Choosing the right property survey


There will come a point in your house-hunting ventures when you finally find the right home, but before you go ahead and finalise the buy it’s important to ensure the property is not going to collapse around you; buyers often miss or even ignore things like crumbling bricks, peeling paint and noisy pipes. This is where a survey comes in, to assist in spotting possible flaws throughout a property, which can only be of benefit when it comes to negotiating the price.

Mortgage Lender’s valuation

Many buyers rely on a mortgage lender’s valuation, which reveals serious issues that affect a property’s value. A valuation is a relatively simple process; a surveyor will check the property throughout and evaluate its value based on its overall condition, the value of property in the area and the overall state of the housing market. The report will also contain a summary of the property’s condition, as well as comments on any possible faults that may be existent. This is probably the only survey you’ll need if you’re buying a new build, otherwise you may need to have a more comprehensive survey carried out.

Types of surveys

The two surveys available are a homebuyer’s and a building survey; both are carried out by chartered surveyors and are recognised by The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

A homebuyer’s survey is more comprehensive than a valuation report. This survey checks the overall condition of the property (similar to the valuation report), any major faults and any urgent issues which require specialist advice. It will look for damp within walls, timber damage and the condition of damp-proofing. The survey also covers drainage and insulation, as well as what it will cost to rebuild the property for the purpose of insurance and the value of the property on the open market.

A homebuyer’s survey however is not appropriate for properties in need of renovation or serious changes; these require a full structural survey or building survey, which examines major issues and small defects, the cost of repairs, materials used in the building of the property, and its location.

Do you need a survey?

A survey acts to assess the overall state of a property and achieve transparency, so you know exactly what you’re buying and its overall value. A survey can typically cost a few hundred pounds, but it’s a wise investment as you could be risking spending thousands of pounds later on fixing issues you weren’t aware of beforehand. Many homeowners even pay for a survey before putting their home on the market, since it will locate any issues that may need to be addressed before it gets listed with an agent. It also signals to potential buyers that you care about your home and have done everything you can to make sure it’s suitable for the next owners.

Read more about the different property surveys

Will you be paying for a survey on your own home or a property you’ve got your eye on? Let us know on Twitter @haart_uk!