Pre-Purchase House Surveys
A Pre-Purchase House Survey, sometimes called a ‘Structural Survey’ or ‘Building Survey’, is a thorough internal and external inspection of a property to determine its condition. We provide our surveying services throughout Ireland focusing on counties Kildare, Dublin & Galway.
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A Pre-Purchase Home Survey is normally conducted prior to a property being purchased and at the ‘Sale Agreed’ stage. It offers peace of mind by identifying any significant defects or Building/Planning Regulation compliance issues which could be costly to remedy. Our reports are carried out by qualified Chartered & Registered Building Surveyors experienced in inspecting a wide variety of Residential properties from the most modern to period dwellings.
The written survey report produced following the inspection describes the condition of the property under various separate headings. It summarises the overall condition of each building element and makes recommendations for the remedy of any defects. A detailed list of ‘Essential’ & ‘Desirable’ Repairs is included at the start of the report. Please see our Sample Report below.
Pre-Purchase Survey FAQ
WHAT IS A PRE-PURCHASE SURVEY?
Buying a House or Apartment is probably going to be the largest long-term financial commitment that most people will ever make. To be sure that the property under consideration is a sound purchase proposition a ‘Pre-Purchase Survey’ is essential once the sale price has been negotiated.
A ‘Pre-Purchase Survey’ is a detailed internal and external inspection of an apartment or dwelling house to assess its condition and to determine whether there are any defects present which could potentially have a substantial cost implication to repair or affect a Purchaser’s decision to proceed and complete the sale.
It is frequently referred to as a ‘Structural Survey’, ‘Building Inspection’ or ‘Home Survey’ and is carried out on behalf of the potential purchaser of a property. The building elements typically considered during a Pre-Purchase Survey are listed below.
Pre-Purchase Surveys are usually carried out prior to the signing of final contract documentation at the ‘Sale Agreed’ stage and are usually considered mandatory by Solicitors and lending institutions as they highlight any Planning or Building Regulation compliance issues and detail the extent of any remedial works required to refurbish a property or structural repairs.
The Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland broadly categorises building surveys as being either ‘Type 1, 2 or 3’. We carry out ‘Type 2’ surveys on all properties inspected and is the most detailed inspection possible without carrying out opening up works. Type 3 building surveys would only be allowed in exceptional circumstances as a follow on to a Type 2 survey when further investigation to establish the cause of a defect is required.
HOW LONG DOES A PRE-PURCHASE SURVEY TAKE TO COMPLETE?
This depends on the type of property, in particular, its age and state of repair. A typical survey of a recently constructed three bedroom semi-detached property takes 1 – 1½ hours to survey. Older properties can take a considerably longer period of time to survey.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PRE-PURCHASE SURVEY AND A SNAG LIST?
A snag list is carried out for a new property that has not been previously occupied. The snagging process involves identifying incomplete or defective works i.e. damaged joinery and trim or substandard finishes and including them on a list to be passed on to the builder/developer for attention.
HOW SOON CAN A PRE-PURCHASE SURVEY BE UNDERTAKEN ONCE A BOOKING IS MADE?
Normally, we require 3-5 days notice but will do our best to accommodate clients who may require a Pre-Purchase Survey more urgently. Please contact us to discuss your individual requirements.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO COMPLETE THE PRE-PURCHASE SURVEY REPORT?
Reports are normally completed within approximately 7 – 10 working days but can be completed in a shorter timeframe if required.
I’M CONCERNED ABOUT THE POTENTIAL COSTS OF ANY REPAIR WORK TO THE PROPERTY I AM PURCHASING – DO YOU PROVIDE APPROXIMATE COSTINGS AS PART OF THE SURVEY?
Yes, if requested we will provide approximate costs that may be used as the basis for negotiation of the final contract price with the property Vendor.
CAN WE ATTEND THE SURVEY?
Yes, however, the permission of the estate agent should be sought in all instances.
WE ARE CONSIDERING EXTENDING THE PROPERTY WHEN WE PURCHASE IT. CAN YOU PROVIDE ADVICE ON THE FEASIBILITY OF EXTENDING THE PROPERTY?
Yes. We can advise you on any planning or practical construction-related issues that may arise should you wish to extend.
Valuation Reports Vs. Pre-Purchase Surveys
The Valuation Report that a mortgage provider requires is not a Building Survey. It’s primary function is to establish whether a property is worth the money being paid for it. It also provides a basic opinion on condition and information such as reinstatement costs. A property Valuation does not delve in detail into the true condition of the property. It does not uncover any issues with the property or provide a detailed condition assessment. It does not bring to a Purchaser’s attention costly defects or potential faults with the property or provide an assessment on structural integrity.
A Pre-Purchase Survey carried out by a Chartered Building Surveyor will provide you with the precise information and detailed advice you need to make an informed decision prior to proceeding with the purchase of a property. Our survey reports advise on the condition of each important internal and external element i.e. Walls, Roofs and Chimneys, by describing their condition and any defects encountered. Advice at the start of the survey report in the ‘Essential Repairs’ section will list all urgent works considered by us to be in need of immediate attention.
The time to arrange a Pre-Purchase Survey is between the ‘Sale Agreed’ stage and prior to exchanging final contracts.
What do our Building Surveys cover?
Following our inspection, we provide a detailed survey report primarily concerned with highlighting any significant defects or Building/Planning Regulation Compliance issues which could be costly or time-consuming to remedy. The items listed below form the various headings in our reports.
Planning & Building Regulations
Planning History (if considered appropriate)
Protected Structure Status/ Architectural Area of Conservation
Fire Safety Certificate (if applicable)
Essential remedial works (Repair Rating: 1; based on SCSI Type 2 standard report) or issues that require further investigation.
Walls & Ceilings
Roof Space(s) & Voids
Plumbing & Heating
Pyrite (if applicable)
BER (Building Energy Rating) – the BER is commented on. The Vendor is responsible for ensuring a BER is carried out.
Main Inspection Findings
Desirable remedial works (Repair Rating: 2; based on SCSI Type 2 standard report):
Moisture Meter Readings
Access / Doors & Windows
Room Air Venting
Roof Eaves & Air Venting
Rainwater Goods, Soil & Waste Pipes
General / Maintenance / Japanese Knotweed
Preliminary Pre-Purchase Surveys or ‘walk through’ inspections
If required, we can carry out an inspection of a property without providing a detailed Pre-Purchase Survey Report.
The advantage of such a service is that a verbal summary (usually backed up with a brief e-mail) of the overall condition and main issues of the property can be provided immediately after the inspection has been conducted thereby speeding up feedback to the Client.
This service can be particularly useful for clients prior to an auction or if Clients are uncertain about whether to bid for a property and need initial feedback before proceeding further.
Certificates of Compliance
Our Certificates of Compliance are prepared in accordance with the formats recommended by the Law Society of Ireland Conveyancing Handbook.
Mortgage Valuations are required by your lending institution to apportion a current value to the property you are purchasing.
We produce Land Registry Compliant Maps for First Registration purposes.
We provide Pre-Purchase Home Surveys in Dublin, Galway, Limerick, and the surrounding counties. To book, simply fill in the quick query form or phone us in Dublin on 01 6856935 or Galway on 091-399935.
Main Areas covered by our Property Surveys:
- Statutory Building and Planning Regulation Issues
- Essential Property Repairs
- Desirable Property Repairs
- Assessment of Internal Building Elements
- Assessment of External Building Elements
- Deleterious or Hazardous Building Materials i.e. Pyrite, Asbestos or Lead Pipes