Buyers scrimping on surveys as they try to keep purchasing costs down

Posted: 23/8/2016

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Home buyers are scrimping on surveys to keep down their property purchase costs but could end up with a big repair bill as a result, a firm of insurers has warned.

A poll of 2,000 home owners by Churchill found that 14% of buyers who have purchased a property in the past 20 years didn’t have a survey and relied on the mortgage valuation.

The survey found buyers are now either not taking a survey or going for the more basic condition or homebuyers report.

In the past 12 months, 9% didn’t have a survey while 17% took a condition report and 13% had a homebuyers report. Just 6% had a building survey.

A separate poll of surveyors by Churchill found that 36% have seen a trend for people requesting cheaper versions of a survey.

Almost half (48%) of those who relied on a mortgage valuation said work was needed on the property within a year, while this figure rises to 62% for those who just took out a condition report.

More than half (56%) of those who needed major work doing to their property within a year of moving in said the issues were serious enough to have influenced their purchase, should they have had prior knowledge.

But whether it's a survey or a valuation report, agents are now well used to generic comments which surveyors make which can scare would-be purchasers off. And, specialist reports such as damp surveys are often advised anyway, regardless of the level of report.

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