RICS Residential Survey

RMA Surveyors Ltd, Newbury, have been reading the latest on the RICS Residential Market Survey (April 2016) with interest.

RResidential surveyICS Residential Report Highlights

– Demand from buyers drops for the first time since March 2015
– Prices continue to rise due to continued lack of supply
– Long term outlook shows prices continuing to rise across the UK

 

It states that the lack of supply will continue to push up UK house prices despite short term uncertainty.  You can download the full UK Residential Market Survey for further reading.

Residential Survey Advice

As chartered surveyors, RMA Surveyors can undertake a building survey or Homebuyers Report on a property to help you make a reasoned and informed decision regarding a property purchase.

If you’re looking for some professional advice regarding a property purchase in Berkshire, please contact RMA Surveyors Ltd on 01635 579 208 or complete the Contact Us form and we’ll be in touch.

 

Need a Party Wall Award?

party wallHaving recently undertaken Party Wall Award Notices in Windsor, Newbury and Leckhampstead. RMA Surveyors Ltd are experienced in providing advice in compliance with The Party Wall Act 1996, throughout Berkshire and the South-East.

The Party Wall etc Act 1996 provides a framework for preventing and resolving disputes in relation to party walls, boundary walls and excavations near neighbouring buildings.

The Act is separate from obtaining planning permission or building regulations approval. It provides a mechanism for preventing and resolving disputes relating to building work near or on a shared property boundary, or ‘party wall’.

If you require advice on a Party Wall, contact us on 01635 579 208.

For further reading on Party Walls visit the RICS information page.

Building Survey vs Homebuyer Report

House SearchBased in Berkshire, RMA Surveyors Ltd have recently surveyed properties in Newbury, Reading, Wokingham and Windsor.

When making an initial enquiry for a survey on a property, we are often asked what the difference is between a Homebuyer Report and a Building Survey. Our simple response is that while both involve a survey of the property, a Homebuyer Report details all the essential elements of a building but goes into less detail than a Building Survey.

If you would like to read more about the details of each report, take a look at our Property Surveys page.

As chartered surveyors, RMA Surveyors Ltd always provides professional advice and will recommend which type of survey best suits the proposed property. By analysing the age, type (e.g. semi-detached or bungalow) and whether there are any extensions to the property, we can determine which survey would best outline the condition of the building.

If you are unsure which type of survey would be most suitable for the type of property that you are intending to purchase, please contact us and we shall be happy to discuss this with you.

For a Homebuyer Report or Building Survey quote, please call RMA Surveyors Ltd on 01635 579208 or complete the enquiry form.

Property Checklist for Winter

ricsRMA Surveyors Ltd, Newbury have been reading an article from RICS (the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) which offers a checklist to homeowners on how to look after their properties during the winter months. With another cold snap predicted in the forthcoming weeks, it’s worth a read.

Below is a snapshot of the RICS winter property checklist; for the full article, click here.

  • Roof: Inspect the roof and replace any cracked tiles.
  • Loft: Check the insulation is in good condition (up to current standard). Avoid over insulating. It is important that the tanks and pipes in the loft do not freeze, so do not insulate below the tank. Make sure the lid is on the cold-water tank.
  • Gutters and drains: Clear them of leaves and debris. Take particular care that the gulley’s are clear. Overflowing gutters can drench walls and cause damage.
  • Walls: 33% of heat lost in the home is through the walls. Cavity wall insulation is a good option and can boost its value and saleability while reducing your energy bills. Check the pointing – frost can play havoc with poorly maintained walls.
  • Windows: It is important to minimize draughts. If double-glazing is not in place (it cuts heat loss through windows by 50%), consider fitting cheaper options such as secondary glazing or put polythene across the window frames.
  • Boilers: Have your boiler serviced.
  • Heating: Check your heating system is in order; insulate hot water tanks, and bleed radiators.

While many of these simple tasks can be undertaken safely in the home it is important that people seek the advice of reputable professionals when looking to complete larger jobs. RICS advise people to avoid using builders and tradespeople who cold call. To find a local, trusted chartered surveyor in your area go to www.ricsfirms.com.

If you require advice from a Chartered Building Surveyor in Berkshire, contact RMA Surveyors Ltd on 01635 579208.

A Party Wall Matter

Party Wall workWe recently acted as a Party Wall Surveyor for an adjoining owner, in Newbury, Berkshire.

The works being undertaken by the next door neighbour included an extension to the rear of the building and some cutting in and weathering of the Party Wall.

The owner that we acted for was concerned that their second floor flat may be affected by the works. We checked that the Party Wall notice that had been issued was valid, contacted the building owners surveyor and liaised with them to confirm the method and approach to which works affecting the Party Wall should be undertaken. In addition we took a schedule of condition of the property prior to the works commencing.

We have now issued an Award and works are underway.  Our final piece of involvement should be to attend site once works have been completed to ensure they have been undertaken satisfactorily and have not affected our appointing owner’s property.

If you have a Party Wall enquiry or have been served with Notice under the Party Wall Act, please contact us on 01635 579208 or by using the contact form. We will be happy to act on your behalf.

Issuing Party Wall Notification

Terraced housingWe were recently instructed to act as Party Wall Surveyors in Pangbourne. We were acting on behalf of the building owner to issue party wall notices to two adjoining owners on a Victorian Terrace.

Our client had already approached their neighbours and explained to them the works to be undertaken, then requested we issue formal notification of works to them.

Sometimes, as in this case where there is more than one adjoining owner, party wall notification can be more complicated. It is our role to determine who has an interest in the adjoining properties and which are the correct notices to serve under the Party Wall Etc Act 1996.

Our client had quite a tight deadline in which they wanted the Party Wall Agreements to be in place, as their appointed building contractor had an extremely busy schedule. So we acted efficiently and effectively to ensure everything was in place.

If you would like any advice regarding the Party Wall Etc Act 1996, please contact us on 01635 579 208, or complete the form below with your enquiry.

For further reading on Party Walls read our Understanding a Party Wall page.

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System Built Construction

system built constructionWe were recently commissioned to undertake a Homebuyers survey in Chesham, Buckinghamshire. On attending the property we inspected the loft space to discover that the roof structure was formed in steel trusses and the walls were supported in steel stanchions. The property was clearly a system built construction and a Homebuyer Report would not be a suitable level of survey.

We contacted our client and explained that a building survey would be necessary. We also advised that the client should contact their lender to ensure that their mortgage offer would still be available against a system built property. Our clients contacted their lender who confirmed that they would be prepared to lend on the strength of us providing a full building survey, which we duly did.

It is not always obvious when a property is system built construction. When constructed, system built properties had a projected limited lifespan in mind. Because of this some mortgage lenders are reluctant to lend against system built properties. System built properties often perform in a very different way to more traditional forms of construction and the types of defect that can be anticipated with this type of structure often requires specialist knowledge.

If you are thinking of purchasing a system built construction property we would strongly recommend that you commission a full building survey prior to exchanging contracts.
If you would like further advice on your property purchase, please contact us on 01635 579 208.

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Flood Insurance Reinstatement

Flood waters in residential BerkshireWe are currently overseeing an insurance reinstatement of a flood damaged property in Kingsclere, Berkshire.

We first became involved when our client was having difficulty in getting the loss adjustor from their insurance company to assess the property. We were asked to supply a defect diagnosis report to assess the cause of the water damage to their building.

We undertook the survey and produced the report which we supplied to the loss adjustor, who had not understood the gravity of the technical failure. As a result, we were able to explain that the insurance claim was likely to be larger than the loss adjustor had orginally anticipated and that a larger scale reinstatement would be necessary.

We were duely appointed by our clients to undertake and oversee the project management of the reinstatement, which is currently on site.

If you have damage to your property due to flood, fire or other insurance related loss, please contact us as we may be able to provide our professional assistance.

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Can you tell when a building is made of Timber Frame?

HouseWe recently undertook a Homebuyers Report in Thatcham, where from the outside the building looked to be traditional brick and block construction. On going inside and inspecting the roof space, we soon realised that we were reporting about a timber frame building.

Modern timber frame buildings perform differently from traditional cavity contstruction properties and we were able to advise our client accordingly and explain the type of defects that can be anticipated with this type of construction.

Remember it is always worth asking a professional to cast their eye over a property prior to purchase, in order to find out exactly what type of construction it is and how it is built.

If you need a building survey or Homebuyers Report, please contact us.

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Leaning Tower of South Korea

Leaning Tower in KoreaTake a look at this seven-storey building – still under construction in South Korea – leaning 20 degrees.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2014/may/13/south-korea-building-leans-video

Hopefully your building doesn’t have concerns of this magntitude. But if you are concerned about a defect, take a look at our Defects page to see how a Chartered Building Surveyor could undertake a defect specific survey and report on a property, or contact us to discuss your situation further.