Warning: Why You Need a Structural Survey When Buying Your House


Yes, you’re excited.

But there is no excuse for making this stupid mistake when you are buying a property.

One of the most important things you need to do is to have a structural survey of the property carried out.

And when I say “structural survey” I mean a proper survey by an engineer or surveyor who has professional indemnity insurance.

I don’t mean a well intentioned friend or relative who does a bit of building having a look and telling you, “yes, it looks fine”.

Don’t confuse a structural survey with the valuation report/survey which the lender will want carried out either.

Your surveyor needs to do two things at least:

  1. Give a professional opinion on the structural integrity of the building and flagging up any issues which might occur later; this would include any signs of further investigation being required to establish that there is no pyrite in the building
  2. Check that the property on the ground corresponds with the map of the property with the title deeds/on the Land Registry folio. In other words, that you are actually buying what you think you are buying.

Declaration of Identity

There is one further thing your surveyor should be able to do for you as part of his survey and this applies to one off rural properties only.

That is, provide a Declaration of Identity if necessary. This declaration that all of the necessary services-for example septic tank and water well- for the property are located within the boundaries of the property.

You don’t want to discover that your septic tank is located in a neighbouring field after you have moved in.

A surveyor’s report will probably cost you up to €500 plus VAT but you will get them done for cheaper.

It is money well spent however which can help you avoid a much more costly mistake which could come back to haunt you in later years.