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The Importance of Carrying Out a Home Survey.

Date Posted: 08/04/2013

In the UAE only a very small amount of the property transactions are carried out by buyers that take out a home survey. This is an extremely high risk strategy given that the majority of property in the UAE has been rapidly built and the quality of construction and maintenance of the buildings varies considerably between buildings.

The results of the RICS survey of home buying consumers released today show that over a fifth of home buyers who did not take out a home survey are now saddled with property they would never have bought had they been aware of its true condition before purchase. Within the UAE risks are much higher and many consumers tend not to even be aware that home surveys are available through RERA licensed, RICS qualified inspection companies and that they can obtain vital independent advice regarding the property they are purchasing. 

The survey of 1,017 buyers across the UK found that consumers are clearly aware of the need for independent advice, with 94% of respondents agreeing it is important to commission a survey. However many still fail to do so meaning that buyers are left ignorant of issues with the property, such as structural defects, damp problems, mould and rot issues, subsidence, mechanical or electrical faults that are present or will become serious at a later date. 

For many UAE and Middle East investors this will be one of the biggest investment decisions they will make and unfortunately many will make poor investment decisions due to a lack of due diligence. From Onvizio's experience in Dubai one of the biggest issues now for both Owner Associations and unit owners occurs when due to the lack of independent advice the new purchasers find themselves unable to afford or have the desire to fix the faults. In several incidents we have seen buildings then quickly fall into serious disrepair, often become unsafe to occupy and become increasing difficult to sell especially to other purchasers who do carry out their due diligence. 

  • From the survey in the UK 89% of respondents who did not commission a survey now think it is important to take out independent advice.
  • 73% of people who did comission a survey said it provided them with peace of mind and over 50% felt it was value for money.

“Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions most people will ever make and yet many consumers are doing so blind to the facts. Serious faults are difficult to identify and costly to repair. By not being aware of them consumers are risking a potential home buying time bomb. This can cause extreme stress and financial strain on homeowners who are often stuck with a property they no longer want but cannot sell.” - Peter Bolton King, RICS Global Residential Director

Results from the UK survey also supported a common UAE misconception and lack of understanding in that 60% of home buying consumers incorrectly identified an estate agent's role to act independently for the buyer, whilst 1 in 5 think they act equally for the buyer and seller.

“The lack of understanding about the home buying process is putting consumers at increased risk as many fail to take out further independent, expert advice. Agents can and should offer advice to buyers, however, only a surveyor is trained to identify issues with a property. The cost of a survey is a small price to pay for this knowledge and peace of mind.” - Peter Bolton King, RICS Global Residential Director

Onvizio is a UAE leading property inspection company that provides RICS home buying survey services and is also RERA licensed to operate throughout Dubai.

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