Buying a home is a huge financial investment and, as such, you the buyer need to be sure you are not buying a property with lots of hidden problems.  The simple answer is to get a survey done but which is the right one for you? 

There are three types of valuation that can be carried out:  a Mortgage Valuation, a Home Buyer’s Report and a Building Survey.

The basic report is the mortgage valuation, which is essentially a survey done for the lender rather than for you.  It seeks to mitigate their risk by confirming to the lender that the property is a good security for them to lend against.  The report will not tell you any more information about the fabric and structure of the property than the information supplied by the estate agents or in the HIP.  Some lender’s offer such valuations free of charge, however, most are now charging for these valuations to be done even it though it is primarily for their benefit.

Relying on the basic report cab be risky and for this reason serious thought should be given to obtaining a more detailed report on any property other than a new build.

The Home Buyer’s Report changed in January 2010, but these still represent a good choice of report for most purchasers as they are prepared for your benefit and will comment on the structure of the building and highlight any serious defects with the property being purchased.  

The third type of report is a Building Survey, which is the most comprehensive – and therefore most expensive – report, which will cover all aspects of the property.  Normally recommended for older and/or more expensive properties.

A good starting point for collecting information on the different types of survey and getting an idea of cost would be via either Martin Jung & Co or through Martin & Mortimer.  They are both well established highly professional local property surveyors.  However, please note that if the report is to be used for mortgage purposes it is important to make sure that the surveyor is on the lender’s panel.

Andrew Fowler worked for Limetree Financial Services until December 2010. Feel free to contact another member of our team for help or advice.

Posted in Buy-to-let, First Time Buyers, Mortgages, Next Time Buyers