When you are in the process of buying a home, a survey is in order. But there are different surveys of which you can avail, whether it’s an obligatory survey such as a mortgage valuation survey or a more thorough building survey. So what should you really expect from a home survey, and how can it help you?
First things first: the mortgage valuation report
If you are buying property and the lender requires you to get a mortgage valuation survey, know this: this survey is only to determine the value of the piece of property; it is not for assessing the structure of the property or issues with repairs or defects. The mortgage valuation survey is different from an actual home survey, because it is mostly for the benefit of the lender. But don’t get it wrong, though: it’s also for your benefit as you have every right to know whether the home is really worth what you are paying for it, but it will not benefit you in regards to knowing if the property is sound and in good condition or if it may need substantial repair work in the future.
Home surveys: the basics
There are different types of home surveys you can get, and this is where the details can become quite confusing. Basically, you have the choice between the condition report, homebuyer report, home condition survey, and full structural or building survey.
The condition report is the least detailed report you can get when buying a piece of property, and it is usually done for new-build properties and homes which area already known to be in good condition. With the condition report, you don’t get a valuation and nor do you receive advice.
If you want something more detailed, the homebuyer report fits the bill. It is suitable for standard properties known to be in reasonable or good condition, but this report will give you information on whether or not there are structural issues or issues on the property’s exterior. Some reports may include a valuation, but all will include suggestions and advice on repairs.
The home condition survey, meanwhile, is more comprehensive and closest to the full structural or building survey. This report is known for its easy-to-understand presentation and its rating system from 1 to 3.
The full structural or building survey is the most detailed of them all, as attested to by surveyors in Essex like those from Cheke & Co. It can be done for properties of different kinds and ages, but is most suitable for older properties. Although it does not contain a valuation, the report consists of detailed information and advice on what repairs are needed for the property, and it also includes the surveyor’s estimation on prospective hidden issues or defects.