A valuation is not a survey A survey should not be confused with a mortgage valuation report. The mortgage valuation will give your mortgage lender assurance for its loan. It will not give you an assessment of the condition of the property, or advice about repairs and maintenance. According to a recent survey of home buyers, of the one in four who relied solely on a mortgage valuation report, 25% needed to undertake unplanned work in the first year, amounting to an average cost of over £1,100. (RICS/GfK NOP Business research). Even if you are looking for a mortgage and, as a result, may be paying for a mortgage valuation report, it is still recommended that you arrange a survey by your own surveyor. The reason for this is that the mortgage valuation report is prepared for your lender – not for you, the borrower. It answers only the lender’s questions about whether the property offers suitable security for your loan. You cannot rely on it to answer the questions that concern your personal interests or to give you details of the condition of the property. Also, some lenders do not provide a copy of their mortgage valuation report.
What choice of surveys do I have? RICS surveyors offer two forms of survey that are specifically designed to help home buyers. These are a Building Survey and the Homescore Report.
A Building Survey (This used to be called a structural survey) A building survey is a customised service suitable for all residential properties and gives full details of their construction and condition. You are likely to need this type of survey if, for example, the property is unusually built or run-down, if the property has been significantly altered, or if you are planning a major conversion or renovation. Building surveys are usually tailored to your needs. The report includes detailed technical information on materials and construction, as well as details of the whole range of defects.
The Homescore Report is priced mid-range – more expensive than a mortgage valuation, but cheaper than a building survey. The surveyor’s main purpose in providing the service is to help you: • make a reasoned and informed decision on whether or not to go ahead with buying the property; • make an informed decision on what is a reasonable price to pay for the property; • take account of any repairs or replacements the property needs; and • consider what other advice to take before exchanging contracts (if the property is in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man) or concluding an offer (if the property is in Scotland). The report covers the inside and outside of the building, the services and the site and includes: • details of the general condition and particular features of the property; • condition ratings for elements of the structure of the building, the services and any garages and permanent outbuildings;• particular points you should refer to your legal advisers; • specific risks associated with the property; • other relevant considerations – for example, the location, the local environment and the energy performance of the property (if this information is available).
What is Homescore?
A new innovative product which will enable you to see the condition of your prospective purchase, sent to you on the day it is carried out. It does not carry a value so it has no bearing on your mortgage offer.
The valuer will rate 18 different areas of the property from 1-10 and comment on the reason for the specific rating.
- Traditional Homes
- Property under 100 years old and not covered by nhbc certificate
- Standard construction
- No extensions or large renovations
The FCA does not regulate surveying.