First time buyers,
how we can help you
Buying your first house can be a real
problem, here is how we can help you and
probably save you money too
If you are currently buying, or thinking about buying, your first ever property, we are independent building surveyors and can offer you help and advice with regard to the buying and selling process, independent property valuations, structural surveys, building surveys, home buyers reports etc.
How to value how much your new home is
It is often a mystery to first time buyers how property is valued, indeed it is often a mystery to almost everyone how property valuations come about. Here is our simple guide to valuing your property.
Simple guide to valuing your property
In its very simplest form a valuation of houses is based upon a snap process. Yes, just like the game of Snap where you look to match identical cards to each other. This is what chartered surveyors are doing when they are valuing houses, they are looking for identical properties to the one that's being sold and they compare these against properties that have already been sold. Usually they are looking for at least three identical properties.
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You can see the dilemma and you can see how opinions start to matter very much when a valuer values a property. There are a set of rules as to how a valuer should value a property. This is known as the Royal Institution of Charetered Surveyors Red Book and is what all regulated valuers should use. A regulated valuer is someone who is approved to carry out valuations and they are a type of chartered surveyor, often known as a chartered valuation surveyor, or chartered valuer.
Very important things for you to remember when you look at the value of property
It is very important to remember when looking at the values of property that when you are commparing properties and their prices you should be comparing actual sold value. These ideally need to be from the Land Registry, although it could be argued that in the time it takes them to be put onto the Land Registry there could be movement in the market but most surveyors much prefer the Land Registry as it should be factual and fairly good data, as opposed to asking an estate agent or financial adviser what they sold the property for, which of course could be very flawed if the estate agents are looking to sell another property and it's absolutely no use to compare the price that things were on the market for.
Don't you get caught in the estate agent's trap of values above Stamp Duty level
Typically estate agents pitch prices for houses at above Stamp Duty level knowing that the offers will be placed below Stamp Duty level.
Look for patterns in prices or steps in prices
If you can see a three bedroom house that is 25% to 50% lower than a typical three bedroom house in the same area (for example in the same post code or in the same village or same area of a town or area of a city) then there is something fundamentally different between the two, as in our experience people never put properties on the market for below value (fall in the D category, which we will talk about later).
Non-traditional houses versus traditional houses, how you can make a mistake if you don't understand what you're buying
For example, in a case that we have recently with, the three bedroom house was of a non-traditional construction, in this particular case a concrete construction, as opposed to a brick and slate or brick and tile roof, or stone and slate, stone and tile roof, which is known as traditional construction. This is generally harder to sell as mortgage companies are not as keen to mortgage them, in fact the majority of non-traditional houses are unmortgageable. Also typically they have problems with condensation and dampness and it's almost impossible to do anytboug about this due to the way they are constructed.
Compare the quality of our Building Surveys but don't compare Apples with Thursdays!
If you require a Building Survey or a Structural Survey on a home, house or commercial property we believe as Building Surveyors we have a wealth of experience and expertise that we can utilise to help you.
We are more than happy to send you examples of our Surveys that we have carried out on similar properties to yours and pretty much have always carried out a survey on similar property to the one that you are looking at although we do appreciate that all properties are unique.
We really believe that you should see what you are getting in the form of an example Survey before you purchase a property. What is more is that we are so confident with our higher than average standards that we believe that there is no other comparable survey available in the UK property and surveying market.
Compare the quality of website, compare the quality of our surveys
Buying a house, particularly your first house is too important to leave to chance.
We have also written some articles that may be of interest to you:
People just don't sell properties cheaply, look out for the problems (often hidden problems)
We have in the past shadowed an estate agent for some time which made for a very interesting day. Our estate agent was what is known as a ‘Lister'and these are ones that try and get the properties onto the market with the estate agents and they have the very tricky job of carrying out a sales pitch and an almost intangeable service selling a person's house. They also have to play a juggling act or balancing act with regard to the value of the property as the owner will often have very high expectations of what their property is worth, and if an estate agents tells them too bluntly that it is not worth that much, or they simply won't be able to sell for that much, then the property won't be taken on. They could perhaps say to them we'll try it at that price for X number of weeks and see what happens. Equally the next Lister for a different estate agent could perhaps be more bullish and even advise that it's worth far more than what the owner thinks, yet really know it isn't and have the same intent as the first estate agent that they'll have it on the market for X number of weeks.
However, what happens if during those early days someone does come in and buy the property at that high a price then the estate agent gets the praise and the extra commission and ironically this helps them to get the next sale as everyone sees the house has sold at a good price. So it is very much a win, win situation for the estate agent and the seller to put the property on at a higher price.
When do people put properties on at a lower price?
Do valuers from mortgage compnaies such as banks and building societies really value?
We have written a much longer, more details article on this, but often the argument from the chartered surveyor working for the bank or building society is that the ultimate proof that a property is worth what it is if it's been marketed correctly and the open market have decided at that point in time, for that partiuclar house, with a willing seller and a willing the buyer, for a property has been properly marketed, that that is the open market value and is what the open market is paying.
So if the comparable evidence that they can find (plaing the game of ‘Snap') is as close as 10 to 20 per cent plus or minus the sales figure then the value is approved as being correct.
Don't believe everything you read in the newspapers and hear on the news
Strangely, we have recently had a conversation about a news item that we recently heard, which was that it was far cheaper to buy than to rent. It was very interesting as a structural building surveyor that our thoughts when we heard this was that coming into selling season, which is generally the spring and summer months (although some would argue there is also one just before Christmas where everyone's trying to get moved before Christmas and New Year), and this survey had advised that, as we have said, it's now cheaper to have a mortgage than it is to rent.
Sure enough it had actually been carried out by one of the big mortgage lenders so they very much had a vested interest in publisising this and of cousre it does act as a motoviator to anyone renting to look at buying. It was funny however that the person that we were speaking to had also heard the news and it had prompted them to think why on earth were they still renting a property and they would be on the look out for a new property. So the publicity and the marketing had worked very well, but even more interestingly in talking to another client, they advised that when we mentioned this to them that they had thought back to many decades ago to when they were renting a property and had equally thought what a waste of money it had been all those years ago and that they had done very well with property over the decades.
This does of cousre depend upon when you bought your property as there are always booms in the market and always recessions in the market. It is great if you buy a property and the market goes up and up, not so great if it goes the other way and like anything if it goes up it can come down again too.
When buying a property remember ‘Caveat Emptor'
Caveat Emptor means ‘buyer beware'. This s why you need to ought to have a building survey carried out by an independent chartered surveyor to find out if there are any problems within the property as the estate agent certainly will not advise you of any as remember the building surveyor that you employ will be the only person working for you with your interests at heart.
Commercial advert for our home surveys and how they can save you money
We would also like to introduce to you what we as structural surveyors call our ‘Good, Bad and Ugly' survey which is a building survey, also known as a structural survey, which we have taken time to develop over many, many years.
We have taken on board feedback from our clients and amended and altered our building survey reports to make them easy to read and are written in plain English in an easy to understand format that everyone can understand.
Excellent Quality of our Surveys and State of the Art Equipment
What do the red ovals / circles in our survey reports and website articles mean?
The red ovals and circles are a system that we used within our structural surveys and building surveys and our website articles to highlight problem areas in a property so that you are not left wondering what the problem is. In addition to this if we feel that the photographs do not explain the problem enough we also add in one of our own sketches such as the example that is shown here.
Feedback and Testimonials
We have been on the internet for a long, long time and know that there is a great deal of choice and we would emphasis you use your common sense and have a look at examples of chartered surveyors surveys before you buy. Double check the surveyor has the right experience and knowledge of a structural survey and the type of property problems that you have.
If you use our services we would welcome any feedback / testimonials that you may have.
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 for a chat.
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