Q. I have recently had an offer accepted to purchase my first investment property which I am very excited about, but given I am buying cash I am in a bit of a quandary with respect to a survey. The property is not that old, its purpose built and was developed in the early sixties, so my questions are, do I really need a survey and secondly if you think I do what type of survey should I opt for? I am just concerned that I will pay out for something I don’t necessarily need?
A. Given the property was built in the sixties I would definitely advise a survey of some type. Ultimately you are investing a small fortune so it’s worth firstly ensuring that the property is worth what you have agreed to pay for it and secondly to make sure that the property doesn’t have any major issues that would be evident to the trained eye by now. It certainly don’t sound like you require a full structural survey given it’s a sixties block and purpose built, although if you were to buy an apartment in a period conversion I would most definitely recommend a full structural survey, or building survey as its now known. As a general rule of thumb if the property is of standard construction, and was built after 1900, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) recommends that the HomeBuyer Report is usually the best choice. The HomeBuyer Report as well as including a valuation to ensure the property is actually worth the money you are paying for it also helps you to make a reasoned and informed decision on whether to go ahead with buying the property, it takes into account any repairs or replacements the property needs; as well as inspecting the parts of the electricity, gas, water, heating and drainage services that can be seen, but they do not usually test them. The report usually concludes with what if any further advice you should take before committing to purchase the property. Make sure you instruct a surveyor that is a member of RICS so you can be sure your survey will be carried out to the highest professional standards.