What is a Homebuyers Survey

One of the key steps in buying a property is getting a property survey completed.

Why have a survey?

The purpose of a survey is to identify any structural defects and reassure your mortgage company that it is a ‘sound investment’ and isn’t going to fall down before you have had a chance to pay the mortgage off!

What option should I go for?

There are a number of different survey options available to you, depending on how much you want to pay and the level of detail you want to get back from the report.

Mortgage providers usually insist on at least a valuation report before agreeing to lend. This will confirm whether or not the property is worth an amount in excess of the mortgage, so if you are unable to pay the mortgage, they can sell the property to recoup the amount owed to them.

A valuation report aims to establish a market value of a property through "scientific" measures, versus a human's inclination. To determine a property's current value, a valuation report uses computer decision logic based on sales trends, title records, neighbourhood analysis, market metrics, tax assessment databases and more

A Homebuyers Report is more in-depth. This is a survey carried out by a professional surveyor from which you receive a report stating the condition of a property and whether or not any repairs need to be carried out. This service is less thorough than a full 'structural survey', but provides reasonably detailed information at a slightly higher outlay than a basic valuation.

The most comprehensive option, a full structural surveywill include a building inspection, a full survey report and a property valuation. As well as any major problems the survey report will identify less significant defects, general disrepair and shortcomings in the physical condition, maintenance and design of the building. The survey is presented in a detailed written report and the surveyor should be available to follow up on, and answer, any questions relating to the findings.

Who does it?

The survey will be carried out by a qualified surveyor, who will be a registered member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. Your mortgage lender will instruct the surveyor on your behalf, and arrange the completion of the survey.
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