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Guides – Survey Types

Survey Types

There are several types of property surveys available to buyers, each with varying levels of detail and cost.
  • Mortgage valuation survey (Level 1)

  • HomeBuyer report (Level 2)

  • Building survey (Level 3)

  • Snagging survey

  • Specific defect survey

The cost of a property survey can vary depending on the type and size of the property, as well as the location and the surveyor’s experience. It’s recommended you consider the level of detail they require and seek advice from their solicitor or conveyancer before choosing a survey.
Please find more detailed information and an overview of the expected costs for each type of survey below.

Basic Mortgage Survey

Typically, a basic survey, or mortgage valuation is for the lender’s purpose, meaning the property is being valued for the benefit of the lender who is considering providing the mortgage. The valuation is typically performed by a professional valuer/surveyor who is appointed by the lender to assess the property’s value.
The purpose of the valuation is to determine whether the property is worth the amount of the loan being requested, and to provide an assurance to the lender that the property could be sold for at least that amount in the event that the borrower defaults on the loan. The lender will use the valuation report to decide whether to approve the loan, and if so, the maximum amount of the loan that will be granted.
A surveyor may carry out a ‘remote’ or ‘desktop’ survey meaning the doesn’t physically visit the property, instead they utilise technology and data to determine the suitability of the property for mortgage purposes.
The decision to carry out a remote survey will depend on the lender’s policy and the type of mortgage being applied for. Some lenders may require an in-person valuation for certain types of mortgages, such as those with high loan-to-value ratios or for properties in certain areas.
It’s important to note that the valuation report is prepared solely for the lender’s purposes and is not intended to be a comprehensive assessment of the property’s condition or value. The borrower may wish to commission their own survey or valuation to obtain a more detailed understanding of the property’s condition and market value.

HomeBuyer Report

A RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) HomeBuyer Report is a type of survey report that provides a detailed assessment of the condition of a property. The report is typically requested by a homebuyer before purchasing a property and is carried out by a qualified RICS surveyor.
The report provides an overview of the property’s condition, highlighting any significant defects or issues that may affect its value or require repair. It is designed to help the buyer make an informed decision about the property and to identify any potential risks or liabilities.
A RICS HomeBuyer Report typically includes the following:
 – An inspection of the property, including its structure, roof, walls, floors, windows, and doors.
 – A report on any major defects or issues with the property that may affect its value or require repair, such as damp, subsidence, or structural damage.
 – An assessment of any potential risks or liabilities associated with the property, such as environmental risks, drainage issues, or issues with nearby buildings.
 – Advice on necessary repairs and ongoing maintenance requirements for the property.
 – At an additional cost, you can obtain a market valuation of the property, based on its condition and local market conditions.
The report is designed to be easy to read and understand, and includes a traffic light system to highlight any significant issues or defects. The report is usually provided within a few days of the inspection and can be used by the homebuyer to negotiate the price of the property or to request repairs before completing the purchase.

Building Survey

A building survey is a comprehensive inspection of a property that provides detailed information about its condition, construction, and any defects or issues that may affect its value or safety. It is typically conducted by a qualified and experienced surveyor and is the most thorough type of property survey available.
A building survey will typically cover the following areas:
 – Structural integrity: The surveyor will assess the condition of the property’s foundations, walls, floors, and roof, looking for any signs of damage or deterioration.
 – Building fabric: The surveyor will examine the condition of the property’s external and internal walls, windows, doors, and other building elements to identify any defects or issues.
 – Services: The surveyor will evaluate the condition of the property’s plumbing, heating, and electrical systems, and assess whether they meet current safety standards.
 – Environmental issues: The surveyor will check for any environmental issues such as the presence of asbestos, radon, or other hazardous materials.
 – Accessibility: The surveyor will assess the accessibility of the property, including any issues related to disability access.
 – Energy efficiency: The surveyor will assess the property’s energy efficiency and provide recommendations for improvements.
The building survey report will typically include a detailed description of any defects or issues identified, along with recommendations for repair or remediation, and an estimate of the costs involved. It will also provide an overall assessment of the property’s condition and value, allowing the buyer to make an informed decision about whether to proceed with the purchase and negotiate any necessary repairs or adjustments to the sale price.

Snagging Survey

A snagging report is a type of inspection carried out on a new build property in the UK, typically just before completion, to identify any defects or issues that need to be addressed by the developer or builder before the property is handed over to the buyer. Here’s what a typical snagging report in the UK may include:
 – Structural issues: The surveyor will examine the property’s foundations, walls, and roof, looking for any structural defects or issues that may impact the safety or stability of the property.
 – Finishing and decoration: The surveyor will look for any issues with the finishing and decoration of the property, such as paintwork, tiling, flooring, or wallpapering.
 – Electrical and plumbing: The surveyor will check the electrical and plumbing systems of the property to identify any issues, such as faulty wiring or leaky pipes.
 – Windows and doors: The surveyor will assess the quality and operation of the windows and doors, checking for any faults or defects.
 – Fittings and fixtures: The surveyor will examine the quality and operation of any fittings and fixtures, such as light fittings, switches, and sockets.
 – Appliances: The surveyor will check the operation of any appliances that come with the property, such as ovens, fridges, and washing machines.
The snagging report will typically provide a detailed description of any defects or issues identified, along with photographic evidence, and recommendations for repair or remediation. The report is then presented to the developer or builder for rectification before the property is handed over to the buyer.

Specific Defect Survey

A specific defect survey is a type of property survey carried out in the UK that focuses on a specific defect or issue that has been identified in a property. It is typically carried out by a qualified surveyor and is designed to provide detailed information about the cause and extent of the defect, as well as recommendations for repair or remediation.
Here are some examples of specific defects that may be the subject of a specific defect survey:
 – Damp: The surveyor will identify the source of any dampness in the property and assess the extent of the damage caused by the damp. The surveyor will also provide recommendations for remediation, such as installing a damp-proof course or improving ventilation.
 – Subsidence: The surveyor will assess the cause and extent of any subsidence or movement in the property’s foundations or walls. The surveyor will also provide recommendations for remediation, such as underpinning or stabilisation work.
 – Roofing issues: The surveyor will identify any issues with the roof of the property, such as leaks, missing tiles, or structural damage. The surveyor will also provide recommendations for repair or replacement of the roof.
 – Structural issues: The surveyor will assess the condition of the property’s foundations, walls, floors, and roof, looking for any signs of damage or deterioration. The surveyor will also provide recommendations for remediation, such as repairing or reinforcing structural elements.
 – Timber defects: The surveyor will identify any issues with the timber elements of the property, such as rot, infestation, or damage. The surveyor will also provide recommendations for remediation, such as replacing or treating the affected timber.
The specific defect survey report will typically provide a detailed description of the defect or issue identified, along with photographic evidence, and recommendations for repair or remediation. It may also provide an estimate of the costs involved in carrying out the recommended work.

What Are The Costs of Each Survey?

The cost of a survey when buying a property in the UK can vary depending on the type of survey you choose, the location of the property, and the size and value of the property. Here are some estimated costs of different types of surveys:
 – Basic Mortgage Survey (Level 1): This is the most basic type of survey and provides an overview of the property’s condition. It typically costs between £400 – £500, although your broker will assess the total costs of your chosen mortgage product, as some lenders will offer an incentive of a free, basic mortgage survey.
 – Homebuyer Report (Level 2): This is a more detailed survey that includes an inspection of the property’s visible and accessible areas. It typically costs between £550 and £700.
 – Building survey (Level 3): This is the most comprehensive type of survey and provides a detailed inspection of the property’s structure and condition. It typically costs between £700 and £1,000, depending on the size and complexity of the property.
We can assist in providing quotes for you, just get in touch for a free quotation.

The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate building surveyors.

Thameside Mortgage Ltd are not regulated by The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, we do not have any involvement in the provision of this type of service / activity. We are not qualified surveyors and the information provided on this website is for informational purposes only. The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, inspection, or survey.

It is important to seek professional advice and to undertake a proper survey/inspection before making decisions or taking actions related to a property.

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