Should I have a survey done?

You are about to make one of the most important financial decisions of your life. By obtaining a survey you can ensure you are in the know about your property and there are no surprises after you move in.

A survey might appear as additional, unnecessary cost, but it is better to be aware of any matters that might need attention now, rather than discover problems that are time consuming and expensive to resolve, after you move in.  It will also give you comfort that the price agreed represents market value.


I am having a mortgage so does my lender do a survey?

No. All the lender needs is a valuation of the property, so they are comfortable that they are not lending you more than the property is worth. Although you may be paying for it, this valuation is carried out for the benefit of the lender only. It is not a detailed inspection, and it will not necessarily alert you to faults or potential issues with the condition of the property, unless it affects the mortgageability.

It is often possible to request a detailed survey to be carried out at the same time as the mortgage valuation.


What types of survey are available?



This is a first level report that can be used for ‘conventional’ properties such as houses, flats or bungalows that are constructed from common building materials and in a reasonable condition. The report focuses purely on the condition of the property and provides:

  • ‘traffic light ratings’ that clearly show the different parts of the building, services, garage and outbuildings
  • will show problems that require varying degrees of attention
  • a summary of the risks to the condition of the building
  • coverage of other matters including planning and building control issues and guarantees for your legal advisors


This report is provided on your behalf, rather than your lenders. Please be aware it does not provide either a valuation or insurance reinstatement figure.



This report provides more extensive information than the condition report. It is suitable for ‘conventional’ properties such as houses, flats and bungalows that are constructed from common building materials and in a reasonable condition. It will provide all of the information included in the Home Condition Report as well as the following additions:

  • a ‘market valuation’ based on the surveyor’s professional opinion
  • a list of problems the surveyor considers may affect the value of the property
  • advice on repairs and ongoing maintenance
  • an insurance reinstatement figure
  • issues that need to be investigated further to prevent serious damage or dangerous conditions
  • legal issues that need to be addressed before conveyancing is completed
  • information on the location, local environment and, where available, information on the recorded energy efficiency



This is a much more detailed assessment of the property than the Homebuyer’s Report and is often recommended for much older properties, or those of unconventional construction or features (such as a thatched roof).  The surveyor will seek to look at all parts that are easily accessible or visible, in order to assess the structure and condition of the property.

You should be warned that this type of report can be very detailed, and will aim to identify every possible defect.  The contents of the report should therefore be discussed with your surveyor, and considered in the context of its age and market value – no property is perfect, and the price agreed may well already reflect its condition.


How do I obtain a survey?

It is often possible to request a detailed survey to be carried out at the same time as the mortgage valuation.


For further information and advice call us on 0330 022 9044

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