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Surveys – Which one do I choose?

Buying a property is likely to be the biggest investment you will ever make.  As such, it is important to take advice and make the right choices throughout the process.  One choice you will need to make is which type of survey to have carried out on the property.  It should be remembered that the mortgage valuation report is not a survey at all, just a simple valuation of the property for the lenders purposes.   Many people opt to instruct a more detailed survey before going ahead with a purchase.

The three types available are as follows: -

1. Condition Report
This is a basic overview of the condition of the property, but without any extensive detail.  It is many chosen by buyers of fairly new properties or those in very good condition who are less concerned with structural defects, however it should be remembered that the report does not provide a valuation of the property.  The basic content of a condition report makes it the cheapest survey available.

2.  Homebuyers Survey
A homebuyers survey gives a straight forward opinion on the condition of the property which covers the inside and outside of the building, walls, roof, flooring, ceiling, damp, rainwater drainage, chimneys, windows etc.  The report will also comment on whether the property is priced appropriately and highlight any defects and suggest remedial works that should be considered before committing to the contract or that may affect the negotiation of the price.  The homebuyers survey is perhaps seen as a middle of the road option, but is perhaps not extensive enough if the property is in need of renovation or major works are planned.

3. Building Survey
This used to be known as a structural survey and provides a comprehensive report on the condition of the property and highlights defects, required remedial works and ongoing maintenance advice. Estimates of the costs of repairs can also be offered.  This type of survey is often sought by buyers of older properties or properties of unusual construction.  The building survey is no doubt the most in depth report, however this is reflected in the price as it is also the most expensive option available.

It is best to discuss your options with a firm of Surveyors that offers the different types of surveys to ensure you have professional advice on which survey may best suit your needs and requirements.

Jennifer Smith

Solicitor, Property team

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One Response to Surveys – Which one do I choose?

  1. Pingback: Top tips for buying and selling a house | Davis Blank Furniss Blog

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