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Home Buyers Survey in Exeter

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The content of survey reports will vary considerably due to factors including the age, type, location and condition of the property, and materials used in its construction.

Click preferred survey type to begin download.

Download sample HomeBuyer Report  HomeBuyer Report sample
Download sample Building Survey  Building Survey sample
Download sample Property Valuation  Property Valuation sample

Survey reports can be large files containing many photos of a property. On slower connections these files may take a short while to download.

Do you need a Home Buyers Survey? Which survey is the right choice?

  • House suitable for a HomeBuyer Report

    Homebuyer Report in Exeter

    The Homebuyer Report is the best choice if planning to purchase a home made of conventional materials i.e. brick & tile, in reasonable order and built in the last 100 years. Find out more

  • Property suitable for a Building Survey

    Building Survey in Exeter

    The RICS Building Survey (often referred to as a Full Structural Survey in Exeter) will also be carried out by a MRICS or FRICS accredited surveyor and is more exhaustive. Choose this for non standard property such as thatched or older homes. Find out more

  • Surveyor carrying out a Property Valuation

    Property Valuation Report in Exeter

    This is an independent chartered surveyor valuation of the property. This is typically chosen by mortgage free buyers or someone requiring a formal valuation e.g. matrimonial dispute. Find out more

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Home Surveys in Exeter

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Home Buyers Survey in Exeter

Damage caused by high rainfall

How will we know what effect damp weather may have on our new property in Exeter? Where there is necessary work, what should we do?

Regular rainfall is common in Exeter as it is across the rest of the country, but the impact wet weather can have on Exeter homes is rarely considered properly by purchasers, which is confusing given that the weather is a common choice of conversation for the majority of Britons.

The Environment Agency estimates that 1 in 6 properties are at risk from some kind of flooding, with at least half of those being susceptible to problems caused by surface water. Signs that drains are blocked include water pooling below gutters, or water gushing from the roof during rainfall. This can lead to damage to foundations and expensive remedial work. If at all practical, it might be worth organising a visit to your chosen property on both dry and wet days to see if there is anything worthy of note with how the rainfall is managed.

Fortunately, drainage problems are usually easy to repair, if they are identified early. However, if the drains are poorly maintained, the resulting damage can lower the value of the property and become increasing harder to repair.

Get your instant survey quote from Surveyor Local by filling in the few details in the form at the top of this page. Or, if you’re ready to get one of the best chartered surveyors in the Exeter area assigned, call us now on 0800 038 6667.

Wall cracks caused by subsidence

A local builder has said subsidence may be an issue in the maisonette in Exeter. What can be done to resolve it if subsidence is found during the house survey?

Subsidence is the movement of the foundations of a home which then compromises its structural integrity. Most homes experience some minor cracking in the walls, which will not affect the building's structure, which is especially the case for new homes, or where there have been recent extensions or major alterations. Where the home is of very recent construction, the builder will usually return to a new home after time has passed to make good any settlement cracks.

Cracks that appear suddenly may suggest movement and subsidence. Inside the property, keep an eye out for sticking doors or windows, or cracks appearing around the frames.

Identifying the cause of subsidence is the first step to establishing its solution. Removing or even pruning any trees causing subsidence may be enough to halt any further movement. Trees and large shrubs must be well-managed, and new trees should be planted at a safe distance from the exterior walls of the property. Beech and sycamores, for example, should be planted at least 15m from a property. Chartered surveyors should be able to identify a subsidence problem, while structural engineers may also be required to confirm the seriousness of the issue.

For more advice on your choice of Exeter home survey, try Surveyor Local’s instant quote generator (scroll to the top of the page and fill in a few simple details in the form), or call one of our advisers on 0800 038 6667.

House prices

There is a terraced house in the EX4 postcode area priced at £247,000. What things does a surveyor consider when calculating house prices in Exeter?

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 Exeter.

This means the average price of completed transactions for terraced houses in Exeter in December 2018 was £238,128, which is £8,872 less than the asking price for the cited property. With regards to other types of property, the averages for the same month in Exeter were:

PriceProperty type
£256,911All properties
£162,585Flats/maisonettes
£238,128Terraced
£282,995Semi-detached
£454,187Detached

Information © 2019 HM Land Registry. Retrieved from HM Land Registry website on 26 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 instant Exeter home survey quote generator (scroll to the top of the page and fill in a few pieces of information) or call our team on 0800 038 6667.

Building Surveys on flats 1

Do I need to opt for the more comprehensive Building Survey prior to acquiring a derelict, eighties, converted flat in Exeter?

The RICS advises that the HomeBuyer Report should be adopted for what is described as “conventional properties in reasonable condition”. Specifically, this means:

  • properties built less than 50 years ago (including new-builds, which are just as susceptible to minor issues as an established home)
  • properties with no significant change made to them in recent years
  • properties with no plans for significant change in the next few years
  • properties of a standard construction (i.e. not of an unusual construction or built with non-standard materials)

Be aware that some limitations come with any survey, because a qualified RICS surveyor will not be able to open up the fabric of the building, or comment on the efficiency of gas installations. Furthermore, flats involve shared parts of the building that cannot always be accessed, so the surveyor can only give details on the area within the identifiable boundary of the flat.

You should choose the Building Survey for any property that comes under these descriptions (such as the Exeter home mentioned in the question):

  • 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

For a more detailed breakdown of Building Surveys and HomeBuyer Reports click on Survey comparison table.

Ready to assign one of the best chartered surveyors in the country to check out your prospective purchase? Call Surveyor Local now on 0800 038 6667 and our friendly advisers will ensure that you get your survey moving today.

Stone-block wall damage

Do stone-walled homes in Exeter create maintenance problems for residents? Which major issues should we consider?

Because of Britain’s rich geology, stone has been used for centuries as an accessible building material. From Portland Roach Limestone to Plumpton Red Lazonby Sandstone, there are many types of stone used in the construction of homes in this country.

Defects affecting stone-built buildings can vary, with mould being relatively common. Irregular stone walls are found throughout the county, and can require more care and attention than regular, brick-like, stone walls due to the greater impact the weather can have on exposed mortar. Ashlar courses are often used to finish more irregular stone walls, with a brick or rubble wall beneath. This can give rise to maintenance issues if either element of the wall has been treated with a non-breathable material.

Repair advice often includes repointing of loose or crumbling mortar. If you are planning to renovate the wall, consider that stone-matching services are available, which may be necessary for any work carried out at listed buildings, and possibly in some conservation areas. Locally-mined or -quarried stone may also be available.

Concerned about the survey and what it might reveal about your planned new home? Call Surveyor Local’s waiting advisers on 0800 038 6667 to discuss your worries and to get your survey moving.

Traditionally-built property

We are buying a 17th-Century converted stable in Exeter. What should be budgeted for repairs?

There are many buyers who would really love to own an old, characterful home purely because of that character and the romanticism of its charm and appeal, particularly if it’s coupled with a great location.

With such a dream, though, comes the consideration of the construction and what it means in terms of ongoing maintenance and remedying any existing problems as part of its purchase. This is because such properties are likely to have been built employing the older construction methods and materials, and this might occasionally give buyers second thoughts as a result of the stress and worry about its upkeep.

The obvious traditional (or ‘vernacular’) techniques in the construction include cob (a mixture of clay soil, straw, and sand), wattle and daub (limestone and horse-hair), straw bales, timber beams for wall construction, thatched roofs, adobe, and hemp, all of which can be very challenging to maintain.

You should be aware that expert knowledge may also be needed before buying so that the condition of the materials and structure can be fully checked out and estimates provided for any remedial work. In addition, certain materials suitable for the work may be required to be sourced, particularly if the building is listed or is in a conservation area, which might be expensive.

For more advice and to get one of the best chartered surveyors assigned to your task, call Surveyor Local’s team of friendly advisers on 0800 038 6667 today.

Landfill site near home

What should I be aware of when buying a home next to a waste site in Exeter, and landfill sites generally?

A ‘landfill site’ is the generic term given for specialist locations licensed by the government (and the Environment Agency) for any material that won’t be recycled or reused to be dumped, buried or collected in one place. Because of the shortage of new locations for landfill, and the reduction in available space at existing ones, this explains the drive for better recycling options.

However, be aware that recycling areas can present as much of a hazard as the familiar dumping sites, with noxious chemicals spilling into the environment, either in the ground, through the water-table, the drains or airborne, especially where waste is burnt.

Whether it’s a local authority tip, a recycling centre, or a true landfill site, no-one would willingly wish to live in close proximity to one (although the large majority of the British population do). For this reason, it makes complete sense for your surveyor to check out the environmental and structural impact of such necessary waste management sites on the property you are wishing to buy in Exeter, not only from the environmental side of things but also from the traffic passing in and out of the site and how the vibrations might be impacting the foundations and the environs.

Where there is cause for concern, or if there appears to contamination that is attributable directly to such sites, your surveyor will note this in the report and highlight the severity for remedial action, often placing it in the section for consideration by your conveyancing solicitor to look into with the appropriate authorities.

Your Surveyor Local surveyor will have a deep knowledge of the local area and will therefore be aware of where landfill sites have been closed and built over. In some instances, movement in what has been buried may be a cause or start of subsidence, and they will be able to advise accordingly. Your conveyancing solicitor will conduct environmental searches of the British Geological database and the Exeter Local Authority and advise you of the position in the report on title.

To get your instant Exeter home survey quote from Surveyor Local, simply fill in a few details in the form at the top of this page or call our waiting team of advisers on 0800 038 6667.

Conservation area

Is there anything we should consider if we are planning to buy a building in Exeter near St. David’s conservation area?

There are over 10,500 official conservation areas in the UK, which are overseen and administered by the local authorities, and St. David’s is administered by Exeter City Council at Civic Centre, Paris Street, Exeter, EX1 1JJ (Tel: 01392 277888).

Surveyors in Exeter need to possess sufficient knowledge regarding the relevant local issues and the effect they have with your home. The price of property tends to be higher than non-conservation-area equivalents due to them being preserved.

RICS surveyors will advise if the house is possibly in a conservation area and Section I of the Exeter HomeBuyer Report (Issues for Your Legal Advisers) will advise of any further investigations to be carried out by your solicitor. Unapproved adjustments that do not have Local Authority approval may be reported in the Exeter survey, but these should be investigated by your conveyancer.

As of 26 February 2019, St. David’s is not on English Heritage’s At Risk register, although you can regularly check any conservation area and its assessed state by clicking on the register here.

Ready for a competitively-priced, high quality survey service from Surveyor Local? Call us now on 0800 038 6667 and one of our friendly advisers will get you set with a great chartered surveyor.

Wall cracks caused by subsidence

A Exeter builder suggested subsidence may be worth checking. Is this a severe risk, and what subsidence issues does the Surveyor report on?

Subsidence refers to the movement of a home and its foundations. Subsidence may be confused with settlement. Settlement generally happens in newly constructed homes, and is rarely a cause for concern. Their weight can cause the ground beneath the foundations to compact, which will cease after a matter of months. In contrast to subsidence, $heave$ can occur when a tree has been removed water accumulates in soil. This causes the soil to swell, forcing the foundations above upwards, and can be as destructive as subsidence.

Collapsed drains, including mains drains, can cause subsidence by washing away or loosening subsoil. This is an example of groundwater subsidence. In extreme temperatures, movement can worsen, leading to subsidence.

Learning the cause of any subsidence should be the first priority. Repairing leaking drains, water mains or broken downpipes which are the cause of the subsidence, should be all that is needed to stabilise the home, with no underpinning required. In serious cases, underpinning may be required. As an alternative to underpinning, piling, or mini-piling, uses concrete or steel poles that are driven down into more stable soil, to stop further movement. A surveyor will be able to tell you if there is subsidence in your home or not, and what is causing it.

Damage resulting from flooding

We are intending to buy a house in Exeter, does the residential surveyor inquire into water damage, or whether flooding has affected other houses on the street?

A wide variety of factors can cause flooding, from inadequate drainage to tidal activity, and home buyers cannot know that insurance against flooding will continue to be available. Your RICS surveyor may use several methods to determine if the property in question is in danger. The survey report may also, where appropriate, outline a strategy for flood-related upkeep.Preventative measures can include costly but effective solutions e.g. raised door thresholds. Flooding issues will only be raised in Section J of a survey report if the building surveyor observes or has reason to suspect that the Exeter home is at risk.

House Prices

Is £138, 622 in the right area price to pay for a flat in EX4 in Exeter for and what will the Exeter chartered surveyor allow for when conducting a home buyers survey ?

There are many factors that might affect house prices e.g. anti social neighbours or the likelihood of development occurring nearby. It often helps to put side by side the prices of flat achieved in Exeter at the same time for similar flats. The average flat price registered between July and October in 2012 was £137, 722, which is £900 less than the asking price. The average for houses and flats was £205, 841. Dennysmead Court, 2, Glenthorne Road, Exeter, Exeter, Devon, EX4 4QU was purchased for £36, 000 .

The most reliable way for you to get a formal property valuation is to get a Homebuyer Report which includes a Property Valuation Report by default. Your qualified RICS surveyor will be officially part of the Valuer Registration Scheme, which reinforces professional standards.

A professional RICS surveyor will always actually visit the home in addition to allowing for any other area factors affecting the value of property.