It can help you negotiate money off if there is costly work that needs to be done and also help you to budget for any future repairs that might be needed.
You will have to pay for a mortgage valuation in order to secure a mortgage offer but this should not be confused with a survey. The mortgage valuation merely confirms to the lender that the property is worth at least what it is lending you – it is not its responsibility to point out any repairs that need doing.
You should take the cost of the valuation into account when choosing a mortgage.
The mortgage lender can carry out an independent survey for you when it does the valuation but you will have to pay extra for this.
Types of house survey
There are four main types of survey a buyer can purchase.
Home condition survey (Suitable for majority of properties)
This tells you about the condition of the property, whether there are potential problems you should investigate further. This covers structural safety and highlights problems, including damp, as well as anything that doesn’t meet current building regulations. It takes two to four hours to complete, giving an independent and expert view on the property and what the rebuild cost of the property is for insurance purposes. It does not include a valuation.
The home condition survey (HCS) is carried out by Surveyors accredited by SAVA. Surveyors must meet certain standards and follow a code of conduct to join the SAVA HCS certification scheme. You can find an certified surveyor on the SAVA website.
Homebuyer’s report (Suitable for most properties)
This covers structural safety and highlights problems, including damp, as well as anything that doesn’t meet current building regulations. It takes two to four hours to complete, giving an independent and expert view on the property’s value.
Building survey (Suitable for older properties or properties believed to have structural defects)
This survey is for older properties and those of a non-standard construction (e.g. timber). It usually takes a day to complete, depending on the size of the property.
A building survey gives a detailed report on the condition of the property and highlights issues that should be investigated further before going ahead with the purchase. It does not include a valuation.
New-build snagging survey ( Suitable for New Builds only)
This is a specialist survey for new homes that will pick up mistakes such as plumbing the hot to the cold tap or poorly finished paintwork. Your independent inspector will also be able to arrange for the developer to sort out any defects found.
Home Condition Surveys Carried out by Waldren Home Inspection Services