There may be many reasons you plan building work on a property you’re looking to purchase; whether you’re looking to add an extension for space, a small design renovation, or your Home Buyer’s Survey may have highlighted some essential remedial building work. Planning work on a property you do not own, can carry a risk, firstly due to the potential of hidden issues, or missing the opportunity to the property as you aren’t familiar with it yet.

However, you can have a Pre-Purchase building inspection carried out, to provide you with what you need to make a more informed decision. JPS Project Management Services is a London based business that arranges pre-purchase visits and supplies independent advice, as well as a report on potential design options, timelines, and build costs. This service has been designed for prospective buyers; those who want a full understanding of what purchasing a particular property could entail.

Founder and director, Jonathan Spencer, has provided his insight into the importance of a pre-purchase building inspection; the different types of inspection available; what they entail; and the multiple benefits any prospective property buyer will find.

Why are pre-purchase building inspections so important?

Regardless of how extensive your renovation plans are with your property, protecting yourself from buying a property which may turn out to be a drain on your finances is vital. You can do this by arranging for a pre-purchase building inspection prior to signing on the dotted line.

A well-defined, professionally written pre-purchase building inspection report will point out areas of concern, whether that be structural issues, electrical systems and roof structures, ultimately providing you with peace of mind. It will also help you identify critical safety concerns which require immediate attention.

What are the different types of inspection?

  • Building inspection prior to auction

If you plan to purchase a property at auction, it is a good idea to have a pre-purchase building inspection carried out prior to bidding. This will not only show you the true condition of the property, helping you to obtain a more realistic valuation, but it will also highlight any unforeseen issues that may make renovation unprofitable.

  • Pre-renovation building inspection

This is a specialist inspection which takes into account the developer’s plans for the property. It will look at the developer’s plans to determine whether the underlying structure requires further strengthening prior to any renovation work being carried out. This can help developers obtain a more realistic estimate for renovation costs of the finished project.

  • Offer subject to building inspection

This type of inspection is carried out prior to an agreement to purchase the property. Essentially, the prospective buyer will make an offer for the property, but the price will be dependent on the results of the building inspection. In this case, the report will highlight any areas which may be potentially expensive for the buyer to rectify.

The Benefits

  • Proximity to Neighbours

Unfortunately, owning land or real estate doesn’t mean you can plan and carry out renovation projects without any interference. The way the law works is more complicated. Your neighbours, for example, can contest a house extension on several grounds. Pre-purchase advice addresses topics, such as the length you can extend, the direction of the extension, and whether you’re likely to require planning permission. It, therefore, eliminates much of the uncertainty.

  • Planning History

Pre-purchase advice uncovers features that are essential in the long-term. The property’s planning history is a prime example since buildings that have already been extended or remodelled may have a better chance of securing planning permission. As a result, using a pre-purchase service is a fantastic way of preparing and submitting your application with the highest chance of success.

  • Building Restrictions

A pre-purchase service would uncover whether your home is a listed building or is within a conservation area, which will typically add further consideration when it comes to extending or renovating your home. It is, however, sometimes possible to restore and refurbish – and sometimes extend – dependent on the restrictions. It can often be useful to have an architect work with you when you begin to discuss these restrictions, to negate any doubts in the local authority’s mind that you are seeking professional advice before beginning any works.

  • Value Potential

The final reason to invest in pre-purchase advice is often the one that homeowners find the most important. Considering that the average person moves eight to ten times in their life, it’s smart to think about your overall investment during the vetting process. The market can change suddenly, so there are never any guarantees, yet a pre-purchase service calculates local sale prices and development plans to highlight which renovations will leave you with a positive return-on-investment (ROI).

For both buyers and sellers, knowing the true value and condition of a property is important to obtaining the most profitable deal for both parties. Buyers need to know they are getting value for money and sellers need to know they are getting a fair price for their property. An independent pre-purchase building inspection educates both parties on the condition of the property and allows potential buyers to estimate the costs of rectifying the defects before agreeing on a price.

Jonathan Spencer JPS Project Management Services.

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