What Mortgage Survey
When you’re getting a mortgage, you’ll need to consider what mortgage survey you need and when to get it.
What is a property survey ?
A property survey is a detailed inspection of a property’s condition. A surveyor appointed, normally by you, inspects the property you’re buying. If any defects are evident, they advise you in a survey report. In addition, a property survey should highlight any major repairs or alterations that may be needed.
What is a mortgage valuation ?
A mortgage valuation isn’t the same as a property survey. Mortgage valuations are required by your mortgage lender, they’re just used to ensure the property your buying is enough security for the loan, they carry no real value for you.
Most mortgage lenders have a preferred panel of companies they instruct when it comes to mortgage valuations, you’ll have very little choice in who’s appointed or what’s being asked. However, the valuation costs, if there are any, are paid by you, even though you may not even be given a copy. Your solicitor may be sent a copy of this report with your mortgage offer. In some cases you can ask your broker, they may be able to obtain a copy for you.
The cost of a mortgage valuation varies depending on the value of the property you’re buying. Some mortgage lenders give free valuations as part of a mortgage deal. Your mortgage broker will advise if this is the case. But, don’t let a free mortgage valuation steer you away from the right mortgage deal.
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Do I need to get a property survey ?
No, a property survey is optional. But this type of survey can help you avoid expensive and unwanted surprises. Equally, they can give you peace of mind. You need to think very seriously about whether a property survey is best suited to you. We recommend a chat with your broker before making any decision.
Should I get a survey ?
As buying a property is likely to be one of the largest financial commitments, you’re likely to make, spending a few hundred pounds on a property survey could be a good idea.
A property survey can help with identifying needed repairs and possible problems with your property. The cost of any essential repairs can be estimated, and all this helps you with your budget. It might even help with negotiating the price you’re paying. In some cases, a survey can highlight severe problems and make you aware of them.
We would recommend a survey if:
- you have any worries about the property
- you are looking to buy an older or unusual property
What sort of survey should I get ?
There are several different types of survey.
A Condition Report is probably the most basic survey you can get, and it’s also the cheapest. Costs are about £300 or more.
This type of report doesn’t go into much detail, so may leave you wanting more:
- It’s designed to complement the mortgage valuation
- It provides ‘traffic light’ indications as to the state of various parts of the property. Green means everything is ok, Amber is some cause for concern, and Red means serious repairs are vital
- It also provides you with a summary of the property’s defects and possible risks affecting the home
- It does not include any advice or a valuation
Home Buyer Report
Home Buyer Reports are, according to the RICS, the most popular choice of report. There are sometimes a couple of choices:
Home Buyer Report Only
A Home Buyer Report tells you about obvious major problems. Say Dry Rot, Subsidence etc. But the surveyor is “non-intrusive”: no floorboards are lifted, furniture moved etc.
Home Buyer Report with Valuation
The Home Buyer Report with valuation includes all the above features, plus a valuation and an insurance reinstatement value, for buildings insurance purposes.
Building surveys are more expensive. But they are more extensive, and you will be given a detailed report. The surveyor should climb up into the loft and check behind walls, look between floors and above ceilings.
You’ll get advice about repairs. Some reports may even provide estimated timings and costs. Additionally, there can be information about what might happen if you do not do the repairs.
Usually, building surveys don’t include insurance reinstatement values or a market valuation.
Buying a new build home
A snagging survey will identify defects or problems which need fixing before you move in. If your new home is built, a good time to get a snagging survey is before exchange of contracts