Residential Surveys

Multi award winning London based surveyors

All our surveyors are MRICS

Detailed Survey Report issued within 72 hours after the inspection.

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Over 109 years of joint surveying knowledge

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Modrics Surveyors

A Mortgage Valuation is NOT a Survey.

The Mortgage Valuation-Surveyor will only be at the property for a very short period of time, if at all. Some Mortgage Valuations are done at a desktop, online, or simply by driving past the property. Even if the Mortgage Valuation-Surveyor does attend the property, he/she will carry out a very brief inspection, mainly to asses the quality of the fittings and general presentation.

Buying a property to live or work in is the biggest financial commitment most people ever make.

The right survey will almost certainly draw your attention to defects that you didn’t know existed, or the seriousness of which you may not have appreciated. It enables you to make an informed, objective and considered decision and, in many cases, to renegotiate your purchase price. Any defects identified on a property survey may mean you have considerable immediate or future expenditure to consider — in some cases you may decide not to buy at all.

Level 2 Homebuyers Survey

A HomeBuyer Report is a survey suitable for conventional properties in
reasonable condition. This will help you find out if there are any structural problems, as well as any unwelcome hidden issues inside and outside.

Costs start from £550

Level 3 Full Building Survey

This is the most comprehensive survey, suitable for all residential properties. It’s particularly good for older homes or homes that might need repairs. The report includes advice on defects, repairs and maintenance options.

Costs start from £600

What is covered within a survey report?

Internal Condition

– Loft Space
– Ceilings
– Internal Walls and Partitions
– Fireplaces
– Flues and Chimney breasts
– Windows and Doors
– Floors
– Stairs

External Condition

– Chimneys
– Roof
– Gutters
– Downpipes and Gillies
– Drainage
– Main Walls
– Joinery
– Plinth and Damp Proof Course (DPC)
– Sub Floor Ventilation
– Gates, Fences and Paths
– Outbuildings
– Paintwork

Conclusions and Recommendations

- Legal matters
- Urgent Repairs
- Further Investigation
- Maintenance
- Structural Movement
- Overall Opinion

Services

– Electricity
– Gas
– Plumbing and Sanitary Fittings
– Hot water and Central heating

Homebuyers Survey

The home buyers report is designed to give an overall opinion on the condition of a property. The report will run through the condition of each area and element of the property. It will also give useful information for legal advisors and will point out any visible defects. Defects which are identified will be highlighted and recommended for further investigation. It is intended only for particular types of home: houses, flats and bungalows which are conventional in type and construction, and apparently in reasonable condition. Advice about repairs and ongoing maintenance will be given.

The homebuyers report is built on an easy to understand ‘traffic light system’. Each section prompts the surveyor to give a ‘condition rating’ which is red, amber or green.

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Condition Rating 1: Green 

This means that there is no repair currently needed – It’s the best outcome!

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Condition Rating 2: Amber

This means that the item being inspected has a defect that requires repairing or replacing.  However, it is worth noting that the defect is not considered to be serious or urgent. – This is a medium rating confirming that the item may need attention at some point in the near future.

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Condition Rating 3: Red

This means there are defects that are serious and/or need to be repaired, replaced or investigated urgently – This is the worst rating possible and will mean urgent attention and likely cost is required.

What Does a Surveyor do during an RICS HomeBuyer Report?

The Surveyor’s role will be to comprehensively inspect all parts of the property both externally and internally. Their aim will be to identify every defect that exists to the property and then determine the cause, thereby presenting the client with objective advice on how to rectify the issue. The outcome of the Surveyor’s inspection will be a robust report setting out all of his or her observations and ultimately fully informing the property purchaser in advance of the exchange of contracts or completion.

FULL BUILDING SURVEY

Also known as a structural survey is the most comprehensive survey report available for pre-purchase purposes.

This gives an in depth report upon the construction and condition of the property. It is recommended and needed if the property is older, dilapidated, in need of repair, has specific problems, or has been extensively altered, or where an extension, conversion or renovation is planned* It is usually designed to the client’s individual requirements and the specific circumstances regarding the property.

Photographs throughout the report

Thorough external and internal inspection

Comment on the general feasibility of any proposed building work

Recommend solutions for any areas of concerns

The report will summarise what was found during the survey and make recommendations if further specialist surveys are required. Being the most in-depth, a Building Survey (Level 3 Survey) is more expensive than a HomeBuyer Report (Level 2 Survey), but getting one could save you thousands of pounds, or stop you from buying a property that has hidden problems.

What Does a Surveyor do during an Full Building Survey?

The Surveyor’s role will be to comprehensively inspect all parts of the property both externally and internally, leaving no part of the property un-inspected. The Surveyor’s aim will be to identify each and every defect that exists at the property. They will then go on to comment and determine the cause of the defect, thereby presenting the client with objective advice on how to rectify the issue and its severity.

The outcome of the Surveyor’s inspection will be a comprehensive report setting out all of his or her observations and ultimately fully informing the client and property purchaser in advance of the property sale.

TOP 10 MOST COMMON RESIDENTIAL BUILDING DEFECTS

1

Damp to External Walls

Commonly caused by the failure of the Damp Proof Course (DPC) or bridging the DPC by increasing external ground levels (usually 150mm above ground level)
2

Failed Gutters & Downpipes

The most common failure points of rainwater goods are at the corners of guttering, joins and rainwater outlets. A blocked gutter can cause damp issues / failure of masonry and can lead to structural issues if left long enough. The most common guttering defects are blocked rainwater outlets, corroded gutters, cracked guttering and failure of rainwater goods below ground level.
3

Roof – Structural Failure

In regards to roof structure, a whole host of defects can occur. These include woodworm, wet & dry rot, roof spread and sagging of purlins (a horizontal beam along the length of a roof, resting on principal beams and supporting the common rafters or boards).
4

Roof – Coverings Failure

One of the most common failures of slate roof coverings are the nails holding the tiles to the batons corroding and causing the slates to move and slip out of place. Where concrete or clay tiles are used the tiles can crack and spool, leading to water ingress and structural problems due to rotting roof structures.
5

Structural Alterations

A lot of residential defects are caused by alterations to the original structure, where proper materials or expert design haven’t been used. For example, if a load bearing wall is removed, a proper steel structure design must be used to ensure the load can be taken safely and without fault.
6

Condensation

Condensation dampness usually occurs when there is a high ‘relative humidity’ level, a measure of moisture content within the air. As the relative humidity increases past 100% moisture droplets form as condensation on cold surfaces. Many factors could cause the relative humidity to rise including a lack of proper ventilation, the number of building occupants, drying clothes internally or cooking.
7

Condensation in Windows and Doors

The most common issue with uPVC doors and windows is condensation within the sealed double glazed unit, due to the degradation of the seals.
8

Defective Flat Roof

Older flat roof’s are generally constructed with a mineral felt or asphalt covering. These types of coverings generally have a life span of 10-20 years and therefore commonly found to be defective. Newer coverings, such as GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic) can have a life span of 40 years + if maintained correctly. UV rays can cause degradation to the outer surfaces and there can be weathering and cracking to the various layers. Other defects can include faulted flashings and ponding – meaning that the roof does not drain effectively.
9

Structural Movement

Cracking, bowing or leaning walls and sticking doors or windows are all indicators of structural movement in your house. The main types of structural movement are subsidence, heave, settlement, thermal movement and seasonal movement.
10

Eroded Pointing

Pointing to masonry walls used to be a lime based mix on older properties, however, on newer properties a harder cement based based mix is used. Pointing generally occurs to brickwork exposed to the elements and weathered over time, or due to failed guttering.

What is a survey?

A property or house survey is a detailed inspection of a property’s condition. The surveyor inspects the property and tells you if there are structural problems like unstable walls or subsidence. They will highlight any major repairs or alterations needed, such as fixing the roof or chimney chute. The report from the surveyor also provides expert commentary on the property, from the type of wall to the type of glazing.

What is a mortgage survey?

A mortgage valuation is not a survey – it is a cursory look at a property to assess how much the property is worth. It is required by your mortgage lender to ensure the property is sufficient security for the loan. Your lender will insist on using a company they trust and you will have to pay for it. The cost of a mortgage valuation varies depending on the size of the property (from around £350). Some lenders throw in free valuations as part of a mortgage deal; but don’t let that sway you.  A deal with a lower interest rate is likely to save you far more over time, even if you do have to pay a bit more for the mortgage valuation.

Who carries out a survey?

Property surveys should be carried out by qualified surveyors  Most qualified surveyors are members of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). A RICS qualified surveyor will have professional indemnity insurance.

Do I need to get a survey?

You do not need to get a survey done on the house you are buying. But a survey can help you avoid expensive and unwanted surprises, like an unexpected rewiring job, as well as giving you peace of mind by telling you that those hairline cracks don’t mean the house is falling down. Given the hundreds of thousands of pounds it costs to buy a property, a few hundred pounds on a survey to have the reassurance of an independent, expert surveyor looking over it feels like a good investment.

With the information from the survey you might reconsider whether to buy the property or use the unbiased information you have to renegotiate the price. If you find for example it needs £15,000 of roof repairs, it is reasonable to ask for £15,000 off the price. Alternatively, you might ask the seller to fix the problems before you buy.

We would particularly recommend a survey if:

  • you have any specific worries about any part of the property
  • you feel unsure about what sort of condition the property is in
  • you are looking to buy an old or unusual property
FAQ

Here are a few FAQ which may help answer any immediate queries you might have however our knowledgable team are available for you via telephone, email, whatsapp and online webchat.

DID YOU KNOW

Purchasers spend an average of £5,750 on property repairs, due to the property purchaser not initially identifying property defects or understanding the true market value.Property sellers can lose out on ten’s of thousands of pounds by selling the property below market value. If sellers over price their property, they risk increasing the time it will be on the market decreasing the chances of a quick sale.

Choosing the right survey will save you money and time, enabling buyers where possible to negotiate a better price, and for sellers to get the best sale price.

Modrics Surveyors

Modrics Surveyors

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