This is a very important question and one which all buyers should be aware of and understand.
There is risk with buying any property that unknown/unexpected issues will arise after you have complete purchase. The most frustrating part of this is that second hand properties are bought "as is" which means there is no comeback if an issues is discovered after signing contracts.
Having a pre-purchase survey complete will significantly reduce the chances of this happening. Surveyors are experts in the construction of properties, materials used, maintenance, building regulations and planning regulations and can identify a huge list of potential issues which may not be obvious to anyone without this expertise. However even a survey is not a 100% guarantee that no issues are present or will develop.
Limitations to Building Surveys
A pre purchase survey is a visual inspection only. And although there is a very large list of issues which can be identified, the visual element means surveyors can not open up any walls, floors or ceilings, can not take any samples for testing and can not move any fixtures, or fittings to inspect behind them.
In addition, for services of the property (plumbing, drainage, heating and electricity), a surveyor can not do any detailed testing or investigation and can only comment on what they can see, the location of services etc.
Potential of Hidden Issues
Due to the visual nature of the inspection, surveyors can only identify issues which are present and visible at the time of the survey.
For example, if it has been dry and there are no signs of water damage/staining, a surveyor may not identify a leaking gutter.
Although uncommon, there is also the possibility for intentionally hidden or covered up issues. Although in many of those cases, these issues are also identified by the surveyors as generally, only a bad tradesman would try to cover up damage without repairing the cause.
Mitigating your risk as a buyer!
As a buyer, you want to do everything possible to protect your investment. Especially if it's a home for you and your family. As mentioned above, every property purchase comes with risk, so you want to mitigate as much of this risk as possible.
The best way to do this is to hire:
1: An excellent solicitor who will consider all potential legal issues and advise you appropriately and
2: An excellent surveyor, who is experienced, qualified and thorough in conducting pre-purchase residential surveys for buyers.
Booking your survey with Get House Survey
At GetHouseSurvey.ie our surveyors are the best in the country and covered by appropriate PI Insurance. Our report is the most detailed available and designed specifically to meet your needs and a buyer and cover any questions your solicitor or bank may have!
To book your survey, just go to GetHouseSurvey.ie and click on "Get Survey Now".