Dependent on the age, location and condition of a property you are interested in buying, there are a number of types of survey on offer which can act to safeguard your decision and avoid potentially significant costs following your purchase of a new home. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) provides a template for each survey to be followed by RICS registered surveyors. The Surveyors and Valuers Accreditation scheme (SAVA) offer an alternative.
1) Mortgage valuation
Carried out on behalf of your mortgage lender, this survey only exists to confirm whether the property you are buying is roughly worth the amount you want to pay for it. It does not provide any information about the condition of the property even though your lender may charge you for the privilege.
2) RICS condition report
The most basic survey, this gives â€˜traffic lightâ€™ ratings indicating the general condition of different parts of the property, highlighting significant issues, without going into any real detail.
3) RICS homebuyer’sÂ report
Whilst this is a non-intrusive survey (e.g. no lifting of floorboards/ moving furniture etc.), it offers a greater level of detail and highlights problems such as damp and subsidence as well as any breaches of building regulations and obvious repairs needed. It includes a market valuation and re-build costs.
4) SAVAÂ home condition report
This is similar to RICS Homebuyers Report but doesnâ€™t include the market valuation. It highlights obvious issues to follow up on before buying and can flag legal issues for your conveyance to follow up on.
5) RICSÂ building survey (Full structural survey)
Comprehensive and â€˜hands onâ€™, this is the most thorough and detailed survey you can get. It includes an in depth analysis of the structure and condition of the property, listing defects and advice on repairs, maintenance and, if requested, projected costs for any necessary work.
6) New-build snagging survey
This lists both cosmetic and structural defects in brand new properties and can be given to your developer so that all issues can be resolved quickly, prior to completion.
Do I really need a survey?
Costing anything up to Â£1000, you might think that a survey is an unreasonable expense (especially if your lender charges you for their valuation report!) but surveys can expose hidden and necessary repair or remediation work, which you can either require to be done or ask for a matching reduction before proceeding. Both of these can most definitely save you a significant amount of money (and stress) and allow you to make an informed decision about the purchase of your new home.
Here at Edwards, we work with a number of surveyors in Bolton and the surrounding area and would happily arrange for quotations on your behalf allowing you to make a informed choice of both surveyor and choice of survey for your chosen property.