When a mortgage is required to purchase a property, the lender will have their own valuer visit to ensure that their loan is adequately secured. People often confuse this brief valuation report with a survey but they are very different propositions.
Most mortgage valuations consist of a twenty-minute inspection and a report that, at best, will give you a few lines of general advice, whereas a survey will allow you to enter into the purchase with your eyes open.
Which? The Council of Mortgage Lenders and the Building Societies Association advise you to get a survey before buying a property and not just to rely on a valuation. This is to ensure that you fully understand the condition of the building you are about to purchase, as well as the associated costs and repairs it may require in the foreseeable future.
In addition, property surveys can actually save you money. If problems are highlighted that you could not have been aware of when your offer was agreed, you should be able to re-negotiate the sale price to reflect the cost of necessary repairs. Of course, you may decide that you don’t want to buy it at all.
The RICS categorise surveys by ‘levels’ ranging from 1 to 3. A level 1 survey is a very basic condition report – we do not offer this type of report as we consider it too basic to be of any use to our clients.
The RICS Homebuyer Report is a level 2 survey. It is a cost-effective method of minimising risk by providing buyers with enough information to make a reasoned and informed decision on whether to proceed with their purchase. Elements, both inside and out, are given condition ratings based on a traffic light system and there are further sections highlighting the risks and summarising issues that you should discuss with your legal adviser. The Homebuyer Report can also include both the market value and the estimated reinstatement cost if required.
A Building Survey is a level 3 survey and is a very detailed report. Some restrictions may still exist to avoid the property being damaged but within these limitations, the survey will be complete. A building survey not only describes the visible defects but considers potential problems caused by hidden flaws and provides an outline of repair options and the likely consequences of inactivity.
If you require a bespoke report covering a particular issue or element we offer detailed Specific Defects Reports.
As well as property surveys, we also offer standalone valuation reports for various purposes including tax planning, matrimonial proceedings and staircasing shared ownership properties.
Peter Barry Surveyors are regulated by the RICS meaning that we must follow strict rules of conduct – including having in place insurance to protect you – our surveyors must update their skills and knowledge throughout their careers so you can rely on their expertise and you are protected by a complaints procedure and access to independent redress through an Ombudsman scheme.
Our multi-disciplined team has a range of expertise to help you with any project, and allows us to provide a detailed, comprehensive service to every client.