Different House Surveys, Which One is right for me?

Very few people, approximately 15 percent only, acquire a professional property survey, before buying themselves a future new home. There are various thoughts on the matter of house valuations. Getting a survey, could hold up the house buying process, are costly, and some are clearly not worth paying for. A survey, can avoid stress and expense in the long run, if you research and choose the correct one for you and your sale.


A mortgage valuation – the facts

* A mortgage valuation, is very different from a survey. The valuation, just takes a brief look at the property, to undertake its worth and notes any areas that are problematic or could be in the future, affecting value.

* To obtain a mortgage, the lending company, will use registered and regulated people, who they get to do this, and who they trust to perform this service for them. Ensuring the property has enough security to secure the loan.

* This is a chargeable service, so you may have to pay. However, as an attraction for new custom, a lender may cover the costs.

* The cost of the valuation, maybe added on to the mortgage repayments in some cases.

* Mortgage valuations, can be expensive, in regards the work that is attached to them. But it is an element that buyers have no choice but to have.

* Lenders charge varying prices for mortgage valuations.

These quotes are a bit out of date now from 2012:

PROPERTY VALUE       £140,000             £360,000             £700,400         £1,00,000

Northern Rock                 £150.00             £260.00               £360.00           £500.00

RBS                                       £250.00               £340.00               £500.00           £600.00

Nationwide                       £210.00               £350.00               £540.00           £720.00

* It is best to choose a good mortgage valuation, and a company you are happy with. As opposed to saving a few hundred pounds, you will save in the long run with a lower interest rate.

* The property market is unpredictable, with many highs and lows. Mortgage valuations, often reflect this, putting generally a low value on the property. This cautious attitude, reduces the risk for the mortgage company. The home buyer, can be confused, and have problems, if the valuation suggests the property is not worth, what they are paying for it.

A Survey – The facts

*A survey, is an in depth inspection, of the condition of a property. A surveyor, is paid to inspect the property, and alert you to the flaws in the building, that need attention.

* Repairs or alterations that are needed, perhaps rewiring, repairs to the roof etc.

* Structural problems, making an awareness of subsidence or crumbling walls.

* Written commentary, embracing everything, from the type of glazing or the type of wall structure.

Who processes the survey?

* Qualified surveyors, must be used to carry out a survey. They will give a true picture of the property.

* Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, has a wide membership. Most surveyors, who are qualified, belong to this organisation.

* It is recommended, to use a RICS qualified surveyor, because they have an indemnity insurance.

* However, a local surveyor, may have a more localised knowledge of market values.

* Do some research, it is better to employ a specialised surveyor, with experience in a specific field, if you are buying an unusual house.

Differing companies’ prices vary greatly. It is best to have at least three or four quotes from surveyors, before you make a decision on a representative.

Is a survey an necessity?

A survey, can prove useful, which will avoid unexpected surprises, like re-wiring jobs. It will give you a feeling of safety, knowing that the walls aren’t going to fall down around you. It will give you peace of mind, especially if you haven’t bought or owned a property before. It will give reassurance. the survey, and the information it provides, may make you think again about whether to buy the premises or negotiate a reduction in price. If repairs, need to be done, costing £10,000, then its not unreasonable to ask for a deduction from the house price. or the seller, could be asked to fix any problems before you buy it.

Experienced buyers, however, think surveys are expensive, and don’t bother with them. The surveyor, just suggests, what you might have and tells you to seek further professional advice. The reports, are often so cautious that they don’t give clear reports. Surveyors, may advise doing work, that isn’t essential or necessary. If it is suggested in the survey, the mortgage lender will insist on it being done. Perhaps, in certain situations, it maybe worthwhile to get a survey.

* If you have worries about any part of the property.

* It is a listed building

* The property has a thatched roof or is timber framed.

* The property is very old or an unusual property.

Different surveys – which one to choose?

There is not just one type of survey. the one to choose, depends on the age of the property and its condition, and a deciding factor, how much you can afford to spend.

Condition Report

This is the most basic of surveys. It is really a wate of money, unless you are a novice, in the property world, and need reassurance of a successful buy.

* This report, doesn’t include any advice or a valuation

* It is rarely useful, but does provide a summary of risks to the building.

* It compliments the mortgage valuation.

* It has ‘traffic light’ indications, signalling the state of parts of the property. Green, means everything is ok. Orange, shows cause for concern,and red, means serious repairs need to be instigated.

Home Buyer’s Report

A more detailed survey.

* This will bring up, major problems that are obvious, such as rot or subsidence.

* Homebuyers Reports, however, are chock a block with statements to cover all aspects of the surveyors critiques, yet can appear pointless.

* The surveyor, will not look for hidden faults, will not look behind furniture, nor lift up floor boards. So the report is limited and not in depth.

* It does, however include a valuation and insurance reinstatement value. This means (how much you would receive if the building burnt down)

Building Survey

These surveys, are expensive, but perhaps worth the money.

* Included in the survey, includes advice on repairs and provides timings and costs, and will let you know what will happen if you don’t attend to these repairs.

* This is an extended survey with reports at the end.

* The price range is between £600.00 and £2,000.00 depending on the worth of the property.

* The surveyor, will check behind walls, look between floors and ceilings.

* A building survey, can be done if you want to do more serious building works.

* A survey of this sort, is important, if the property is very old, listed, unusual in any way, like having a thatched roof or is timber framed.

My Survey – How can I get the most from mine?

Complaints, are often echoed, stating how difficult it is to know how to respond to survey reports. The following points might help get the most out of your surveyor:

* A good surveyor, who is conscientious and experienced, will be more valuable for your money.

* Do some research, involve friends and relatives. Ask for references, and check on them, and choose the report that will be more useful for your property situation.

* Ask your surveyor questions, tell them your worries and ask advice.

* Make sure, that everything is looked at by them, even moving furniture to provide an in depth survey.

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