and anemometers. We also carry out electric earth tests and knife tests on timber windows to check if the timber is rotten.
Our surveyors will not necessarily use all of this surveying equipment when they carry out a survey as it is their expertise that identifies what is needed but it is good to know this surveying equipment is available should it be required.
Useful surveying articles just for you
We hope you found the article of use and if you have any experiences that you feel should be added to this article that would benefit others, or you feel that some of the information that we have put is wrong then please do not hesitate to contact us (we are only human).
Feedback and Testimonials
We welcome any feedback from our survey reports and if you are happy with our services we would be grateful if you could provide us with a testimonial. Have a look at our testimonials to see what people say about us.
The content of the website is for general information only and is not intended to be relied upon for specific or general decisions. Appropriate independent professional advice should be paid for before making such a decision. Why not free phone 1stAssociated.co.uk on 0800 298 5424
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