Property Surveys – a Beginner’s Guide

Property Surveys – a Beginner’s Guide

Having a property surveyed is part of the buying-and-selling process.

However, as with most things in life, you can be spoiled for choice with so many options available to you.

Essentially, house surveys are there to check the condition of the building that you are planning to purchase and to identify any issues that need to be resolved, so that you do not end up with a major problem with your newly-bought property.

Depending on the problem highlighted, it can be a useful negotiating tool in getting a reduction in the asking price.

Here’s our handy guide on property surveys; what’s available and which ones you really need.


What kinds of survey are there?


  1. Mortgage Valuation

This is not a house survey as such but it’s there so that the mortgage lender can see whether the property you want to buy is worth the asking price, so that the lender is sure that it’s a good decision to loan you the funds.

The lender will usually ask for a mortgage valuation before they make you a formal mortgage offer.


  1. Rics Condition Report

This is the standard and base-line survey. It gives a general overview of the condition of the property and identifies any major issues, but doesn’t go any further than that.

A Rics Condition Report is best used when the property you’re buying is relatively new and there’s little risk of any issues with it.


  1. Rics Homebuyer’s Report

This goes beyond the Condition Report and highlights problems such as damp and subsidence.

It will advise on what repairs are necessary to make and also identifies any areas that are failing to meet current building regulations.

This is the survey that the majority of property buyers opt for, as long as the property is in a reasonable condition.


  1. Sava Home Condition Survey

This kind of survey is similar to the Rics Homebuyer’s Report but does not have a market valuation.

The other features of this report are that it includes photographs which make it easier to understand and it also flags up any legal issues for your conveyancer to check out.

The Sava Home Condition Survey is appropriate for most properties that are in a reasonable condition.


  1. Rics Building Survey

This survey is the most detailed that you can have, analysing the structure and condition of the property.

Problems are identified, advice given on repairs and the surveyor will thoroughly inspect the property; checking in the attic and looking under floorboards.

Additional options here are that you can request projected costs and timings for any repair work that is needed.

For larger properties, this survey may take a day to complete.

This survey is commonly used for properties over 50 years old or in a poor condition, as there is more likelihood of issues arising.


So there you have it – an introduction to property surveys and what they cover. Happy property hunting!


If you are looking for further advice on property investment, take a look at the property mentoring services we provide at Nick Fox Property Mentoring here. We offer a range of mentoring packages to suit all needs.



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