Property Surveys

  • Valuation Report – Mortgage providers usually insist on a valuation report before they will agree to lend you the money. This is to confirm that the property value is sufficient security to cover the loan. If your home is still being built, the mortgage provider will carry out checks on the builder and development. They will usually release the mortgage in stages, handing over the final balance once the house is finished and can be finally valued.
  • Home Condition Report – This report focuses on the condition of the property including the roof, walls, windows, floors and stairs. The condition of each element is reported through clear ‘traffic light’ ratings, identifying problems that require attention. In addition, a summary of risks to the property and occupiers is also given. However, it does not include a valuation or insurance statement.
  • Homebuyer's Report – This provides information about the basic fabric of a property. Only those parts of the property that are readily available will be covered. It will comment on defects or problems that may affect the value of the property.
  • Building Survey - This is a more thorough survey of the property’s construction and condition than a Homebuyer's Report. It is therefore likely to be more costly. It will provide detailed information on how the property has been constructed, the materials used, the condition of the foundations, roof, walls etc. It is recommended for properties that are very old, rundown or expensive.

After deciding which type of survey is best for you, always write to your surveyor to confirm your choice with details of the property and area. New homes often come with a guarantee such as Build Mark that insure against major defects resulting from the builder’s failure to carry out the guarantor’s requirements.

If your new home does not come with a warranty or you would like the peace of mind that a structural survey brings, you could decide to commission a Homebuyer's report. When buying a very expensive home, it may be worth your while to arrange for a full Building Survey.

The cost and time to complete your survey will depend upon which type of survey you have commissioned plus the size, condition and location of your home. It is best to get two or three quotations from different surveyors in the area to assess market rate. You may also wish to speak to your estate agent about typical costs in the area.