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Basic Survey / Mortgage Valuation
When you apply for a mortgage, your lender will carry out a mortgage valuation or ‘valuation survey’ to check the property is worth what you’re planning to pay for it. A mortgage lender may also want to carry out a valuation if you’re applying to remortgage, to check the property is worth what you’ve stated on the application. A mortgage valuation is for the benefit of the lender. Its scope is limited and it only provides information for your bank to understand whether the property will act as viable security for the loan you've asked for. However, a mortgage valuation can also give you a rough idea of whether you're potentially paying too much or too little for a property.
HomeBuyer Report is a survey usually suitable for conventional properties in reasonable condition. Costs start at £400 and increase depending on the property value. This will help you find out if there are any structural problems, such as subsidence or damp, as well as any other hidden issues inside and outside.The HomeBuyer Report doesn’t look beyond the floorboards or behind the walls. Some home-buyers’ reports include a property valuation, so you might be able to revise your offer if the survey reveals a lower price than the mortgage lender’s valuation. If there’s no valuation included, you could use the report’s suggestions for repairs to renegotiate the price. For example, if it’s going to cost you £5,000 to carry out work on the property’s damp walls, it’s reasonable to offer £5,000 less than the asking price.
Structural / Building survey
This is the most comprehensive survey and is suitable for all residential properties. It’s particularly good for older homes or homes that might need repairs. This type of survey typically costs upwards of £600 and provides detailed advice on repairs. It’s very extensive and in some circumstances worth the extra money but it doesn’t usually include a valuation. Although this survey can’t look under floorboards or behind walls it should include the surveyor’s opinion on the potential for hidden defects in this area. The surveyor should also give you information on potential repair options. Again, you could try to save money by comparing the details of the repairs required against the lender’s valuation.