You’ve finally found a property you love,and had your offer accepted. The next step should be having a survey carried out. Whilst it’s an optional step along the home-buying journey, it’s definitely one of the wisest investments to make. It’s been reported that a quarter of those who decide against having a survey later discover issues in their new property, which can cost thousands of pounds to remedy.
Mortgage valuations vs. surveys
Don’t be mistaken in thinking that a mortgage valuation is the same as a survey. A mortgage valuation is merely a check by your lender to confirm that the property is worth the money they plan to lend you. It’s another cost to factor into your move, however; whilst some lenders may offer to provide a mortgage valuation for free, it’s always better to prioritise a mortgage with lower interest rates, even if you have to pay for a mortgage valuation in the short term.
A homebuyers survey, meanwhile, should be carried out by a Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) member.
Types of survey
When considering which kind of homebuyers survey to commission, there are several guiding factors. The cheapest option is a Condition Report, offering basic information about any areas of concern. This is classed as a Level One survey. Level Two surveys, such as a HomeBuyers Report, come with various options including valuation and are more thorough. A HomeBuyers Report will identify major visible problems such as subsidence and give you a standardised report.
If you’re looking to buy an older or unusual property or one in poor condition, a Level Three Building Survey is a good choice. Although these are the most expensive types of survey, the surveyor will check all accessible parts of the house and provide a detailed report with recommendations. There’s also the option of a Home Condition Survey, which is rated Level Two and offers practical advice about factors such as broadband availability or boundary issues. This kind of survey is conducted by members of the Residential Property Surveyors Association (RPSA) rather than RICS. You can be advised on your choice via experts such as homebuyers survey .
It’s clear that a survey is an important stage in the house-buying process. The different types of survey mean that there is sure to be an appropriate report for whichever kind of property you choose.