We are buying a derelict, Victorian, end-of-terrace property; is it necessary to opt for the more detailed RICS Level 3 Survey?
The RICS Level 3 Survey is a very comprehensive and detailed inspection by a chartered surveyor (which is why it costs more than the RICS Level 2 Survey), and 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 RICS Level 3 Survey report itself covers the following details:
- Any defects, their criticality and what they mean (structurally and financially)
- The results of the tests for the presence of radon gas
- Evidence of subsidence or heave
- Proximity of any large trees that might impact the foundations
- Evidence of the presence of any hazardous materials (such as asbestos)
- The impact of any changes to supporting walls
- Specific damage to any masonry (inside and out)
- The results of the tests carried out for damp
- Any renovations, extensions and changes without the requisite planning consents
- Specific damage to the roof and chimney stacks
- Condition of the damp-proof course (DPC) and state of the insulation
- Damage to timbers (particularly in the roof-space)
- Evidence of woodworm, dry or wet rot in timber
- Advice on drainage that hasn’t been tested
- Details of materials and construction methods used at the property
- Recommendations and advice for any further investigations that might be required, in addition recommendations for immediate remedial action
- specific matters in relation to planning and control for the attention of your conveyancing solicitor
The price of the RICS Level 3 Survey is dependent on the location, size and construction of the property, but the cost usually comes in between £500 and £1,300.
To assess the differences between the types of product offered by Surveyor Local, click on compare the surveys, or call our waiting advisers on 08000327649 to get more advice and your free quote. You can also get an instant Bury quote for a survey by filling in a few short details in the form at the top of this page.
Will there be anything I would be advised to look out for when buying a converted flat in Bury inside a conservation area?
Conservation areas are generally designated as such by the local council, although the governmental public body Historic England has the power to make designations in consultation with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
Historic England reviews and assesses the state of the conservation areas on an annual basis, creating the Heritage at Risk register, which can be viewed online to assess whether the council’s management plan in Bury is effective, and what is happening to remove the conservation area if it appears on the register. In 2018, 502 conservation areas (of over 10,000) were added to the list.
Conservation areas, by their nature of being protected from significant change and managing conformity, are an attractive location in which to buy a house, but the owner should be aware of their responsibilities and, before buying a house, being aware of any changes that don’t have planning consent since this may require expense to reverse them. This information is highlighted in the survey and will also be directed to your legal representative (Section I Issues for Your Legal Advisers of your Bury RICS Level 2 Survey) for further investigation and analysis with the local council. The responsibilities incumbent upon any owner underlines the importance of appointing a focused and thorough surveyor like those we have at Surveyor Local.
This also means that houses in designated conservation areas naturally come at a premium, so potential buyers should be aware that properties will likely be more expensive than similar homes located outside the boundary of the conservation area.
Get your instant Bury survey quote by filling in our simple form at the top of this page. When you’re ready to appoint your chartered surveyor in Bury to look over the property you want to buy, call our waiting team on 08000327649.
Do we need to look into downspouts at the property we want to buy in Bury? And could it affect the property’s value?
The RICS Level 2 Survey is specifically designed and laid out so that clients can find what they want easily and, more importantly, understand what the report is saying. Each RICS Level 2 Survey 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
The RICS Level 2 Survey 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 08000327649.
Can a stone-built property in Bury be hard to maintain? What issues should we look into?
The sturdy appearance of stone walls may be giving a false impression, as it could be hiding some serious concerns. Faults common to poorly-maintained stone walls include deteriorating mortar, or the stone wearing away. Bear in mind that some defects will affect regular or irregularly cut stone equally, whereas others will not, and may require a local surveyor’s expertise to identify. Choice of stone will impact the lifespan of a structure (for example, exposure to the elements, especially in areas of higher pollution, will cause many limestones to rapidly degrade). Property surveys should give some repair guidance, like removal of invasive plants, such as ivy.
Why not try out our instant online home survey quote generator, or, if you prefer to talk to someone about your Bury Home Survey, call our surveyor team on 08000327649?
What is subsidence? What possible solutions are available to fix this at our purchase in Bury?
Subsidence is defined as sudden or gradual shrinkage in the soil that surrounds foundations of a building, forcing a downward settling of the building as the weight becomes too much for the subsoil to support as it once did, and it usually occurs with little or no movement along the horizontal.
The opposite, but rarer, condition is known as ground heave, where the subsoil surrounding the foundations expands and, because it usually can’t move sideways, it is forced upwards. Note that the symptoms are quite similar to subsidence in terms of cracking or sticking windows and doors, but there will probably be other symptoms such as raising of patio slabs or lifting of decking.
The Institution of Structural Engineers don’t recommend underpinning for the large majority of subsidence issues; rather this is treated as a last resort, where piles are dug and filled with concrete to support the existing foundations. Since the biggest percentage of subsidence issues are caused by trees and other plants in the vicinity draining the soil, judicious pruning or evening removal may be enough to rectify the problem (but note that such activity may also create other issues, so an expert’s advice should be sought). And, of course, if the drains are broken, then these should be repaired as soon as possible.
Because of the severity of these issues, it is imperative that an expert chartered surveyor from Surveyor Local looks at the property in order to report on the condition, the diagnosis and recommendations for any immediate action to be taken to resolve the situation.
For more details or to arrange a quote, you should speak to a reputable builder or specialist in Bury, such as D. P. M. Construction Ltd at 3 Oram Street, Bury, BL9 6EN (Tel: 0161 797 4135).
If you’re at all worried about what might be found structurally at your prospective Bury home, why not give our friendly team a quick call on 08000327649 to discuss the issues and get some clear advice and guidance?
Is there a risk of flooding in Bury, and can a property surveyor check for signs of flooding, or if neighbour's houses have 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, including homes in Bury. 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 company 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 their banks, coastal areas with higher tides than usual, burst water mains, and burst water tanks, radiators 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
- If practical to do so, it is also worth looking at the house in both wet and dry weather to see if there are any obvious differences.
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.
Get your instant Bury survey quote online by filling in a handful of short details in the form at the top of this page. Ready to get your survey appointment in a great chartered surveyor’s diary? Call our friendly advisers on 08000327649 and they will get you on your way.
I would like to acquire a detached house in the Bury postcode area of BL8 for around £310,000. What considerations will a local surveyor consider in a 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 Bury.
This means the average price of completed transactions for semi-detached houses in Bury in December 2018 was £296,747, which is £13,253 less than the asking price for the cited property. With regards to other types of property, the averages for the same month in Bury were:
Information © 2019 HM Land Registry. Retrieved from HM Land Registry website on 15 February 2019
An impartial way to get a formal house valuation is with a RICS Level 2 Survey, 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 Bury survey quote generator (scroll to the top of the page and fill in a few pieces of information) or call our team on 08000327649?
When I viewed a sixties house I want to buy in Bury, I noticed that the fuses or fuse-box might be overloaded; does a Bury RICS Level 2 Survey go into detail on electrical defects?
One of the areas that your chartered surveyor will look into when they’re inspecting the property you are considering buying in Bury 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 residential properties in Bury, it covers all wiring, the circuit-breakers, residual current devices (RCDs), sockets, and so on, while special areas such as bathrooms (e.g. heating or shaving sockets), swimming pools (internal or external), ponds, or portable outdoor equipment will also be rigorously assessed.
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 Bury RICS Level 3 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.
Local highly-rated electricians in the area include:
- Lewis Electrical Services, 20 Chesham Road, Bury, BL9 6LS (Tel: 0161 797 7455)
Now’s the time to get one of the best chartered surveyors in the country working on inspecting your Bury property! Call our waiting team of advisers on 08000327649 today!