Purchasing a house appears a complicated process for the first time buyer and not using the house view time productively is an easy mistake. If you have never looked at a house previously, it's hard to know where to start and stressful! Our survey template is applicable throughout the UK including England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland and is designed from experience gained viewing properties.
Our Pre-Purchase Inspection Template is easy to use and follow. There is an introduction to why you inspect and what are the important areas. For the new buyer, the basics of a house check are introduced. Not every fault is serious but they can be costly so we guide you through step by step on various items such as leaks and dampness. Then we have a check box list for each room and external areas. You can check what we highlight and then when you note a problem, you get estimates to carry out repairs. The total repair cost is what you can reasonably ask as a discount on the asking price.
The survey carried out by a bank or mortgage lender is simply to check that an asset exists that is worth more than the money they lend to you. If you fail to make mortgage repayments they want to be easily able to recover their money. They have no interest if you have drainage or electrical problems.
You have to survey a property if you want to uncover repair problems. Also when you buy a property and insure it, your survey may help you in any claim as you have evidence of the condition on the survey date. The importance of the survey and insurance is discussed in more detail at our section on a House Survey and Insurance.
You do not have to be an expert in house design to a primary house survey - you use experts for items such as structural survey but if you can turn a tap on, you can check most items in a house. The primary survey is often carried out by the house purchaser both to save money and because you can learn how to do it.
You are looking at how a house functions (lights, water, electricity) and the standard of the basic house fittings. You are looking for dampness, cracks and weaknesses that you can learn to inspect relatively easily. The survey does not include specialist areas such as structural or electrical safety for obvious reasons - experts carry out those checks and those same experts will not carry out a primary survey.
Always take photos of anything that you notice and you can use these as evidence to support your estimates of repair costs. It is also easy to jog your memory when you have photos.
The checklist we supply is based upon experience of a professional engineer who has seen many people charged for almost worthless home surveys. By carrying out the primary survey, you will get familiar with the house and any problems at minimal inspection cost. It allows you to make a rational decision on whether to buy the property or leave it before spending money on structural surveys - a decent self-survey can save you money and stress.