CHOOSING BETWEEN SURVEYS
Background Information and Advice from the
Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
Why do I need my own Survey
The best way to reach an informed decision on such an important investment as a home is to have a professional survey of the property which interests you.
Before you decide to go ahead and commit yourself legally, you can minimise the risk by asking a qualified surveyor to answer these questions;
Is the agreed price reasonable?
Are there drawbacks I don't know about?
If so, what do I need to do about them?
Commissioning your own survey is the simple, economical way to avoid unpleasant - and perhaps costly - surprises after moving in. In some cases the Surveyor's report may enable you to re-negotiate the price.
I already have a Mortgage Valuation Report....
Even if you are seeking a mortgage - and may be paying for a Mortgage Valuation report - it is still advisable and prudent to arrange a survey by your own surveyor. The Consumers Association Which? magazine and the Council of Mortgage Lenders both give this advice.
The reason is simple: the Mortgage Valuation report is prepared for the lender - not for you, the borrower
It answers only the lender's questions concerning the appropriate security for your loan. You cannot rely on it to answer the questions which concern your personal interests.
According to the RICS, "A quarter of all homebuyers who only had a mortgage valuation survey had to make unplanned building works to their property after purchase"
"On average the bill for these works, such as damp-proofing or repairing a roof, came to £1,818".
What Choice of Surveys do I have?
The RICS Condition Report
Choose this report if you’re buying or selling a conventional house, flat or bungalow built from common building materials and in reasonable condition. It focuses purely on the condition of the property by setting out the following:
• clear ‘traffic light’ ratings of the condition of different parts of the building, services, garage and outbuildings, showing problems that require varying degrees of attention;
• a summary of the risks to the condition of the building; and
• other matters including guarantees, planning and building control issues for your legal advisers.
An RICS Condition Report does not include a valuation, we may be able to provide this as a separate extra service.
Ask for a detailed ‘Description of the RICS Condition Report Service’ leaflet.
The RICS HomeBuyer Report
Choose this report if you would like more extensive information whilst buying or selling a conventional house, flat or bungalow, built from common building materials and in reasonable condition. It costs more than the Condition Report but includes:
• all of the features in the Condition Report plus a more extensive inspection;
• the surveyor’s professional opinion on the ‘Market Value’ of the property;
• an insurance reinstatement figure for the property;
• a list of problems that the surveyor considers may affect the value of the property;
• advice on repairs and ongoing maintenance;
• issues that need to be investigated to prevent serious damage or dangerous conditions;
• legal issues that need to be addressed before completing your conveyancing; and
• information on location, local environment and the recorded energy efficiency (where available).
Ask for or a detailed ‘Description of the RICS Homebuyer Service’ leaflet.
The Building Survey
Formerly called a structural survey, you could choose the building survey if you’re dealing with a large, older or run-down property, a building that is unusual or altered, or if you’re planning major works. It costs more than the other RICS reports because it gives detailed information about the structure and fabric of the property. It includes:
• a thorough inspection and detailed report on a wider range of issues;
• a description of visible defects and potential problems caused by hidden flaws;
• an outline of repair options and the likely consequences of inactivity; and
• advice for your legal advisers and details of serious risks and dangerous conditions.
A building survey does not include a valuation, but we may be able to provide this as a separate extra service.
We shall be pleased to discuss your requirements and provide quotations with our full terms and conditions upon request.