Is it necessary to opt for a full, more detailed RICS Level 3 Survey before buying an unloved, Regency cottage near High Wycombe?
You would be best advised to go for a RICS Level 3 Survey for the property you are considering in High Wycombe. The cheaper RICS Level 2 Survey has enough detail if you were buying a non-period, unmodified house constructed from conventional building materials (i.e. brick walls and tiled roof). The RICS recommends that the RICS Level 3 Survey 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
You should be aware that some restrictions exist with any survey because a chartered surveyor cannot force or open up the structure of the building unless safe to do so and with consent from the owner or investigate the internal state of any flues.
If you want to look at the differences between the types of survey that Surveyor Local offers, click on compare the surveys.
Are there any potential pitfalls I would be advised to watch for as we are planning to buy a property in High Wycombe inside a conservation area?
There are many thousands of conservation areas in England and Wales, responsibility for which lies with the local council. These are locations around buildings and monuments that are deemed to be of considerable architectural or historical significance (such as mining towns, or Regency town centres). In the Wycombe local authority, there are currently 61 conservation areas including High Wycombe, which was first designated in 1970.
Your surveyor is required by the RICS to possess in-depth local knowledge of the relevant local considerations for conservation areas and the bearing they have on the property and its value. The value of homes is usually greater due to the areas being in their original state. However, many have fallen into poor condition (for example, the inclusion of ugly satellite dishes). English Heritage maintains a regular review of the state of the important buildings and monuments and the conservation areas. If you want to see the results of their assessment for High Wycombe, all the reports (including monuments and archaeological locations) can be found by searching the Heritage at Risk register, although, as of 18 February 2019, none of the Wycombe conservation areas appears on the register.
Property surveyors are expected tell you if the planned purchase is within a conservation area or not and Section I - Issues for Your Legal Advisers of a RICS Level 2 Survey will advise the proper questions to be carried out by your conveyancer with respect to conservation areas. Out-of-keeping extensions to the property will be noted in the survey; however, these are within the remit of your lawyer to handle.
If you’re looking for a thorough chartered surveyor with the requisite local knowledge to identify all the issues with the property you want to buy in High Wycombe, look no further than Surveyor Local. Try our instant quote generator by filling the form in at the top of this page, and then call us on 08000327649 for one of our advisers to get you booked in.
When I was shown the mid-century home I am hoping to buy in High Wycombe, it appeared that there is deterioration in the wiring; will a surveyor report anything on the electrical system?
All new electrical work needs to be covered under the British standard regulations (BS 7671), and, for residential properties, it covers all wiring, the circuit-breakers, residual current devices (RCDs), sockets, and so on, while special areas that might be more susceptible to moisture, such as bathrooms (e.g. heating or shaving sockets), swimming pools (internal or external), ponds, or portable outdoor equipment, will be given a greater 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 High Wycombe 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.
To get an instant survey quote with Surveyor Local, try our quote generator (fill in a few simple details in the form at the top of this page), or call our survey team on 08000327649 for your free quote, and to discuss any particular issues you have to see how we can help.
The estate agent has mentioned that it might be worth checking for subsidence at the bungalow in High Wycombe; what solutions are available to remedy this?
Subsidence is the serious movement of the house’s foundations, which compromises its structural integrity. Most houses experience minor cracking, which will not affect the building's structure, particularly in new-build properties or those with a recent extension. Less common than subsidence, heave occurs when the ground is forced up rather than down but can exhibit very similar symptoms. Be aware that the appearance of cracks may not always be a major problem but should still be assessed by an expert and your chartered surveyor.
Superficial cracks not caused by subsidence can simply be filled and repainted. Signs of potential subsidence include new cracks in the plaster, particularly around door- and window-frames, and 'rippling' in wallpaper that isn't caused by damp.
Finding the cause of any subsidence is essential to establishing the right solution to the problem. It has been estimated that around 70% of subsidence cases are caused by tree roots drawing moisture from the soil. Unfortunately, in some cases, underpinning could be the only option. Underpinning the foundations will usually stop the foundations from further movement, but, be warned that it is a time-consuming and costly process. Damaged but non-structural elements should be filled and re-weatherproofed. A surveyor will be able to tell you if there is subsidence in your home or not, and what is causing it.
For further help, you could obtain a quote from a reputable local builder, such as:
- P. K. Story Builders, 11 Green Leys, Downley, High Wycombe, HP13 5UH (Tel: 01494 442886)
- Pristine Build, Aston Court, Kingsmead Business Park, , Frederick Place, High Wycombe, HP11 1LA (Tel: 01494 641160)
- J. C. Builders, 24 Conifer Rise, High Wycombe, HP12 3HX (Tel: 01494 524907)
You need a thorough chartered surveyor to check over the place you want to buy in High Wycombe, so call Surveyor Local now on 08000327649 to be assigned to one of the best today.
We are intending to buy a home in High Wycombe, but does the RICS Level 2 Survey check flooding damage?
It is estimated that over two million houses are in danger of flood damage, and property purchasers and owners are understandably concerned, while the Environment Agency suggests that 1 in 6 homes are at risk of flooding, the majority of those from surface flooding. It is perfectly possible to assess whether a house is susceptible to flooding via any of a number of routes, which is where you Surveyor Local chartered surveyor comes in.
Flooding can increase the likelihood of water entering a home, such as via landscaping, paved areas sloping towards the property, or lower ingress thresholds.
The Groundsure Flood Report is one of several specialist risk-screening reports designed to provide an overview of whether a home in High Wycombe lies within an area of potential or previous flood-risk. Flooding issues will only be raised in Section J (Risks) of a property survey if the property surveyor observes or has reason to suspect that the home in High Wycombe is at significant risk.
Why not talk to our advisers on 08000327649 about your High Wycombe RICS Level 3 Survey? You can be assigned to one of the best and most competitively-priced surveyors today!
For the High Wycombe RICS Level 2 Survey, can you give examples of an amber light rating defects affecting E1 - Chimney stacks?
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
Elements of the property reviewed by Section E (Outside the Property) are inspected by eye, and with the aid of binoculars as necessary. A report on a lower ground flat, for instance, may not require this. A total chimney height which is too short is one example of issues reported in the first subsection. Amber, or condition rating 2, defects will need to be repaired or replaced at some point, but remedial action is not a priority.
Surveyor Local’s website has some sample reports so that you can see how easy to read and understand they are, including the RICS Level 2 Survey.
Ready to get your survey in the diary with a thorough and effective chartered surveyor at a competitively low cost? Get your instant survey by filling in our form at the top of this page and call Surveyor Local’s advisers on 08000327649 to get your survey under way.
I want to buy a terraced house in High Wycombe (HP10 postcode area), and the vendor is asking £342,000. What will a High Wycombe 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 High Wycombe.
This means the average price of completed transactions for semi-detached houses in High Wycombe in December 2018 was £336,790, which is £5,210 less than the asking price for the cited property. With regards to other types of property, the averages for the same month in High Wycombe were:
Information © 2019 HM Land Registry. Retrieved from HM Land Registry website on 16 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 High Wycombe home survey quote generator (scroll to the top of the page and fill in a few pieces of information) or call our team on 08000327649?
What will a High Wycombe surveyor consider on a spar-dash rendered (stucco) Victorian home in High Wycombe that I am thinking of purchasing?
Stucco is simply a kind of smooth plaster render that is applied to brick or masonry, where it hardens to form a smooth, flat finish, or it might be used in making decorative mouldings to complement the rendered finish.
Comprising aggregates and binder to harden the mixture and water, stucco is durable, weather-resistant and is applied in thin layers, and is common on some Regency-period, Georgian and Victorian properties.
However, it can be problematic, and High Wycombe RICS Level 3 Survey and RICS Level 2 Surveys focus on issues such as lateral hairline cracking revealing the underlying mortar joints, or where dampness below flashings or where the render has been applied to ground level has resulted in detachment or delamination from the brick or underlying substrate. Problems need to be sorted out as soon as they are identified because they will worsen quickly the longer they are left. Wire mesh is often used, but this is not advised since it can hasten deterioration should the metal rust. And the damp-proof course may be left inoperative should the render be applied over the top of it and below its level.
Remedying significant problems with stucco may be expensive as the skills are becoming harder to find, but it is not recommended for the homeowner to attempt repairs themselves. Hairline cracks or other minor issues may be solved by applying another layer of stucco, or even simply a coat of paint.
Our chartered surveyors are familiar with all types of structures and building methods, so why not give us a quick call now on 08000327649 to organise a visit to your planned purchase?