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With so many different property types now
available on the market, it should come as no surprise to you that there are
surveyors who specialise in a number of different property styles and sizes.
From non-traditional properties to historic properties and newer, contemporary
homes, each one with its own construction style, it can be easy to understand
why you will need specialist support when analysing a property for structural
faults and major defects.

Choosing the best surveyor for your
potential property is an important part of the buying process. A qualified
surveyor will be able to provide you with expert advice on what can be done to
resolve certain defects found. They will conduct an in depth analysis of the
property in question, looking at all accessible and visible elements of the
property and listing any defects found. They will then compile a report
documenting all defects and what can be done to resolve those issues, including
a potential rundown of the costs required.

So what determines a property ‘type’? A professional surveyor will have to look
at different areas of the property, giving certain aspects higher priority in
order to make sure that they provide a thorough assessment of the condition of
the property in question.

Rural or Urban?

Different property types are prevalent in different
areas from tiny villages to huge cities. Whereas manors are more common in
villages, you might find one or two in the city if you’re got the budget for
it. In contrast, high rise flats are far more popular in large cities than in
small towns. By taking into account the style of property you are likely to
find in your location, you will be able to request assistance from a surveyor
best suited to your needs.

Consider again the location of the property
in question. For example if the property is near the coast or is subject to
regular heavy weather the surveyor will need to pay closer attention to damp,
mould, condensation and other aspects of the property. A property without
proper damp protection in a coastal area is not likely to last long at all and
the survey must reflect this. 

Old Property or New Property?

There are two main surveys designed for older and
newer properties. A HomeBuyer Report is designed for newer properties,
including properties that are fewer than 150 years old. Steps have been taken
to advance construction methods in order to build houses that are both
structurally sound and durable for many years to come. Speed is also of
importance when building new houses, so surveyors will be able to analyse the
property in question to see whether or not any corners were cut. With the
recent population boom, more and more houses have been built and corners may
have been cut in order to adhere to time constraints. A professional surveyor
will be able to identify any defects occurring as a result of these and provide
advice on how these situations can be rectified.
On the contrary, a Building Condition
report is ideal for properties older than 150 years as this type of report
looks at the structural condition of the property’s foundations including all
visible and accessible elements of the property in question. Like a HomeBuyer
Report, a professional surveyor will also provide advice and assistance on what
can be done to resolve potential defects, including a costs assessment of
repairs needed.

Historic Properties and Properties of a Non-Traditional Structure

Like older properties, historic properties are often of a different
construction than more modern properties, so special care is needed to provide
accurate and in depth reports that covers all property aspects. Properties of
an altered or non-traditional structure also fall into this category, so
surveyors will need specific experience in assessing these types of properties
in order to make sure that they can do a good job.

Even if this is not your first property
purchase, enlisting the assistance of an expert surveyor is always recommended,
as they are specifically trained to be able to identify defects that you may
have overlooked, ensuring for a more thorough report on the condition of the
property in question. By listing these defects and offering advice on potential
repairs, you will get a much more accurate representation of the costs needed
to get the property back up to scratch and this can have an effect on your
ultimate decision.

Article provided by Chiltern Associates, a
professional Chartered Surveyors firm based in Suffolk since 1986.