Posted by Devenia Besant on 17 Jul 2021

Of course, it goes without saying that Epsom and Ewell is a lovely place to live, but with that comes a very demanding housing market that requires you to move quickly if you want to secure your dream home.   With that in mind our directory partners local surveyor company Novello Surveyors have put together the below guide explaining what you should look for when buying a house in the area and how a surveying service can help.


Residential surveying and valuation services may not be the most exciting topic you’ve ever read about, and one thing we’ve noticed at Novello is that the house buying process can seem very complex, often leaving people baffled. 

Armed with the knowledge of what to look out for ahead of time can help you save time, money and heartache.


Many terraced houses are Victorian stock and tend to be well built, with great layouts and full of wonderful period features. Victorians were masters of innovation, known for their elegant design, and built properties made to last. Room layouts are ideal for today’s modern living, being incredibly adaptable. Often conveniently located, Victorian houses benefit from being close to amenities such as train stations and schools, just like the houses around the colleges.

But being older properties, they can come with issues such as damp and subsistence. And considering their age may have had work done which no longer fits today’s standards. Another area of concern is roofs; although Victorian slate looks attractive, it can be costly to replace like for like. 

With this type of property, we recommend getting a Level 3 Building Survey, which will look at these areas of concern. You will be fully informed of the property’s condition and will be armed with an invaluable independent tool for negotiating a fair price.


New builds offer the considerable advantage of no upward chain, and properties are cleverly designed to maximise the available space and provide practical accommodation to suit modern living. 

Depending upon when you enter negotiations with the builder, you may have an input into the design and specification of the fixtures and fittings, which means you don’t have to live with someone else’s dodgy DIY or bad taste. You’ll also benefit from lower running costs through energy-efficient design and build. New developments such as Noble Park, Manor Park and Livingstone Park offer these benefits to house buyers.

However, just because it’s new doesn’t mean it won’t come with any issues. All new homes are covered by a warranty; even so, the small print on these can be less than straightforward, often only covering structural problems. The last thing you want to do is organise or pay for repairs to your shiny new home after moving in.

Our level 2 HomeLevel report will cover the basic issues affecting newer homes. It will give you a better understanding of exactly what you’re buying, and at just a few hundred pounds, it will save you time and money in the long run. 

After completion, we recommend getting an independent snagging list done. By doing this, you can ensure any snagging issues, such as problems with fixtures and fittings, are rectified by the developer before you move in. 


If you’re buying a property in one of the mid-century detached estates such as Woodcote Estate or Wallace Fields, you’ll have the reassurance of moving into an established community; close to schools, amenities, and recreational facilities. Houses in these areas tend to be spacious and have extensive gardens, giving you the option to extend should you desire to do so.

But given their age, these properties will have been extended, knocked about and have varying maintenance levels. Which makes it’s crucial to ascertain that any work carried out meets today’s regulations or if any expensive hidden surprises need repairing. Our Level 3 Building Survey is ideal for checking any issues with your new home.

Once in, you may be tempted to extend your new home, in which case it’s essential to check if you need a Party Wall Agreement (technically known as an award) to avoid causing any problems with your new neighbours.


Flats in the town centre such as Capitol Square or Hudsons House offer everything on your doorstep with easy access to shops, bars, and restaurants, making them an ideal choice for young buyers or those looking to downgrade. 

These are not the only conveniences they offer; as the owner of the freehold is responsible for the structure of the building, you don’t need to take out the building’s insurance or be responsible for maintaining the outside of the building and grounds. However, you may be liable for both ground rent and a service charge for maintenance.

Despite this, problems can still arise, and our Homelevel Report will highlight any issues with the interior and exterior of your new home.

Generally, these properties are sold as leasehold, but you may have the opportunity to buy the freehold with your neighbours collectively. If not, at some point, you may have to negotiate an extension to your lease. It all sounds complicated, but our leasehold valuation and our freehold purchases services will guide you through the purchase.

Don’t Know What You’re Looking for?

Finding your dream home can be complicated, and as we said in the introduction, competition in the area is fierce. Trying to find a suitable property while working and looking after a family can be difficult, with houses coming on and off the market at lightning speed. It requires you to make quick, expensive decisions, with the risk that the process could fall apart at some point. 

Our search and acquisition service can take care of the hard work for you, smoothing out the process of buying your new home. We use our local knowledge and industry connections to create an informed shortlist of suitable properties. We’re also available to accompany you on initial viewings to filter out unwanted problems, leaving you with the confidence that you’re making an informed decision on the right home for you.

Hopefully that this gives you an idea of some of the issues you can encounter when looking for a property and how a surveying services can help you make an informed decision on what you’re buying.   You can find out more about Novello Surveyors on the directory here or if you have any questions or feedback, please contact Novello Surveyors at or via their website at

Enjoy your your search.


Devenia Besant
Devenia (Dee) Besant is the founder of Epsom and Ewell Families. Runs a busy household as a mummy of 3 and a wife and some would say crazily committed to helping small businesses and the local community.

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