Once you’ve had an offer accepted on a property, your lender will need to make sure that the house is worth what you said that you’d pay for it. They will do this by performing a property survey on the house.
A property survey will also show the overall condition of a property. If the property is in poor condition needs lots of work doing on it, your lender may lower the original amount that they were going to offer you as their mortgage offer doesn’t match the property price.
From minor damages to repairs that need action taken on them straight away, a property survey will show everything you need to know about a home before you move in.
There are three main types of property survey:
Each survey type is different in how they work, pricing and how long they take to carry out. In some cases, your mortgage lender may include a free property survey in your offer. This entirely depends on the lender that you’ve used as not every lender will offer this service free of charge. If a survey is included within your deal, you may end up paying slightly more for set-up/arrangement fees etc.
Each survey works differently, for example, one survey may go more in-depth than another. If your survey report shows something about your property that you weren’t told about, by law you are allowed to approach the seller and work out an alternative price if necessary.
These are the simplest types of property surveys. Mortgage valuations are performed to measure how much a property is actually worth.
If a Mortgage Valuation is carried out and it’s found that the property is not worth the amount that you’ve agreed to pay for it, your lender may withdraw their offer as they’ll be lending you more than the property’s worth. You can either try and re-negotiate the price with the owner or pay the difference between the offer and how much the lender is now going to lend you. This situation is called a down valuation.
This survey is the cheapest property survey; however, it won’t go into much detail. The survey will focus on obvious repairs and defects such as structural damages. It will not, however, show small, minor damages on the property.
For a report with further detail, you’ll need to upgrade your survey. Although this may be costly, in the long run, this could be worth it as you may find out everything that needs preparing in your home before further damage is done.
A Homebuyer’s Report will determine how safe the property is to live in. The survey looks at issues such as mould, damp walls and ceilings or things that do not pass the current building laws.
The property will be examined from top to bottom, inside and out. The surveyors will look at everything. This process could take up to a day on a large property.
As a mortgage broker in Essex, we would always recommend a Full Structural Survey if you want a detailed report of the home that you’re buying. We would particularly advise those buying an older house to take up this survey too as it will highlight major repairs and damages in the property. Older buildings are more likely to come with defects and damages.
Although a Full Structural Survey is the most expensive property survey, it will provide you with the most information about the property. The report will go in-depth, highlight the overall condition of the property, and show what changes will need to be made if the property purchase goes through.
A Full Structural Survey can take as long as a whole day depending on the size of the property.
If you are buying a new build property, property surveys work a little different. You’d think that since the property is new, you wouldn’t have to get a property survey carried out on it, however, it’s always best to do one just in case.
There is a property survey designed for new builds called a Snagging Survey. This survey will break down the property’s overall condition, pointing out both minor and major issues. The survey can point out something as simple as a missing door hinge to a crack in the ceiling (which is unlikely to find in a new build).
If you’re moving into a new build that’s already been built, it would be wise to get a snagging survey carried out on the property before you move in. This will give you the power to negotiate pricing if there is anything wrong with the property.
If you’re struggling to choose a property survey, our mortgage advisors in Essex are always here to help!
Get in touch with our mortgage team. We’ve helped thousands of First Time Buyers in Essex and Home Movers in Essex choose the best property survey for their new home, let us help you next.
You can obtain the services of a surveyor to carry out a Homebuyers report or building survey through the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.