We are planning to buy a home in Birmingham, and have noticed a 10mm gap between the kitchen wall and the back-door frame; could this be evidence of subsidence? What can be done to remedy it if it’s found during the property survey?
The definition of subsidence is the movement of the foundations of a structure and is usually caused by the soil surrounding the structure shrinking as it loses moisture, causing the weight of the building to press down. Less common than subsidence, heave occurs when the ground level moves upwards, caused by the swelling of the subsoil pushing the foundations up.
Cracks that appear without warning may suggest movement and subsidence; equally, the cracks could be caused by simple settling and natural movement and may not be anything to worry about, which is why it’s so important to get a chartered surveyor from Surveyor Local to inspect the property thoroughly.
Signs of potential subsidence include doors and windows which stick, as well as more obvious symptoms, such as widening cracks in the walls, which you have noticed at this home.
Learning the cause of any subsidence should be the priority, so that the appropriate solution may be identified quickly and effectively. Removing or even pruning any trees causing subsidence may be enough to halt any further movement that is caused by their roots drawing up increasing amounts of underground water; however, be aware that such over-pruning or removal may create other problems, so advice from an expert arborist or structural engineer may be recommended. You may also need to monitor (and measure) the cracks for as much as a year before the picture becomes entirely clear.
For more advice, why not try our instant Birmingham home survey quote generator (simply scroll to the top of this page to get started)? Or, if you prefer to chat to someone, you could call 0800 038 6667 to talk to one of our advisers.
On a HomeBuyer Report carried out in Birmingham, what are common ‘Condition rating 3’ defects impacting joinery and finishes?
The HomeBuyer Report is specifically designed and laid out so that clients can find what they want easily and, more importantly, understand what the report is saying. In summary, the product provides:
- a clearer layout, so that the information within it is obvious and can be found easily and swiftly
- an energy performance rating, bringing it in line with current legislation
- modern design broken down into the clear areas of the inspection (e.g. about the property, inside, outside, services, etc.)
- colour-coded condition ratings using a traffic-light system for instant visual understanding (1 (green) – no repairs required; 2 (amber) – needs repair or replacement but not immediately urgent; 3 (red) – needs urgent repair, replacement or financial investment)
- performed by a skilled chartered surveyor, such as the thorough and focused surveyors we have available at Surveyor Local
- less comprehensive and detailed (and therefore cheaper) than the Building Survey, but significantly more detailed than the Condition Report
- written in plain English with no technical or jargon terminology for easy understanding of the condition of the building
Anything with a ’condition rating 3’ (or ‘red’) is used to highlight very serious issues. Such defects may also need further investigation by a qualified specialist, before a full assessment can be made by the surveyor. If you choose a surveyor with Surveyor Local, they will keep you informed of such issues immediately after their examination, with advice as to what steps you might want to take.
Problems impacting the roof are also checked here, and these are inspected with the aid of binoculars, where appropriate and if access cannot be readily made. Any timber- or PVC-cladding fixed to the main walling will be included, along with planters and gardens abutting walls.
Want to know more about the survey process and how it will benefit you and your move to a new home? Try our simple calculator by filling in a few simple details in the form at the top of this page, or, if you want to get your survey moving and appoint your chartered surveyor, call Surveyor Local on 0800 038 6667 now. You can secure the services of a surveyor, too, by paying 10% of the quoted amount online.
There is an end-of-terrace house the outskirts of Birmingham priced at £174,000. What things does a surveyor consider when calculating house prices in Birmingham?
A qualified RICS surveyor will go to the property as well as considering the wealth of area knowledge and factors that have a bearing on the value of property. There are a huge number of issues that could affect house prices (for example, the quality of nearby schools, or whether the garden is overlooked). It can help to benchmark selling-prices recorded for similar properties in Birmingham.
This means the average price of completed transactions for terraced homes in Birmingham in December 2018 was £168,172, which is £5,828 more than the asking price for the cited property. With regards to other types of property, the averages for the same month in Birmingham were:
Information © 2019 HM Land Registry. Retrieved from HM Land Registry website on 27 February 2019
An impartial way to get a formal house valuation is with a HomeBuyer Report, which includes a Property Valuation Report (PVR) as a core component. A qualified RICS surveyor will be part of the Valuer Registration Scheme, which reinforces professional standards.
If you need further guidance, why not try our Birmingham home survey quote generator (scroll to the top of the page and fill in a few pieces of information in the form there) or call our waiting team on 0800 038 6667.
Is it best to opt for a more comprehensive Building Survey prior to investing in a dilapidated, Victorian duplex apartment in Birmingham?
The Building Survey is a comprehensive inspection by a chartered surveyor, and it provides:
- An inspection of the building(s) at the property
- A full survey report of the findings, both good and bad
- A property valuation (if specifically requested and carries an additional cost)
The customer can choose this type of survey for any property that they are buying, but the RICS recommends that it is most suitable for:
- Listed buildings and some properties in conservation areas
- Properties that were built more than 50 years ago
- Properties that you want to extend, change significantly, or update in an integral way
- Buildings that have been recently subjected to such change
- Properties of an unusual construction, or built with unusual materials, irrespective of their age
If you want to see what differences there are with the survey products on offer by Surveyor Local, you can compare the surveys.
Ready to get a quote? Simply fill in a few details in the form at the top of this page or call Surveyor Local’s friendly advisers on 0800 038 6667.
Do all Birmingham surveys include a valuation and cost of rebuild estimate, and what does it comprise?
A HomeBuyer Report on a Birmingham building will include an impartial valuation and a reinstatement cost, which will also cover the cost of rebuilding permanent outhouses and garages. To determine an accurate value estimate, the valuer will refer to the local Birmingham property market and other factors relating to the property:
- specific facets of the structure and house (e.g. number of bedrooms, or if there is a loft conversion)
- construction methods sand materials used
- key assumptions (for example, that the property isn't on a landfill site)
- parochial assumptions (e.g. access roads not being in private control)
- environmental problems, such as impact of local mining activity
A Property Valuation Report is requested when a definitive answer on the value of a property is required. Note that it’s not the same as a market appraisal, which is a guide or estimate to the property price that has absolutely no legal standing.
A Building Survey does not include a valuation as standard, although one can be added for a small, additional fee; call Surveyor Local on 0800 038 6667 for more information. Alternatively, a Property Valuation Report (PVR) can be performed, if you are only interested in the valuation element of the survey process. You can also get an instant survey quote in moments by completing the form at the top of this page.
Will an infestation of bugs affect the purchase price of a property in Birmingham. What advice should we get?
The issue of pests in and around the home is often seen as a small or minor, even irrelevant, inconvenience or annoyance that simply needs to be accepted and managed. However, the threat of many pests is very real and, with certain examples, will have a risk to the occupants’ health or destroy the fabric and structure of a building.
In addition, evidence of an infestation of pests is not always easy to find. Some obvious examples of common pests include death-watch beetle, rodents, woodworm, cockroaches, and many others.
Your chartered surveyor will look out for evidence of the common problems, such as droppings or holes in wood, and make recommendations based on the severity of the problem and how recent the infestation appears to be. Solutions and remedies to eradicate pests may include the use of poisons, insecticides and traps, but more humane ways of removing pests are available. It’s always worth obtaining a number of quotes from companies qualified to handle such issues so that you can request a reduction in the asking price from the seller.
Because there are so many different pests, the chartered surveyor will not be able to test and check for every single type other than the common instances. If you suspect that a specific issue with pests exists, then you should bring it to your surveyor’s attention and they will be able to focus on finding the particular evidence, should it exist.
Want to get a very experienced chartered surveyor assigned to inspect the property you’re planning to buy? Call a member of our friendly, waiting team of advisers on 0800 038 6667.
We are buying a house in Birmingham; does the chartered surveyor check flood damage, or if other properties have been affected?
The impact of flooding, both in the region of Birmingham and nationwide, is a serious concern for home-owners, and the value of a property can significantly decrease if it is in an exposed area, even if it has never flooded before. The Environment Agency estimates that almost 3m homes are at risk from surface water flooding alone, which is around half of all those at risk. Buildings insurance premiums will be significantly higher for any property deemed to be at risk from flooding.
Your RICS surveyor may use several methods to determine if the home in question is in danger, and their findings will give you suitable information to renegotiate the asking price if the cost of remediation warrants it.
Flooding can increase the likelihood of water entering a residential property, such as via seepage through external walls, poorly-fitted entrance doors, or air bricks. The Homebuyer Report will include details of any evidence of historical flooding, and may comment generally about the area's propensity to flood. The Environment Agency also publishes details of previous flood warnings, which you can use to research and analyse the situation.
If you want more advice about what the survey process can do for you, contact Surveyor Local on 0800 038 6667.
Can stone-built homes be a challenge in Birmingham. Are there any major issues that we should be aware of, and what will the survey reveal?
Ranging from Golconda Dolomitic Limestone to Purbeck Royal Bed Limestone, the stone used in a home's structure will impact the requirements for and the cost of maintenance, and the defects impacting a type of stone will vary according to its specific properties.
Irregular stone walls are not uncommon to properties in Birmingham but dressed (cut) stone may also be used for elements such as the junctions of external walls. Both regular and irregular stone can be mortared with lime-based mortar, which is susceptible to wear particularly in polluted areas, though the use of this has declined with the introduction of cement. These walls will need frequent maintenance, and this needs to be considered in the calculations for your budget.
For your Birmingham home survey instant quote, fill in a few details in the form at the top of this page, or call Surveyor Local’s waiting advisers on 0800 038 6667 to be assigned one of the most thorough and experienced chartered surveyors in the West Midlands.