The seller's agent said there may be a danger of asbestos wallpaper present in the flat we want to buy in Great Yarmouth. Is this a major concern?
Asbestos has been mined for hundreds of years, but it was only in the last century that it was found to be so detrimental to health, although it still took until 1999 for there to be an outright ban in the UK, as part of an EU-wide directive, even though restrictions were placed from 1985.
The most common type found in the UK is white asbestos (chrysotile), which was often used in roofs, floors, ceilings, walls and insulation, thereby appearing in all manner of construction materials. From 1986, it was only white asbestos that remained in use in the UK for construction purposes. The other types are brown (amosite), blue (crocidolite), and green (anthophyllite).
Often considered to be a ‘miracle’ material before its deleterious effects were understood, asbestos was chosen for its resistance to fire and electricity, its tensile strength, and its sound-proofing qualities, coupled with its relative cheapness to produce.
Commonly called asbestosis, the curly or needle-shaped fibres usually caused mesothelioma (attack on the lining of the lungs, causing cancer). However, breathing in a single fibre will not be injurious, nor will it risk death.
During a survey, your chartered surveyor will not be able to confirm the existence of asbestos, since they will not investigate further than visual inspection because of the dangers highlighted above. However, they will be experienced in looking for it and will report their suspicions in the survey, recommending that it be checked out thoroughly.
Although you are legally allowed to removed asbestos yourself, this practice is thoroughly resisted by experts because of the danger that amateur removals may incur on yourself and your neighbours. Therefore, it is recommended that you appoint an expert to confirm its presence and to safely remove it. The register of expert contractors can be found here: the Asbestos Removal Contractors Association.
If you have any concerns about asbestos, you could consult an expert to get a quote, or contact Surveyor Local’s team of advisers on 0800 038 6667 to discuss the options with regards to the survey, and to obtain advice and your free quote.
We are investing in a ‘doer-upper’, Edwardian bungalow in Great Yarmouth; should I go for the more expensive Building Survey?
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, and a property valuation (if specifically requested, but which carries an additional cost of £249, including VAT.)
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
The duration of the assessment of the property depends entirely on the type of construction, its location and its size, but generally, it will take about a day to carry out the inspection and up to two weeks to receive the report, although Surveyor Local works hard to minimise this time where possible without impacting the quality of the service provided.
The price of the Building Survey is dependent on the location, size and construction of the property, but the cost usually comes in between £500 and £1,300.
If you are still unsure about which survey you need, why not call Surveyor Local on 0800 038 6667 to discuss your needs?
When I saw the sixties house I am intending to move to in Great Yarmouth, I saw that there is an old fuse-board; will my surveyor report on the wiring and electrical system?
One of the areas that your chartered surveyor will look into when they’re inspecting the property you are considering buying is the electrics, reporting on any findings where they suspect any part of the system to be in hazardous condition.
All new electrical work needs to be covered under the British standard regulations (BS 7671), which are properly called the Electrical Installation and Wiring Safety regulations and cover domestic, commercial and industrial properties, as well as marinas, fairgrounds, external public swimming pools, caravan parks, and other areas where electricity may create a potential hazard for any occupants.
For the residential properties, it covers all wiring, the circuit-breakers, residual current devices (RCDs), sockets, and so on, while special areas that are exposed to high moisture levels, such as bathrooms (e.g. heating or shaving sockets), swimming pools (internal or external), ponds, or portable outdoor equipment, will be given specific focus.
As part of the building regulations approval in an extension or new-build, or where the electrical circuits have been updated, an electrical certificate, signed off by a qualified electrician, needs to be supplied to comply with the requirements. This document will be sought and checked by your Surveyor Local surveyor.
In addition, the IEE (Institute of Electrical Engineers) recommends that a periodic inspection be completed every 10 years on private residential property, or every 5 years if you are renting out the property to tenants, or you own a commercial building. Again, your Surveyor Local chartered surveyor will identify the Periodic Inspection Review document’s existence and confirm its validity and status.
When preparing a Great Yarmouth Building Survey, an RICS surveyor will inspect all accessible parts of the electrical system, noting the location and likely age of the fuse-board, and includes a visual assessment of the superficial parts of the wiring, without taking anything apart for safety reasons. In addition to verifying areas connected to the mains (e.g. the whereabouts of the meter or consumer unit), the surveyor will also choose a selection of sockets and light-switches to ensure they are operating normally.
In the survey report, the surveyor will highlight all of the findings, including identifying those areas that they are unable to access, which might need further investigation by a qualified electrician. Where there are areas of concern, particularly where the electrical circuits and wiring don’t conform to the British standard, the surveyor will recommend that immediate action be taken. It is wise to obtain a couple of quotes for any major rewiring activities, as this can be used to enter into renegotiations over the asking price with the seller.
If you’re at all worried about any aspect of your survey, why not give Surveyor Local’s helpful advisers a quick call on 0800 038 6667 and they will be happy to guide you through the process and assign you to one of the best chartered surveyors available?
Do all Great Yarmouth surveys include a valuation and an estimate of rebuild costs for insurance purposes (including additional costs, such as reconstructing a garage)?
A Property Valuation Report is not a survey per se, although it is an associated product that chartered surveyors can offer, on the proviso that they are also a registered valuer. This is something that Surveyor Local can add to your choice of survey, and, if required, you only need to pick up the phone to us on 0800 038 6667 to discuss your particular needs and we’ll get the right service set up for you with the minimum of fuss.
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. Typically, a Property Valuation Report will be required in the following circumstances:
- loans and mortgage applications, to verify the true value of the property to guarantee sufficient equity remains in the building to pay off the mortgage or loan should the buyer default on payments
- probate and wills in order to establish the amount of inheritance tax owing from the legacy
- Help to Buy to establish a loan redemption figure
- buying or selling a property to ensure that the price being asked is a fair one
- shared ownership to confirm the share of equity figures
- matrimonial ownership, which follows the same design as that for shared ownership
- Capital Gains Tax to confirm the tax amounts due to HMRC
- Buy-to-Let rental value confirmation and assessment of loan or mortgage affordability
- dispute resolution to assess the financial share in the property
- immigration for the valuation of any immovable assets
The report looks at the location of the property, its features, size and age, while it considers the identified problems and issues within its boundaries.
The price of a Property Valuation Report starts from £249, which includes VAT and is fixed), dependent on the size of the property being valued. If you would like a Property Valuation Report added to either your Building Survey or HomeBuyer Report, please contact one of our team of friendly advisers on 0800 038 6667 and they will be happy to get things set up for you so that you are ready to get going today!
We are buying in Great Yarmouth, and think we saw signs of bugs in the hallway; is it wise to get an RICS surveyor?
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:
- rodents – gnawing through electric cables (causing fire risk), timber, pipes and brickwork, coupled with their ability to produce many offspring very quickly and the risk of transporting harmful bacteria around the home makes mice and rats a significant pest to remove
- cockroaches – multiplying very quickly and spreading disease through food (primarily) and their ability to hide in crevices and difficult to find places makes cockroaches a major source of concern and difficult to remove
- death-watch beetle – their characteristic tapping to attract a mate leads to sleepless nights (the vigil for dying people being the origin of the name), while their propensity for boring through wood threatens to destroy the supporting beams in ceilings, roofs and floors
- woodworm – another woodboring pest that turns wood into dust and can seriously and quickly undermine the structure of a property
- carpet beetle larvae – textile-destroying pests
- woodlice – although not a major pest themselves, they are a potential indication of damp within the property
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.
Give our advisers at Surveyor Local a call on 0800 038 6667 to discuss your concerns, and to obtain any advice as to how to proceed with a survey.
We believe this house in Great Yarmouth is located on a flood-plain. Is there a major flood-risk and would our house surveyor check for possible flood damage, or if the garden has been affected?
The Environment Agency has estimated that around 1 in every 6 homes around the country is at risk from some sort of flooding, with more than half of those susceptible from surface water alone. The risk of floods needs to be taken seriously, since ingress of water to a property can threaten safety as well as causing major damage and disruption in the aftermath. It also has an impact on the property’s value and its insurability and the premiums that will be required to be paid. So, it makes sense to get your survey carried out by an experienced firm like Surveyor Local.
There are many causes of flooding, and, even if your home is not anywhere near a body of water, this is no reason for complacency. The sources of flooding include excessive surface water, groundwater from heavy and prolonged rain, rivers bursting banks, coastal areas with unusually high tides, burst water mains, or a burst water tank, radiator and other plumbing issues.
Because of the increasing likelihood of flooding in the UK and the problems it causes, it becomes an essential part of looking for a new home to establish its history with flooding and the risk to the local area. There are several steps that can be taken:
- use the Environment Agency’s flood information service for the current situation
- search for your location on the Environment Agency’s flood map for planning service to establish the level of risk of flooding (based on historical and geographical information)
- appoint a specialist search provider to identify the position in more detail (you can talk to your conveyancing solicitor about this option and costs)
- check with the sellers to confirm anecdotal evidence of prior flooding issues
The chartered surveyor will check the likely impact of any flooding on the property and its contents, providing recommendations to reduce or even eliminate the effects should it occur.
Want the best chartered surveyor to inspect your property but at a competitively low price? Call Surveyor Local now on 0800 038 6667; we’re open 7 days a week for your convenience.
I want to buy a detached house in Great Yarmouth (NR30 postcode area), and the vendor is asking £265,000. What will a Great Yarmouth surveyor consider when carrying out a professional valuation?
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 Great Yarmouth.
This means the average price of completed transactions for detached houses in Great Yarmouth in December 2018 was £257,631, which is £7,369 less than the asking price for the cited property. With regards to other types of property, the averages for the same month in Great Yarmouth were:
Information © 2019 HM Land Registry. Retrieved from HM Land Registry website on 13 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 online Great Yarmouth 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.
For a HomeBuyer Report on a Great Yarmouth house, what could an amber rating indicate for 'E9 - Other'?
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
Each HomeBuyer Report will provide the client with detailed information on:
- the current market valuation of the property (this is optional, so ensure you ask for it in your quote if required)
- background information and issues on the general property and its location
- structural problems (such as evidence of subsidence or heave)
- estimate of the cost for rebuilding (for insurance purposes)
- suspicion of the presence of hazardous materials (e.g. asbestos, although this will not be investigated in any detail)
- assessment of the damp-proof course (DPC), the drainage and the home’s insulation (but note that drains themselves are not tested)
- condition of the timbers throughout the property (where accessible), specifically identifying existence of woodworm or rot
- test results for damp in all walls
- details of any urgent defects that will need specialist inspection prior to signing the contract
- details of any major defects that will have an impact on the property’s value
- planning and control issues for the attention of your conveyancing solicitor
Section E in the HomeBuyer Report (Outside the Property) covers anything belonging to the property that is observable from the outside (for example, wooden access steps that touch soil and may rot). Subsection 9 covers other aspects that do not sit comfortably elsewhere in section E (for example, fastener problems with a conservatory roof). Your surveyor can provide more details, if required.
Amber, or condition rating 2, defects will need to be repaired or replaced at some point, but, in contrast to the more serious, red-rated defects, these issues do not require immediate attention. The format of the RICS HomeBuyer Report is clear and easy to read. As buyers in Great Yarmouth are unlikely to be experts in local building techniques and materials themselves, the report is written with as little jargon as possible. Green, orange and red ratings are an indication of how concerning each aspect of the report is.
The HomeBuyer Report costs an average of £400, although this is dependent on the size and location of the property. Surveyor Local offers a quality survey product for a very competitive price, so it makes sense to try our online quote calculator (simply fill in a few details in the form at the top of this page) or call us on 0800 038 6667. Or you could compare the offerings from Surveyor Local by clicking compare the surveys.
What impact will wet weather have on a Great Yarmouth house?
As a frequent surveyor of local property, I find it strange that this issue is usually overlooked by property buyers. One indication that drainage systems are at risk is rotten wooden gutters. That is not to say that drainage problems should cause you to reconsider a purchase. They are usually a simple matter to repair. If not unblocked on a regular basis, the resulting damage can lower the value of the property and will get increasingly difficult to successfully resolve.
We are planning to buy a home in Great Yarmouth and found that there is a 10mm gap between the kitchen wall and the door frame, could this be evidence of subsidence? What can be done to remedy subsidence if subsidence is found during the property survey?
Movement of the foundations of a structure is called subsidence. Less common than subsidence, heave occurs where the ground level moves upwards.
Cracks that appear without warning may suggest movement and subsidence. Signs of potential subsidence include doors and windows which stick.
Learning the cause of any subsidence should be the first priority. Removing or even pruning the tree(s) causing subsidence may be enough to halt any further movement. You may need to monitor (and measure) the cracks for as much as a year before the picture becomes entirely clear.