Valuations and Surveys
A Mortgage Valuation
Your lender (bank, building society or other institution) will require a mortgage valuation and will either arrange this to be carried out by its in-house survey department, or alternatively, will instruct a local chartered surveyor to do this. This report will be for valuation purposes only, to satisfy the lender that the property is apparently worth at least the amount of the proposed mortgage loan.
The report will probably cover the age and type of property, construction and general state of repair, and any serious apparent defects. However, such a report is very limited in its scope, and is prepared for the benefit of the lender for the sole purpose of establishing that the value of the property is not less than the amount of the loan (which is often very different from the purchase price), and in our view a buyer should always consider commissioning their own more comprehensive survey, either a House or Flat Buyer’s Report and Valuation or a Full Structural Survey.
For an additional fee, it may be possible to arrange for the lender’s valuer to carry out the more detailed survey and report for the borrower at the same time as the mortgage valuation, which may be less expensive than commissioning another surveyor to carry out a separate inspection. A typical mortgage valuation will involve an inspection of no more than 20 minutes
House or Flat Buyer’s Report and Valuation
This is a “middle of the range” report, is a detailed and economical report on the condition of a house or flat extending to some 7/8 pages and includes a valuation. The Surveyor will inspect the main structure including the roof space, if it is accessible, and will take moisture-level readings. In the case of a leasehold flat, the Flat Buyer’s Report and Valuation will also cover the condition of common parts and services such as central heating. A typical House or Flat Buyer’s Report and Valuation will usually involve inspection of an hour’s duration.
Full Structural Survey
This is particularly useful for old or large properties, but should not be discounted in other cases. The surveyor will report on everything that is visible. The outside of the roof will be examined and a sample of floorboard will be taken up, where practicable. The survey will cover the structure of the building, outbuildings, nearby trees that may cause damage, and water services and drainage. The surveyor may suggest that you have further tests, for example, if wet or dry rot is suspected, or a structural engineer’s report, if structural problems are detected. A full structural survey may involve an inspection lasting some 2-3 hours, or more in some circumstances