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How long does a home survey last for?

A home survey is a vital part of buying a house. It involves a RICS chartered surveyor inspecting a property to determine its value and overall condition.

These findings equip the buyer with a clearer understanding of the state of the property in question. It ensures buyers are aware of any potential defects, issues or costs, so they can either request they are sorted out before proceeding or negotiate the asking price down to compensate. At the very least, a home survey helps ensure the buyer goes into the purchase with their eyes wide open, for complete confidence and peace of mind.

However, before getting a home survey, it’s good to know how long the report will last. Are there any time constraints to them? How long do they take?

In this article, we’ll answer those questions.

Are there any time constraints to a home survey?

Technically, a home survey – despite being a report based on the property at the time of inspection – should be valid (for your personal use) for a long time.

Apart from serious events (such as a fire, flood, earthquake, industrial accident, etc.), a building is unlikely to dramatically change in the weeks and months following the survey. However, it’s important to note that home surveys are non-transferable, which means that each buyer will need to get their own survey done, rather than relying on one that’s been carried out on behalf of someone else.

The same goes for mortgage valuations – lenders will get their own valuation done, so you won’t be able to submit your own valuation (if you have one) in support of your mortgage application. Banks and mortgage lenders – sensibly – rely on up-to-date valuations. While every lender sets their own specific requirements, the more recent the valuation, the better. Lenders commission their own valuation report to evaluate risk, so this is one less thing to worry about. However, you should consider getting a home survey done to assess the condition of the property you’re buying, for your own peace of mind.

A chartered surveyor should note any developing faults in the RICS home survey report. For example, if they find a hole in the roof, it shouldn’t be a surprise if the house develops a damp problem in the ceilings and walls. Of course, nobody can absolutely guarantee that a building will remain in the exact same condition as it was at the time of the report. However, major changes or significant damages are rare. The chartered surveyor will have taken every precaution to warn you if there’s evidence of anything like this developing.

How long does a home survey inspection take?

After a chartered surveyor arrives at a property, a home survey inspection could last for up to a few hours. Putting a definite number on it isn’t really possible, as they vary from property to property. How long a home survey lasts for might depend on any of the following (and more):

  • Size – the bigger the house, the more there is to check.
  • Age – older houses tend to naturally develop more problems than newer ones.
  • Property type – barn conversions, for example, might require a more in-depth inspection.
  • Accessibility and the surveyor’s safety – some houses are easy to get around. Others force the chartered surveyor to wear certain PPE items or contact the current owner to access things like the roof or under the stairs.

As a very broad answer, home surveys could take approximately:

  • Valuation – 40 mins – 1 hour.
  • Home Survey Level 2 – 2-4 hours.
  • Home Survey Level 3 – 4-8 hours, depending on the size of the property.

Don’t be surprised if your home survey takes longer (or shorter), as these are very general estimates.

How GB Home Surveys can help

We at GB Home Surveys are a rapidly expanding team of chartered surveyors. Operating across central England and South Wales, we’re committed to providing jargon-free, helpful RICS home surveys as quickly as possible.

All our team are RICS members, meaning everyone’s held to a top standard of professionalism, ethics, conduct and skill.

After you put an offer on a house, feel free to get in touch with us. Once you’ve instructed a chartered surveyor, we’ll head on out to the property to conduct the inspection at a pre-agreed date and time. Next, we’ll write up a report, which we strive to get back to you within seven days.

You can use this report to proceed however you see fit, although the chartered surveyor will recommend a few courses of action.

If you’re thinking about buying your next new house, why not drop us an email at contact@gbhomesurveys.co.uk? Give us a call on 03333 600 685 if you’d prefer to speak to one of us directly, and we’ll do our best to help you out. All our chats will be completely obligation-free for your peace of mind, so ask us as many questions as you like!

We look forward to hearing from you.

Looking for a quote, or maybe you have a question? Get in touch today.

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