What does a Surveyor look for?

What does a Surveyor look for – When surveying a House?
When surveying a house, a surveyor looks for stuffs like quality of the materials used in the construction of the building, structural damage, maintenance & workmanship quality. There are two types of surveys: Full Structural Survey for bigger or older buildings and the Homebuyer’s report for smaller, newer houses.

What Surveyors Look For Inside a House – When buying property
Here’s what Surveyors check for –
You can add this to your list of things to spot when you go for a viewing, even when it’s a discounted property:

 Surveyors Look For Inside a house when buying property
* Cracks in walls or ceilings.
* Check internal walls for signs of damp – tell-tale signs include mould, flaky paintwork and peeling wallpaper. Another sure sign is if the wall feels damp to the touch.
* Problems with condensation – most common in kitchens and bathrooms.
* Check woodwork for holes bored by woodworm
* Beware of internal woodwork which is crumbling. This could be a sign of dry rot.
* Look in the loft/attic – check for signs of daylight showing, and whether there is adequate insulation (around 200mm).
* Check the plumbing particularly the water pressure since poor water pressure could be a sign of potential plumbing problems.
* Check for springy floors – feel free to bounce up and down.

What Surveyors Look For Outside a House – When buying property

Surveyors Look For outside a house when buying property

* Check the brickwork. If the pointing is in a poor state, then damp will get in. Also check for staining in corners or below gutters.
* Check if the buying property has a damp-proof course. An older property may not have a damp-proof course – so you then need to ask the owner what measures have been taken to prevent rising damp.
* Check the roof. Ensure there are no missing tiles, and that the roof line isn’t sagging. Check the state of the guttering is not missing. With a flat roof, check for cracks or bubbles.
* Check the chimney to make sure the pointing in the brickwork is in good condition.
* Check for cracks in external walls. Large cracks may mean subsidence.
* Check if the drains are blocked or damaged.
* Check for cover-ups – such as where paint or render has been applied.
* Check for large trees near the property – roots may interfere with the foundations.
* Check doors and window frames for signs of rot.

Where Can I Find A Surveyor?

You can usually find a surveyor through recommendation from your lender, solicitor or property agents or property specialists. It’s important to use a qualified surveyor. If you can sometimes combine the mortgage with a survey, then you will have to use one from the lender’s approved panel.

However, particularly if you are buying a BMV property that’s been neglected – or one you suspect has been patched up – it’s also advisable to have an independent survey done. Even if the house seems in good condition, it could be money well spent. Either way, ensure the surveyor is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), he or she will have the qualification MRICS, FRICS or TechRICS.

A property specialist buying agent like Propsavvy can insure any property you purchase has an independent survey conducted by a RICS surveyor. Usually they will cover this fee and make sure you receive the survey report direct for you to review the surveyor’s findings.


Is it better to buy a property in the UK or rent?

Before the current problems with the UK property market began, the rent versus buy question wasn’t really broughtbuy a property in the UK or rent up. Simply because the mindset was, ‘if you can afford it and you’re going to stay long enough to recoup the transaction costs you buy’.

As a society, the belief was that house buying was simply what normal people do. Home ownership has traditionally been what everyone dreams to do once they have a stable job and family. Anyone not wanting this was assumed to be either transient or not able to measure up financially.

Financially, house buying was never better because over time the value of your home would escalate.

The housing crisis changed all of that.

How should you choose?

If ‘’not buying a house’’ for fear of falling prices makes sense then it also makes sense never to buy something such as stocks, since they also have the ability to decline. That’s not good logic for either stocks or houses. What falling prices of any kind teach us isn’t that it’s nonsense to buy – it’s that it’s nonsense to speculate. You will never be able to speculate what happens in the UK property market, and those saying they know are just guessing.

Here are a few rules to consider if buying in the UK:

1. Buy only if you’re confident you’ll be staying for at least five years:

That’s because buying property in London has very high transaction costs, the longer you own it, the more likely you are to make money from it.

2. Hope for appreciation, but don’t count on it:

You’ll gain equity in your house by paying off the mortgage, especially if you have sourced the best mortgage deals. You’ll gain additional equity via appreciation over time. But the beauty of a house is that it’s an asset that you live in. Making a home into something that reflects you isn’t something you can take to the bank, but it is rewarding.

3. Be your own boss:

The average house in 1950 was less than a few square feet. Today it’s more than twice that. Whatever you decide to buy, you’re going to have to furnish, heat, cool, and maintain. With renting the landlord has to deal with this, this may seem like an advantage but you are likely to hear many stories of tenants whose living qualities haven’t been met, whereas, with the help of buying agents, you can successfully monitor the maintenance because you live there.

4. Wait until you’re ready:

If you have bad credit and as a result are forced to take on a high-interest mortgage it will cost you considerably over the life of your loan. Also, the more money you put down the less you borrow and the less risk you take. Instead be patient and wait for a while, so you can take advantage of the best deals.

Consider the factors above. If you don’t feel that you’re ready to own there’s certainly no shame in renting. But if you do feel like you’re ready, it would be a fantastic idea to go for it.


Buying a Home in the South West

House buying
From Southgate to Stanmore and Ealing to Bromley, purchasing a house in the South West is characterised by street after street of 1930’s houses. These buildings may not be packed with period features like their Victorian and Edwardian predecessors. They tend to have large practical features such as large light rooms, bigger plots, off street parking and garages that can easily be converted into additional living spaces. For these few reasons they are in as much in demand now as when they were first built.

Worchester Park is a case in point. Situated between Sutton and Kingston it contains the whole spectrum of 1930’s properties, from compact terraces upwards. Although the town is fairly small and has a single KT4 postcode, it actually spans three boroughs, Sutton, Kingston upon Thames and Epsom and Ewell. Some boroughs boundaries fall in the middle of residential roads, which can lead to strange anomalies – for example, rubbish collections on different days and higher costs for dropped kerbs depending on which side of the street you live.

The speedy rail link to Waterloo is a major pull for first time property buyers to the area, with journeys taking up to 24 minutes. Worcester Park is in zone 4 and an annual travel card covering zone 1 costs £1,672. The station is at the northern end of the local high street Central Road, with its mix of shops and eateries. With well-known names such as Waitrose and Costa Coffee both showing signs that this is an area on the up.

There are some modern blocks and older buildings and maisonettes for sale tucked behind both ends of the high street, in Donnington, Moreton, Longfellow and Washington Roads, convenient for shops and stations. No large-scale developments are underway but demand is high for resale at The Hamptons, a scheme of New England Style Homes of various sizes from St James.

Prices in this area are competitive in comparison to their surroundings, enabling home buyers with a flat to sell to trade up to a house. One bedroom flats costs around £160,000 to £180,000, although The Hamptons is more expensive with prices starting at £225,000. Two beds flats are up to £220,000 and three bed terraced housed £340,000. Rental demand is high and investors can let a one bedroom for about £850 a month. So why not try exploring this South London area – there are heaps of surprises inshore.

If you need professional help finding your desired property type in your chosen area you should employ the services of a professional buying agent to do the work for you. These types of companies can substantially increase your chances of finding your dream property and also remove the hassle, cost and risk of going it alone.

buy property


Making an Offer on a UK Property

Buying a property in UKWhen you are confident you have found the right place property you can make a formal offer on it. If you are dealing with a professional property buying agent instruct them to take control of the buying process to save you time an hassle and insure the best possible price when buying alternatively if you are dealing with an estate agents you may be given the option to pay a holding deposit to the estate agent, held on behalf of the buyer until it is time to exchange contracts. This will be refunded if the seller pulls out of the deal.

You will need to fill out a formal application to your chosen lender for a particular mortgage. The lender will need information about the property and yourself. They will make checks that will consider whether you are able to pay off the loan off a long period of time and that the property is in a good condition. This is usually assessed by a qualified surveyor.

What does a surveyor do?

You need to know you are getting good value for money and your lender needs to be certain the property is suitable security for a mortgage. The lender will commission someone to evaluate the property. The valuation isn’t particularly thorough so you need to consider a more detailed inspection, a survey called a Homebuyer’s Report will do this for you, or if you want to even more meticulous a full structural survey. The Homebuyer’s report gives a good general overview of the property. A full structural survey goes into more depth and is advisable for considerably older UK properties.


The lender will make a mortgage offer based on the valuation of the property or the purchase price –whichever one is lower. Once you have agreed to this offer the legal procedures need to be completed before the property finally belongs to you.

What is the role of my solicitor

The main job of your solicitor will be the legal transfer of ownership of your new home. Before engaging with any solicitor, ask them first how much they will charge for their service and then shop around for quotes. The cheapest deal isn’t necessarily the best as these can sometime have an impact on how well the solicitor does their job well.

When contracts have been drawn up and agreed and your solicitor has received your mortgage offer, then contracts are exchanged. At this point the price is fixed and the purchase is secured. A 10 per cent deposit is normally required at this point, but this is negotiable if, for example you are borrowing more than 90 per cent loan to value. When you finally own the property, it is usually one month from the date of exchange, but it can be shorter or longer depending on what both parties agree.

The feeling of purchasing your own property is indescribable. Making an offer and it being accepted is a long process, but well worth it if you go by it in the correct manner. All you need to do thereafter is to move, which in itself can be an even bigger worry.

Author Bio:
John Savvy is a professional buying agent working on behalf of property buyers & assists them in climbing the property ladder. If you need any assistance to buy property in UK, I’m always there at your service. You can contact me @ 02085175550 or else visit: www.propsavvy.com


Why Dalston is a good area to buy a property

Buy property in DalstonGentrification is a slow process. It takes most areas ten to twenty years to make the transition from down trodden to desirable, and sometimes even longer. Dalston though is an exception to this rule and seems to have somehow fast tracked. In the space of about four or five years, it has become extremely cool and a great hub for arty types who can’t afford Clerkenwell, Shoreditch or Hoxton for home buyers.

Dalston is centred around the high street, specifically Kingsland Road, which runs south to Shoreditch and North to Stoke Newington, and where grubby shops and pubs have given way to trendy bars, cafes, clubs and boutiques. Some of the cash funded from the Olympics has created a new railway station – Dalston Junction – on the East London line, and trains run frequently to West Croydon and Crystal Palace via Canada Water and Surrey Quays.

Connections to the City, West End and Canary Wharf are already good: the Jubilee line, Victoria line and DLR can all be picked up within a few stops – and they’re about to get even better. The area’s other station, Dalston Kingsland, is on the North London line, linking Stratford and Richmond, and there are numerous buses. Dalston is in Zone 2, and an annual Travelcard into Zone 1 costs £1,168.

At the heart of the regeneration scheme sits Dalston Square, a huge development featuring a public square, shops, restaurants, a library and archives as well as the well renowned station.

Most of Dalston’s housing is somewhat older – a typical inner city mix of Victorian and ex local authority properties, plus a smattering of Georgian buildings. The spacious 19th century houses in the streets of Kingsland Road were long ago converted into flats, and home buyers after period family houses head to the conversation areas in pricey London Fields or De Beauvoir Town. These houses have remained the same but other aspects of Dalston have changed enormously.

Dalston’s upturn is reflected in property prices. A one bed period flat starts at around £270,000 and two beds range from £350,000 to more than £600,000. People who live on the N1 side want to say and announce they live in Dalston, whereas in the past they would have called it Islington. The areas trendiness is reflected in the letting market too. One bedroom flats start at around £1,000 per month, so there’s something in the area for all, even if you are on a budget.

If you are looking to buy property in Dalston or need more information on Dalston properties, you can contact Propsavvy, the leading property buying agents.


Top 10 tips when purchasing a Buy-to-Let Property

purchasing a buy-to-letHere are just a few tips to help you if you are thinking of purchasing a buy-to-let, courtesy of Propsavvy.com

Research Location

Research thoroughly in a location before even deciding to invest.  Check for local amenities, transport links, schools and more. These factors will all have an effect on the value and rental demand for your property

Define Tenant Profile

Think about what type of tenant you are looking for to reside in your UK property (family, young professionals, students) and present the property according to this type. There is no point producing a five star quality home when the local rental market requires student accommodation – you’ll be wasting your time and money. If your property is classed as a HMO (House in Multiple Occupation), make sure the property has a licence to operate from the local council.

Talk to a broker

Some buy to let mortgages are not available direct so get a complete picture of the finance available, consider using an independent specialist broker that has access to the whole market. They will have the necessary experience to match your borrowing needs. Make sure you use a broker that is part of the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers.

Monitor buy-to-let rates

Monitor market rates and compare them to yours. Look to see if switching to another rate makes more financial sense. Make sure you are getting the best deal possible.

Maintain your property

Weigh up the pros and cons of maintain your property yourself or paying a letting agent to do it for you. If managing yourself you need to consider whether you have the right skills and contacts to make sure things are done quickly and efficiently.

Check your tenant

Undertake credit reference checks on new tenants. Tenant referencing checks can cost as little as £10 per person. You should also ask for an employee reference.

Protect tenant’s deposit

You must, by law, protect tenants deposit via a deposit protection scheme. Failure to protect the deposit could result in you having to compensate the tenant up to 3 times that of the deposit.

Claim Landlord Insurance

Landlord insurance is designed specifically for rental properties and covers circumstances not covered by normal household insurance. If you own multiple UK properties you could save money using an insurer that will provide cover for all properties on a single policy.

Keep Records

Keep accurate records for each UK property you own. Create a simple spread sheet or if you have a number of properties you could hire a bookkeeper.

Become Accredited

You can get support from your local council, many of which offer accreditation schemes to help landlords protect tenants interests.

Hopefully this helps you when purchasing a buy to let property. If you need any more help please contact Propsavvy for further information on this and other BMV property.