In part two of our ‘Meet the property professional’ series, Oportfolio Mortgages spoke to chartered surveyor James Brook FRICS, co-founder of Novello Surveyors. Novello is a RICS chartered surveying firm covering locations across London, the home counties, and Yorkshire. In a sometimes difficult to navigate property market, choosing and working with the right surveyor is absolutely essential. With a 28 person strong team of surveying experts, Novello surveyors are definitely the people to speak to. In January 2023, James Brook kindly gave Oportfolio an insight into who Novello Chartered Surveyors are and how they work.
Can You tell us a bit about your business?
Novello Chartered Surveyors offer a modern approach to surveying. We’re a team of 28, offering RICS standard building surveys, homebuyer reports, party wall awards and valuations. We also offer our bespoke Private Client Surveying service, where we don’t just provide a one-off report; instead, we act as your personal advisers throughout the whole transaction.
Why was Novello Surveyors established?
Novello Chartered Surveyors was started in 2019 by Jack Pye MRICS and myself, James Brook FRICS. When we started surveying careers, we quickly identified that the typically stuffy and archaic approach associated with surveying was not serving customers well. We wanted to offer customers a higher level of service to surveying by not just giving them standardised reports but developing our own survey products with the customer in mind and interpreting the results into helpful advice and guidance.
Where are you based and where do you operate geographically?
We operate across most of the UK, including Greater London, the South-east from Hampshire up to Cambridge, Essex and Kent. I’m originally from Yorkshire, so we also have a base up there.
Why do you think it is important to work with an experienced professional surveyor?
Working with experienced RICS-qualified surveyors is crucial for accurately assessing the condition of the property you’re buying. They can identify potential issues or defects, and provide valuable advice and recommendations on necessary repairs or renovations. It gives you peace of mind and helps you make informed decisions about purchasing a property, potentially saving you time and money in the long run.
What do you think are the main things that people don’t know about a surveyor’s role in property purchases?
One of the main things that people may not know about a surveyor’s role in property purchases is the different types of surveys available and what they’re for:
- A homebuyer’s report is the most common and provides a general overview of the property’s condition, including any potential issues or defects and is suitable for modern homes built after 1990.
- But if the property is older or has had significant renovations, a more in-depth, level 3 building survey is necessary.
Surveyors can help play a crucial role in the negotiation process by providing evidence to support a lower purchase price or that repairs be carried out before the sale is completed.
What are the main issues that buyers are facing in the current climate, in your opinion?
In our opinion, it is more important than ever to ensure your investment is wise; prices are expected to fall this year, interest rates have risen, and affordability has been squeezed, so there is no room to make a mistake. Housing stock is still low, which means you may still have limited choices when moving, which makes it important not to make a mistake that you will live to regret, such as overpaying, buying a house with defects or buying in the wrong location
What sets Novello Apart From Others?
Our innovative approach to property surveying makes us stand out from other surveyors, which gives our customers the most comprehensive and useful reports on the market. All our surveyors are trained to use the latest technology to produce digital reports efficiently and accurately, including training to conduct drone surveys, which allows us to offer a wide range of survey products.
Then there is our unique Private Client Surveying service, which, as well as a standard building survey, includes significant costings estimates, help to organise any further investigations or quotations that may be needed, and a reflective valuation that takes into account the actual condition of the property following our survey findings, and advice on a renegotiation strategy if required.
What can people expect from working with Novello?
When working with Novello, you can expect to receive the most detailed service available. Our surveyors do not do volume work, instead choosing to work with a few clients per week, which means they focus their time on guiding clients through the entire process. And on top of that, we put a high value on customer service, which is reflected in our feedback and highly rated reviews.
How can people contact Novello?
For any enquiries at all, we can be contacted via our website at www.novellosurveyors.co.uk, by calling 02080641636 or by emailing [email protected].