If you're in the market to buy your first home, you may have come across something that catches your eye. It may be in the perfect location and close to school, work or transportation hubs and has the right type of configuration for you. You may be preparing to place an offer and talk with your mortgage company about finance, but you should also reach out to another individual before going too much further. Who should you engage to ensure you're on the safe side?
Out Of Sight
While a seller is obliged to tell you if there are any problems related to the property, you should not always take this at face value. After all, they may simply be unaware of certain issues that are hidden or may have arisen since they last had a good look at the property's condition. Instead, you should bring in a building surveyor and ask them to perform a proactive search so that they can uncover anything untoward.
Certainly, your mortgage company may want to have a look at the place as well, but they are primarily interested in a valuation. They want to ensure that they are lending against a property that will fetch the appropriate amount in the open market so that you won't be "upside-down" following a purchase.
The building surveyor will actively look for issues such as dampness or subsidence. They will list any issues which they think may affect the property's value and let you know how much it is likely to cost you to carry out the repairs. If they feel that an issue will represent an ongoing maintenance problem, they will also highlight that as part of the report.
There are different types of survey reports, and you need to talk with an expert to see which is more appropriate. The survey could be simpler and less costly if the building is relatively new or may not exhibit any outward or obvious problems. However, if the building is very old or in rundown condition, they need to go into much greater detail and search for problems that will typically affect a property in this state.
Engaging the Expert
So, before you get too excited, call a building surveyor. They will be able to provide you with a report to give you peace of mind and help you make an appropriate offer.