Surveyor Spain for structural surveys and surveyors services Costa Blanca Valencia Alicante and Murcia. T962807247 M653733066

Towns covered include Gandia, Oliva, Denia, Javea, Moraira, Calpe, Altea, Benidorm, Torrevieja, La Zenia, Rojales, La Quesada, Orihuela, Elche, Castellon, Benicassim, Alcosebre, also Almeria, Mojacar etc.

Surveyors Gandia Valencia Spain
Structural surveys Costa Blanca Javea Moraira Spain

Structural Surveys Q&A

Why have a structural survey?

  • Just as in the UK, you can save money and avoid problems by having a survey carried out on a prospective purchase property.
  • The less obvious defects spotted by the Building Surveyor can be used to negotiate a lower price and knowing the true condition of a building will help you to make better investment decisions when buying in Spain.
  • Many construction techniques in Spain are quite different to those used in the UK and the survey will point out the benefits, disadvantages and implications of various build methods and allow you to evaluate one property type against another.
  • Defects which are more prevalent in Spain than the UK include:- insect attack (including termites), steel reinforced concrete decay, water pipe decay and slope subsidence to name just a few. The Survey will assess the building for signs of these and many other possible defects and includes damp meter inspection. Infrared and CCTV camera inspections are also available where required. While surveyors in Spain may be rare, defects in buildings (new and old) are very common.
Thermal camera survey Spain

For new build properties, an interim inspection of the structural elements (prior to completion and final payment) can be highly valuable, in order to highlight any significant omissions or defects which might be covered up later and to help ensure that the constructor addresses any issues, essentially before they have received all monies. Works vigilance is also a common surveyor function, as architect control can be poor in Spain. A snagging service on completion is also available.

In addition to surveys for prospective buyers, existing owners may need advice on specific known defects such as timber insect infestation ongoing subsidence or damp. Investigative opening up of elements and written expert opinions can also be prepared for court actions and ‘Decenal’ (10 year) insurance policy claims.

Are Building Surveyors the same as Architects or Engineers?

Building Surveying is a specialist ‘stand alone’ profession. While Building Surveyors train in design, draughtsmanship and structural calculations, importantly they undergo specialist training in the recognition and understanding of building structure and fabric related defects, remedial solutions and materials. Building Surveyors therefore predominantly specialise in structural condition surveys, while Architects generally specialise in new build and reformation design and specification issues (see link below for architectural services), and Engineers specialise in structural calculations and structural specification for both new build and reparation works. While the professions share some common ground, Engineers and Architects are not Building Surveyors, just as GP’s are not Dentists, so it’s important that the client consults the right professional for the right task or stage of works.

Structural Survey Spain

In Europe, Building Surveying is very much a British profession, which is why some estate agents may tell you that ‘they don’t do surveys in Spain’, while it is correct that surveys are less common, there are a hand full of English Surveyors in Spain that offer their services, predominately catering for the demand from UK buyers and producing reports in English such that these buyers can fully understand what they are purchasing. (NB:- there are 19 different and diverse types of surveyor, from Arts and Antiques to Mineral Surveyors. ‘Building Surveyors’ are the ones that specialise in Structural Surveys. Always check that your surveyor is degree qualified in Building Surveying, belongs to a recognised chartered professional body and holds professional indemnity insurance. Their qualifications should also be officially recognised and registered in Spain.

The Consejo General de la Arquitectura Tecnica de Espana (CGATE), officially define ‘Building Surveyor’ as ‘Experto en Construcción’ – ‘Expert in Construction’.

Is a mortgage lender valuation the same?

Most mortgage lenders will send their in house valuer (‘Tasador’) to assess whether or not a property is worth the money being loaned, in order that, should repossession be necessary, the lender can recoup the loan. As property generally goes up in value and borrowing is rarely 100% of the value, the mortgage lender’s valuation will normally be very quick (20 mins) and rarely focus in detail on any issues. As valuation is for the lender rather than the buyer, the buyer will not normally get any form of advice or structural report. A lender’s survey or valuation should therefore never be relied upon as a structural assessment of a property. While a property might be cleared for lending purposes, it may still suffer from serious insect attack, rising damp, subsidence etc. In contrast an average structural survey involves 2hrs at the property.

What does a survey cost?

Survey fees* depend on the type of survey and size of property. Given that property is a substantial investment, a full written report is highly recommended (€725+IVA)* e.g. for a 3 bed detached villa in Javea or Moraira, which includes details of required remedial works and specification of specialist repair materials available in Spain). Clients that are in Spain may sometimes opt for the cost saving alternative of a surveyor accompanied walk through (€295+VAT for an apartment and €395+VAT for a villa)*. On site verbal advice for existing owners, where known defects (e.g. decayed timbers, structural cracking, defective pools or retaining walls) need assessment is available from €195+VAT* . Written reports on specific issues are also available for an additional charge including invasive investigation (opening up) of defect areas and non invasive (Micro CCTV camera) inspection.

Advantage Building Surveys focus on providing clients with value for money **(client testimonials available on request). Contact Mark Paddon T 0034 962807247 M 0034 653733066 (7 days) mrmpaddon@hotmail.com for free initial advice and an immediate fixed survey quote.

*Travel over 1hr round trip is charged at €45ph + tolls. For properties of 1m Euros or more in value the survey fee is 0.1% of value

**If you find a high quality Spanish registered ‘Building Surveyor’ service for less we will match the fee (subject to allowance for travel*).

The identification of any significant visually evident defects by the surveyor will normally allow the buyer to make a justified offer of 1 to 20% below the asking price, therefore a survey will typically save the buyer thousands of euros and occasionally help them to steer clear of a real liability, or even allow them to move quickly and snap up a bargain. Likewise in dispute situations expert diagnosis and evidence can assist in reaching settlement.

Is a survey a guarantee of condition?

A survey is not a guarantee, but a present time assessment of a building, which can be likened to a personal medical or car MOT inspection. Just as a medical or MOT is obviously not a guarantee that illness or breakdowns won’t occur in the future, the survey is not a guarantee of future property condition and clients are required to sign a legal disclaimer to this effect. (Professional indemnity insurance is underwritten via Lloyds of London).

Will my estate agent be happy with a survey?

Most professional estate agents will welcome your request for a survey, though you may find the fact that the service is available locally comes as a surprise to them. A few agents use independent surveyors as part of the whole purchase process, much like in the UK. Normally, in the unlikely event that the survey causes the buyer to seek another property, the same agent will be able to demonstrate alternative properties and therefore a good agent will rarely have a problem with a surveyor giving a property a full inspection (normally 2hrs on site), however in the rare event that an agent actively discourages you from carrying out a survey you should exercise special caution, as they may be worried that you will be made aware of significant defects already known to them. While a few agents and developers wish that surveyors did not exist, most understand that the surveyor has to act entirely in the interests of the prospective buyer and therefore that the survey may occasionally deter them from a purchase.

The independent assessment is designed to give the client a completely unbiased third party opinion, paid for directly by the client and without any financial links to any agencies. The Surveyor’s remuneration is therefore unaffected, whether or not the buyer decides to progress with the purchase in question. The surveyor will act solely in the interests of the client at all times.

How do I arrange a structural survey?

Where client time permits enquiries can be made by e-mail to mrmpaddon@hotmail.com, as however many buying decisions may be made at short notice, please feel free to call (0034) 962807247 or mobile (0034) 653733066 (any day including weekends between 8.30am and 10.30pm) and I will do what I can to fit in with your timescale and requirements. Most survey reports will be e-mailed to the client within 48hrs of access to the property (following receipt of payment), key points can be discussed by telephone prior to completion of the report, where the client needs to make a quick decision.

Wherever possible, please try to arrange your survey prior to paying any deposits or actually completing on a purchase as the survey may well reveal unforeseen defects that might affect your offer price or purchase decision.

(A valuation service for UK court actions also available on request).

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villa surveys spain

Links:- Disclaimer: This page contains links to sites and services operated by third parties. Advantage Building Surveys cannot attest to the accuracy of information provided by linked sites. Advantage Building Surveys cannot accept responsibility for the listed third party services.

Link to Inland Trader  and Coastal Trader columns  (‘Structural Advice’ column writer for local paper)

Published Book Contributions (Consultant and contributor to Spanish Property Books)

Move to Spain book cover
Book: "How To Buy Spanish Property and Move To Spain ... Safely" by Nick Snelling

The building survey includes initial advice and direction on potential reformations, building works and legal issues (including 10 year newbuild insurance issues), following which, clients can consult the right specialist for further advice if required. It is recommended that all clients consult an independent lawyer when purchasing. All professional contacts below speak fluent English.

Angel Poveda Abogado - Javea info@povedavicedo.com, lawyerjavea.com, T: 96 579 62 38

Martin Hayes Abogado - Valencia & Castellon info@martinhayes.es, T: 34 960 912 325

Post purchase Architectural design services – Carlos Daniel Franco, Arquitecto T: 965832922

Defects repair specialists

General useful links for Costa Blanca area

surveyors costa blanca

Wincham Investments (for tax efficient purchase methods)

Surveyors Costa Blanca Spain for structural surveys and defects assessment

Covering castellon valencia gandia oliva denia javea moraira calpe altea benidorm alicante torrevieja san Javier la manga murcia mojacar etc

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