Can we get suggestions regarding the upkeep of Sussex bond on the converted property we're buying in Cheshunt? Are brick walls hard to repair?
A range of styles and techniques of brick-building are featured in construction throughout Cheshunt (for example, running, or stretcher, bond). Brick-built homes are the most common in the UK, and have been for centuries), because of the durability and strength of the bricks.
But, because of this variety of styles, designs and methods of laying the bricks, such properties in Cheshunt will be affected by various issues and defects. These will be discussed in detail in the report, with suggested solutions, and the likely results if they are not resolved for any length of time.
A defect often found with brick walls is wall-tie failure, which occurs when ties supporting old cavity walls rust, leading to horizontal cracks and separation of the internal and external leaves of the wall. The advice of a brickwork specialist should be sought before attempting repairs.
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Is there anything we would be advised to check out when buying a property in Cheshunt in the vicinity of conservation area?
There are now over 10,000 designated conservation areas in England and Wales, which are overseen by the local authorities to ensure any planned changes conform to their management plan.
Surveyors in Cheshunt must have the relevant local knowledge regarding the conservation considerations and the connection they may have on the home and its value. Property values will likely be higher due to conservation areas being largely unspoilt. However, many areas have been neglected and are in disrepair (for example, unauthorised alterations to the fronts, roofs and chimneys of buildings). English Heritage maintains an annual inspection of monuments, buildings and conservation areas. The register can be checked here by searching for your desired location.
RICS surveyors are expected to note whether the planned purchase might be in a conservation area and Section I Issues for Your Legal Advisers of the Cheshunt RICS Level 2 Survey will advise any further investigations to be raised by your solicitor with respect to this matter. Unauthorised changes that do not have Local Authority approval may be advised in the survey; however, investigation of these are the responsibility of your conveyancing lawyer.
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We are buying a loft-conversion in Cheshunt; what does a surveyor keep an eye out for during the investigation?
This is a question that is often asked by property purchasers who are aware that homes may be exposed to roof-maintenance problems, since it is this part of the structure that is most open to the elements. Every part will be checked where it is accessible and safe to do so, including trusses, ridge tiles, soffits, etc., and the surveyor will report any defects to be addressed as soon as possible.
Upkeep need not always be costly, but they should be budgeted for carefully. A property survey prior to exchange is highly recommended, so that you fully understand what expenses you will be facing. A quote (or several) for any necessary work should be acquired as soon as possible so that you can renegotiate the asking price prior to exchange.
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I want to buy a flat in Cheshunt (EN10 postcode area), and the vendor is asking £230,000. What will a Cheshunt 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 Cheshunt (the Broxbourne local authority area).
This means the average price of completed transactions for semi-detached houses in Cheshunt in December 2018 was £221,021, which is £8,979 less than the asking price for the cited property. With regards to other types of property, the averages for the same month in Cheshunt were:
Information © 2019 HM Land Registry. Retrieved from HM Land Registry website on 18 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 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 022 4428.
Can I get an independent and professional valuation and reinstatement cost estimate (including costs for reconstructing a retaining wall) for my Cheshunt property, and how is it calculated?
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.
The RICS Level 2 Survey contains a RICS-qualified surveyor valuation in addition to a reinstatement cost, although you should clarify this when setting up your appointment with a chartered surveyor through Surveyor Local.
When calculating the valuation, your RICS valuer will call upon their extensive local area knowledge as well as other factors about the property (e.g. its size or number of bedrooms and bathrooms). The surveyor will also consider construction methods, and make certain key assumptions (for example, that it is connected to mains services), as well as including environmental considerations, such as flightpaths.
A RICS Level 3 Survey won't include a valuation as standard, but we can add one for a small additional fee. Alternatively, a Property Valuation Report (PVR) can be performed.
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My partner and I are purchasing an older converted cow-house in Cheshunt. Will the home's age be an issue?
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.
Contact your chartered surveyor for further advice or talk to our advisers at Surveyor Local on 0800 022 4428. Get your instant Cheshunt survey quote by filling in the form at the top of this page.
For a RICS Level 2 Survey on a Cheshunt house, what does a red-light rating mean for E4 - Main walls?
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. 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 RICS Level 3 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
The surveyor's report on the condition of the external walls for this fourth subsection will consider all visible defects. An in-depth RICS Level 3 Survey may be required if serious foundational issues are suspected. Damp-proofing, including the damp-proof course, is also included here. A sagging or undersized lintel is one example of an issue that might have a red-light rating.
Red, or condition rating 3, indicates that repair is needed as soon as possible. In some cases, an element covered under Section E may be marked as NI, or 'Not inspected'. The RICS Level 2 Survey has a standard format, which the surveyor will complete according to the nuances of the particular residence, omitting sections as necessary.
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We are buying a Cheshunt property built in the early 80s, but it has clay foundations. Does the RICS Level 2 Survey cover this, and will the surveyor advise on upkeep?
The adverse impact clay soil has on a house can be significant. Issues range from moisture changes in the soil to movement of clay soil layers resulting from changes in their water content, both of which can put a house's foundations under great strain. If a homeowner is aware that the surrounding soil has a high clay content, they should monitor for possible signs of movement and subsidence.
For example, widening cracks may be benign, or a clue to prompt a more thorough investigation. When performing your RICS Level 2 Survey in Cheshunt, your surveyor will consider the impact the soil composition has had, and may have, on the house. Additional strengthening or support of the structure's foundations may be required, including underpinning or piling (although the RICS don’t advocate this extreme solution except in the most exceptional circumstances).
Often, a simple solution can be found, such as the judicious pruning or even removal of trees and other plant-life to reduce the effect of the removal of the soil’s moisture. However, be aware that getting rid of such plants may create further problems with the soil being sodden. It’s probably best to seek professional advice from both your chartered surveyor and an arborist before taking too drastic action.
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