Getting a Survey on Your Spanish Home

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Getting a Survey on Your Spanish Home

A building survey is a thorough inspection of the property and a detailed report based on this inspection. The surveyor who provides the survey aims to help you make a reasoned and informed decision when purchasing the property, or when planning for repairs, maintenance or upgrading the property.

It provides detailed advice on the condition, describing the identifiable risk of potential or hidden defects; it provides an estimate of costs for identified repairs; and makes recommendations for further actions or advice that needs to be obtained before committing to purchase.

Why have a survey?

As is standard in the UK, it is recommended to obtain a survey when buying a home in Spain, as it will reduce the chance of discovering any defects or nasty surprises about the property’s condition after you’ve bought and will help you assure the safety and suitability of the property.

If through the survey there are any structural problems, this will help you to negotiate the price or insist certain works be carried out before the house is purchased.

Which types of surveys are there?

We offer three types of survey in the English language under RICS standards.

1. RICS Condition Report

Designed for newer properties or conventional homes. It provides a clear report on the condition of the property or any urgent attention required. Includes an inspection of the property and a report based on the inspection.

The surveyor who provides the RICS Condition Report Service aims to tell you about:

  • The construction and condition of the property on the date it was inspected
  • any defects that need urgent attention or are serious
  • Things that need further investigation to prevent serious damage to the fabric of the builiding
  • Defects or issues that may be hazardous to safety and where further enquiries are needed.

2. RICS Building Survey

This contains all the features of the Condition Report and it also includes advice on defects that may affect the value of the property with repairs and ongoing maintenance. Includes a thorough inspection of the property; and a detailed report based on the inspection.

The surveyor who provides the RICS Building Survey Service aims to:

  • Help you make a reasoned and informed decision when purchasing the property, or when planning for repairs, maintenance or upgrading the property
  • Provide detailed advice on condition
  • Describe the identifiable risk of potential or hidden defects
  • Where practicable and agreed, provide an estimate of costs for identified repairs
  • Make recommendations as to any further actions or advice which need to be obtained before committing to purchase.

3. RICS Structural Report

The most comprehensive report includes defects, repair and maintenance options. The Structural Report is usually only necessary if the building is more than 50 years old or suspected of being unsound or if you are planning major works.

A Structural Report is a customized service suitable for all residential properties and gives full details of their construction and condition.

Which is the difference between Condition Report and Building Survey and which one should I choose?

In both cases, an expert visits the property, checks its condition, spaces, parking lot, storages and surroundings. Both reports will tell you about the problems that may be hazardous and show potential issues and defects.

And, of course, both will define things that will need further investigation to prevent serious damages to the fabric of the building. That is where the shared characteristics end.

With the Building Survey you can take advantage of having an estimate of costs for identified repairs and recommendations as to any further actions or advice which need to be obtained before committing to purchase.

That is why we recommend the Condition Report option if you are sure about the condition of the apartment and you only need the professional advice of an expert.

The Structural Report includes detailed technical information on materials and construction, as well as details of the whole range of defects. You can often meet the surveyor on site.

A Structural Report can be concentrated on one particular defect, specified by you. For instance evidence of movement, dampness or structural failure. It will report upon the cause of the defect and any remedial works necessary.

How long does it take to deliver a report?

Three working days after the visit to the property.

How much does each type of survey cost?

It depends on the condition of the property: Condition Reports from €350, Building Surveys from €450, Structural from €800.

enquire about a spanish property survey here

Originally published in the A Place in the Sun magazine - Issue 126