What To Know When Choosing A Survey?

Choosing a survey means finding out about the house survey costs, the differences between a HomeBuyer’s report, building survey and condition report, and what the best type of survey might be for the property you’re buying.

House surveys will help you find out about the condition of the building and, if there are problems, give you a powerful bargaining chip for negotiating the buying price down or asking the seller to fix the problems.

What Types Of House Survey Are There?

There are 4 main types of residential survey, these are;

A Mortgage Valuation

Mortgage valuation reports are usually requested by the
lender before they make a formal mortgage offer.

- A mortgage lender’s valuation is not a proper house survey
- It’s carried out on your mortgage lender’s behalf, not yours, despite the fact that you may have to pay for it.

- A Mortgage Valuation only exists to confirm whether the property you want to buy is roughly worth the amount you want to pay for it, so the lender can decide whether to lend you the amount you’re asking for

- Although it’s often referred to as a ‘survey’,
A Valuation won’t tell you anything about the condition of the property

RICS Condition Report

Suitable if you’re buying a relatively new property with no previous
issues, and just want some reassurance that everything is OK

- The most basic ‘proper’ survey you can get
- Gives an overview of the property’s condition and highlights
significant issues, but doesn’t go into detail - Gives traffic light ratings for the condition of different
parts of the property

RICS Homebuyer Report

This is the most popular type of survey, and the standard choice for
most properties that are in a reasonable condition.
If you’re buying an unusual or period property, or one that requires
significant renovation, it’s best to upgrade to a Premium Building Survey.

- More detailed than a condition report
- Highlights problems, such as damp and subsidence
- Includes advice on necessary repairs and ongoing maintenance
- Points out anything that doesn’t meet current building regulations

Premium Building Survey

A good option if you’re buying a property that's
over 50 years old or in a poor condition. Also worthwhile if you’re planning to do significant
work or have major concerns about a property. Usually only undertaken on houses, not flats.

- The most thorough survey you can get
- Provides a comprehensive analysis of the structure and condition of the property
- Lists defects and advises on repairs and maintenance
- The surveyor will be ‘hands on’ and will do things such as check
the attic and look under floorboards
- You can ask for the report to include projected costs
and timings for any repair work
- Depending on the size of the property it may take a day to complete