So you are entering that time of your life where you are looking to buy your first home. It’s exciting but it can also be a little nerve-racking. You haven’t done this before and need some information. You may have heard about apartment surveys and need to know a little more. Or maybe like lots of people you want to find out “what is an apartment survey”.
Well at Property Health Check one of the things we really enjoy is helping our clients understand more. We love educating and providing good information. It’s really important our clients are informed. After reading this blog we hope you have a much better idea of what an apartment survey actually is.
Tell me about an apartment survey
Lots of people starting out will buy an apartment, studio, or flat. They are usually more affordable than buying a house and are a great way to get on the property ladder. Before closing the sale on any property it’s a really good idea to get a structural survey. Why? I hear you say.
Well, an apartment survey will give you a better understanding of the structure of the individual apartment, duplex, or maisonette unit. It is a visual inspection of the physical structure of the unit you are buying.
The survey can be called a number of different names. which can be quite confusing. Some of the most common ones you will come across are:
- Pre-Purchase Apartment Survey
- Apartment Inspection
- Structural Survey
Why is an apartment survey recommended?
This type of inspection is recommended because it will give you a professional and experienced opinion about the structure of the property. Without stating the obvious, before embarking on one of the biggest investments you could possibly make in your life, this is pretty vital information.
The more you know the better!
We like to use the example of buying a car. You would not buy a car without knowing as much as possible about it. If there was a problem with the engine, you certainly wouldn’t consider purchasing it.
The same goes for your potential new home! If there are issues with the structure, you would surely want to know about it before you close the sale.
Who should perform the survey?
The survey should be carried out by expert and qualified Engineers. They should have extensive experience and knowledge in building surveys. Good people skills are a must, so the Engineer can chat with you after the inspection and answer any questions.
Speaking with your Engineer after the survey will give you added information and a better understanding of your inspection, report, and the property you are buying. This is a great opportunity to understand the survey and ask questions.
An Experienced and Qualified Engineer should always perform your survey
I am going to re-emphasise that taking time to read the report thoroughly is so important. This will give you a chance to digest the information, understand the content and the terminology used. We would suggest reading the report a number of times to really understand it and help you get questions ready for the Engineer.
Our Engineers have years of experience and are super friendly. They are always willing to help out and answer any questions you have. Remember there is no such thing as a silly question!
So read the report and ask questions…
What is inspected in an apartment survey?
As we said earlier this is a visual inspection of the structure of an apartment, a duplex, or a maisonette unit.
The survey will involve inspecting interior ceilings, floors, walls, and windows. Lots of apartments have balconies. If the apartment has a balcony, our Engineers will include it in the survey once it can be accessed from the apartment unit.
A general overview of the common areas within the apartment block, where the apartment is located will also be included as part of the survey. Some typical examples of common areas could be underground parking spaces, roofs, fire precautions, means of escape, and so on. Common areas are inspected once there is safe accessible access at the time of the inspection.
Will Utilities be inspected as part of the apartment survey?
Our Engineers are experts in structure, they are not qualified electricians or plumbers. For this reason, the structural survey does not include an inspection of the utilities. Our job is to concentrate on the structure. To understand the condition and performance of the utilities and services, it’s best to get the opinion of tradespeople who specialise in those areas.
Having said that our Engineer will do a cursory visual inspection of the utilities at the apartment. We always tell our clients that is a very high-level overview of the utilities and is definitely no replacement for an inspection of utilities by the appropriately qualified tradespeople.
Do I get a report?
We have worked really hard to create a detailed report which gives our customers a clear picture of the survey. We want to make it easy for you to understand the report, so we include photographs of the property with associated notes showing the Engineer’s findings. Our customers love this and find it very helpful.
We also use a simple traffic light icon system in the report so it makes it easier for you to identify any critical and non-critical issues with the structure of the apartment.
Seasonal maintenance tips and ongoing wear and tear comments are also included in the report. Our clients have found this really useful and helpful when doing property maintenance.
When do I get my report?
We know that conveyancing can be such a slow process and we understand the need for our customers to get their reports quickly. We will absolutely make sure you get your report within just 3 working days after the apartment survey.
Our Customer Care team will email your report in PDF format. This makes it easier to share with your Solicitor and avoids any postal delays.
How much does an apartment survey cost?
We would love to give you a quote for your apartment survey. Our Customer Care team are available to answer your call Monday to Friday from 09.00 am to 5.30 pm. You will always get to speak to a human being!
If you want to go ahead and book they will even schedule your survey for you.
You can also get an online quote. Whatever you decide, the process is quick, easy, and user-friendly.
Remember we are just a phone call away…