When I viewed the building I am intending to purchase in Portsmouth, it appeared that there is deterioration in the electrics; will the surveyor report on the state of them?
When carrying out a HomeBuyer Report assessment in Portsmouth, the surveyor will detail any issues with the electrics if it is suspected that they are in a less than satisfactory condition. This should include a visual check (i.e. no removal of fittings) of any revealed parts of the wiring and other areas (e.g. examining the state of repair of any fixed electrical appliances like storage radiators or checking the condition of any visible wiring and a representative sample of the range of light fittings and switch gear).
Confirming the existence of any recent Periodic Inspection Report (PIR) documentation from a suitably-qualified electrician will also be part of the survey. The Institute of Electrical Engineers (IEE) strongly recommends that a PIR be completed every ten years on residential properties (or every five if you are renting it out)
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For a HomeBuyer Report on a Portsmouth residential property, what effect will a ‘Condition rating 2’ have on the subsection entitled 'E8 - Other joinery and finishes'?
The HomeBuyer Report is designed to be easily read and understood, with defects coded red, amber and green as a visual summary of the condition codes 1, 2 and 3, respectively.
For a Portsmouth property, one example of something that could be amber-rated (condition code 2) is a defect with flashing and caulking (these are visually inspected with the aid of binoculars, where appropriate), or ornamental joinery such as finials or mock Tudor panelling. Such a defect status indicates that they require some attention, but it is unlikely to require urgent work.
Parts of the report that do not apply to the specific house or flat being surveyed will be indicated with a 'NI', or 'not inspected'. RICS have mandated a specific format for the HomeBuyer Report to aid the creation of a useful and comprehensive report for both surveyors and home buyers. As a result, some sections may not be relevant to every property, such as reporting on the condition of the roof of a ground floor flat.
For more information on what the survey looks like, you can view some sample reports on Surveyor Local’s site, or call 0800 038 6667 to talk to one of our advisers.
There is a semi-detached house in the PO5 postcode area priced at £295,000. What things does a surveyor consider when calculating house prices in Portsmouth?
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 Portsmouth.
This means the average price of completed transactions for semi-detached houses in Portsmouth in June 2018 was £282,254, which is £12,746 less than the asking price for the cited property. With regards to other types of property, the averages for the same month in Portsmouth were:
Information © 2018 HM Land Registry. Retrieved from HM Land Registry website on 17 August 2018
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.
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We are buying a home in Portsmouth, but are worried about insects; therefore, is a Home Survey advisable?
Pests like bedbugs may sometimes seem like a small, even irrelevant, matter when buying a property in Portsmouth, but pests quite literally come in all shapes and sizes and can be more difficult to treat than many buyers realise. An affected building may not always be easy to identify: For example, damage to stored clothes or carpets is a sign of a moth infestation but may not be spotted for months.
Remedies for infestations can take time, so if you opt to proceed with the purchase, check with a specialist as to how long treatment will take. If you have specific information or concerns, please mention them to your surveyor so that they may investigate more thoroughly.
Please note that it is not legally incumbent on a vendor to admit to any knowledge of pests or infestation, but, as awareness of less common problems grows, more surveys should identify these and advise on remedies.
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Can West Cornwall granite-built properties be a challenge to maintain in Portsmouth and are there any likely major defects that we should be aware of?
From Westwood Ground Limestone to Golconda Dolomitic Limestone, there are many types of stone used in the construction of homes in this country, helped by its geological richness. Buyers should also be aware that the potential severity of issues like mould will vary with the particular type of stone.
The two main forms of mortared stone wall construction found in Portsmouth are regular (cut into straight blocks) and irregular (more rugged in its appearance). Dry-stone construction is used in garden walls and field boundaries but is rarely employed for inhabited structures.
Different stone-types will also decay at different rates based on environmental conditions. For example, limestone can quickly deteriorate, while flint, granite and slate are far more impervious to water. Stone walls require regular maintenance, such as monitoring of natural wear, and watching for signs of sudden or severe change.
Ask your surveyor for clarification, if you are in doubt as to likely maintenance, particularly if the house in question is listed or located in a conservation area.
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The estate agent has mentioned there might be asbestos wall-panelling concealed in the flat in Portsmouth. What is asbestos, and why is treated with such concern?
Asbestos is a noxious, deleterious, fibrous material that has been banned completely from use in the UK since 1999. Chrysotile (white asbestos), amosite (brown), and crocidolite (blue) are the most frequent of the over sixty types available that were used in British construction. Before its impact on health was fully understood and accepted, asbestos was treated as a kind a kind of miracle product, because it is resistant to fire and chemical attack, makes great sound-proofing, and is light although it possesses high-tensile strength. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that it can be found in all manner of construction products, including ceiling tiles, wallpaper, loft insulation, soil-pipes, paint, and so much more.
Technically, all forms of asbestos are hazardous to the health and might lead to lung cancer or other pleural problems, following prolonged exposure. However, the myth that inhaling a solitary fibre will kill you is simply not true.
Should you find asbestos, you must be careful not to move or break it, and expert advice should be sought as soon as possible. Professional removal of asbestos will probably be expensive, but you must not be tempted to perform the work yourself, as it absolutely must be completed by trained experts. Surveyors will not tell you whether there is asbestos on a survey, but they will mention the risk of asbestos during the Portsmouth survey, and will suggest further investigation.
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The seller said subsidence has been a concern affecting the Portsmouth house. What subsidence issues does the surveyor report on?
Movement of a structure on a structural level is what is known as subsidence, although this should be differentiated from settlement, which could exhibit similar symptoms. The builder will likely return to a new structure within a few months in order to make repairs as the building will have settled into its foundations.
Collapsed drains, including mains drains, can cause subsidence by washing away or loosening subsoil (which is an example of groundwater subsidence). Inside the building, keep an eye out for new, suddenly-visible cracks in brick or render.
Identifying what has caused the subsidence is a necessary first step in identifying the specific, tailored remedy. The removal of trees may make the problem worse, however, so professional advice should be sought before starting any work. In some more serious situations, underpinning may be necessary. Structural brickwork may need to be dismantled and rebuilt, or more cosmetic areas can effectively be repaired with resin-filling in the cracks. This can also be time-consuming, and inconvenient. A surveyor will be able to tell you if there is subsidence in your home or not, and what is causing it.
For more advice from Surveyor Local on what the survey process can give you and which option is best for your needs, give our advisers a call on 0800 038 6667.
Should I choose a full structural survey before investing in an abandoned, Regency house in Portsmouth?
Full Structural Surveys have been renamed to Building Surveys, although they are essentially the same product, upgraded to be easier to read and understand. If you are intending to buy a modified Portsmouth home (for example, the dilapidated house in your question), then this is the most suitable property survey for your needs. It will give notable information concerning the house’s standard of construction and repair, as well as any technical details a thorough visual inspection. Permanent outbuildings connected to the property will, in addition, be checked out.
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