Research carried out on behalf of the Society of Chartered Surveyors in Ireland (SCSI) in late 2013 amongst 1004 respondents revealed that 6 out 10 homeowners did not pay for a professional house survey in advance of purchasing their home, even though nine out ten people said they would make sure to have one carried out if purchasing a property according to a new opinion poll.
The RED C poll also showed that 1 in 5 of those who failed to seek any professional opinion prior to purchasing their homes incurred additional unexpected costs rectifying defects in the property. The SCSI which represents construction professionals and estate agents, said that a building survey should be a pre-requisite for home buyers. These results were released in conjunction with the publication of the SCSI’s ‘Consumer Guide to Residential Building Surveys’.
‘We would strongly advise people considering buying a house to have a building survey carried out by a chartered building surveyor in advance to ensure that defects are picked up as early as possible’, says Kevin Hollingsworth, Chair of the Building survey professional group of the SCSI.
‘Purchasing a home is one of, it not the largest financial commitments that people make in their lifetime, and having a building survey carried out is important to give prospective purchasers peace of mind and help them avoid unforeseen costs later on. Not getting one done is a false economy as evidenced by the 1 in 5 people who incurred additional costs of an average of 16,000 in fixing defects that they were unaware of when purchasing the property.’
Hollingsworth says ’A building survey covers a wide range of issues including: structure, compliance with planning and fire safety regulations, poor workmanship, utilities, dampness, as well as pyrite and flooding risks’.
The bulk of homes purchased since 2009 are second hand, due to the shortage of newly built properties. These houses are likely to have building issues that are not apparent to the untrained eye, and require a professional to conduct an in-depth property inspection.
Interestingly, while people in Dublin and urban areas were more inclined to seek a professional survey on a potential house purchase, the RED C poll shows that people in the Ulster/Connacht regions were least likely to seek out advice from a chartered surveyor or engineer.
Inspex CEO Anne Millar agrees that a professional building survey can save new homeowners time and money. "In our experiences, clients who have used the Inspex property inspection service are able to make a more informed decision regarding the final cost of purchase of their new home."