We are investing in a substantially-modified, Victorian cottage in Lincoln; should I upgrade to the more comprehensive RICS Level 3 Survey?
The RICS Level 3 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
- A property valuation (if specifically requested and carries an additional cost)
You can, of course, choose the RICS Level 3 Survey for any property that you’re 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
Correspondingly, a RICS Level 2 Survey is suitably detailed enough for a non-period, unmodified property of normal construction materials and methods (i.e. brick and tile).
Two to three days after the surveyor has carried out a thorough inspection of all accessible parts of the building, a formal report is sent to you summarising in-depth and relevant insight concerning the construction of the house. There will, however, be certain limitations with any survey because your RICS chartered surveyor is not able to force or open the fabric of the Lincoln house for example removing the contents of cupboards.
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Which Lincoln surveys include a valuation and an estimate of rebuild costs for insurance purposes, and how is it calculated?
The RICS Level 2 Survey contains a professional valuation in addition to a cost of reinstatement as a standard part of the product, and it includes an estimate of the rebuild costs for any permanent outbuildings, retaining walls, etc., as well as the main building.
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.
A RICS Level 3 Survey does not include a valuation as standard, but one can be added for a nominal fee. Alternatively, a Property Valuation Report (PVR) can be carried out. Please call Surveyor Local on 0800 022 4428 for more information and advice.
To calculate an accurate value estimate, your independent surveyor combine their knowledge of the Lincoln housing market with other factors relating to the property (e.g. state of repair, or size of the garden), construction materials used and architecture, other assumptions (e.g. the ground is not landfilled, or that conveyancing enquiries will not reveal any legal issues), access to amenities and public transport, and environmental problems like busy roads.
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The property we plan to buy in Lincoln is built on clay soil. Will the chartered surveyor consider this, and what defects will be reported in the document?
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 content of soil around the foundations of a Lincoln house will have an impact on the building and potentially the value, with subsidence being a common example of an issue that may arise. The consequences may take years to be noticed or could be felt suddenly. Signs like a hard-to-open bathroom door, or small cracks in the sitting room wall can be early indications of very serious structural issues.
Fortunately, there are steps a homeowner can take. Your surveyor should refer to maintenance options in their report, like checking that the external downpipes drain correctly. If soil water levels must be kept stable, uniform spread of the moisture is also important. Your surveyor may be able to offer practical suggestions as to how this can be achieved.
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What's the danger of flooding in Lincoln, and does a residential surveyor consider flood damage?
Flooding has blighted the lives of thousands of homeowners in Lincoln and across the country, and home-buyers and -owners are understandably concerned. A surveyor has a few options to assess whether a property is vulnerable to problems with flooding. Flood water can enter a home in Lincoln through several routes, including poorly-fitted window- and door-frames.
Preventative measures can include costly but effective solutions (e.g. correctly installed window- and door-frames). The residential surveyor will usually recommend that the home purchasers seek legal advice on any related information mentioned in the report.
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.
For more advice on what the survey process can provide for you, why not call Surveyor Local’s team of advisers on 0800 022 4428? You can obtain your instant Lincoln home survey quote by completing the form at the top of this page.
There is a semi-detached house in the LN5 postcode area priced at £172,000. What things does a surveyor consider when calculating house prices in Lincoln?
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 Lincoln.
This means the average price of completed transactions for semi-detached houses in Lincoln in December 2018 was £165,073, which is £6,927 less than the asking price for the cited property. With regards to other types of property, the averages for the same month in Lincoln were:
Information © 2019 HM Land Registry. Retrieved from HM Land Registry website on 8 March 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 instant quote generator (scroll to the top of the page and fill in a few pieces of information)? Or you can call our team at Surveyor Local on 0800 022 4428; we’re open 7 days a week.
On a RICS Level 2 Survey carried out in Lincoln, what impact can an amber-light rating have on the 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
A condition rating of two (or amber in its visual presentation) means that the element covered will need work at some point, but that the condition of this aspect of the property is unlikely to require a remedy as a matter of urgency but should be addressed before it becomes serious.
The RICS Level 2 Survey is designed to be user-friendly, unlike some more complex survey reports. Your property surveyor will mark each aspect of the property included in Section E (Outside the Property) with either a green, orange or red rating, to indicate how concerning each aspect of the report is.
All visible issues relating to the outside elevations and foundations are checked, and an in-depth RICS Level 3 Survey may be required if serious foundational issues are suspected. Examples of what would be included in this section would the state of damp-proof course, or excess corbelling.
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I have put in an offer on a Lincoln house with a loft conversion, but we are wary of potential roofing issues. What advice would the Lincoln surveyor give in their report?
This is a common concern for buyers with a roofing 'horror story' from a previous home. Many properties could feature roofing woes, and, from the eaves to the tie beams, the status of the whole roof will be reviewed by the surveyor.
There are also numerous flat-roofed properties in Lincoln, including many apartment blocks. In these cases, the RICS surveyors will look for a range of signs, including being literally flat, as opposed to on a small incline so that water can drain correctly.
High quotes for roofing jobs (such as wholesale replacement) may have scared off some homeowners from carrying out necessary work. In extreme cases, this may be the reason for the sale, so buyers must be vigilant and employ the services of a qualified surveyor before the exchange of contracts.
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There may be pests at the property we're buying in Lincoln, but we are not certain. Will a RICS surveyor investigate this?
Lincoln properties are generally free of pest problems, but it is inadvisable to risk buying without more information if you have any suspicions. It is vital that buyers consider this oft-overlooked aspect when making an offer.
Signs may not be evident for weeks or months, for example, woodworm, or larvae of the common furniture beetle, may be identified after finding neat small holes in wood, accompanied by piles of wood dust beneath. Remedies to insect infestation can include traps or removal of infected furniture. The RICS guidelines on the issue of pest problems are something of a ‘grey area’, so specific fears should be mentioned to your home surveyor.
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