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It's normally a good idea to have a survey on a home before you commit to buying it.
A survey report should uncover any serious problems and may provide information you could use to re-negotiate the asking price.
In addition to a basic mortgage valuation there are two different types of home survey available, these are the Homebuyers Report and the Full Structural Survey. The most appropriate survey will normally depend on the age of the house, but other factors such as location or obvious signs of problems could affect the suitability of each type.
This basic valuation will be independent of the figure being marketed by an estate agent and will normally be conducted by a qualified surveyor. If the valuation of the property is less than the figure being asked this can result in the mortgage offer being reduced. In this situation it may be possible to re-negotiate the asking price although you probably wonít have any specific details to refer to - a basic lenderís valuation wonít normally result in a written report. The basic valuation is not a full survey and is very unlikely to go into any detail about the state of the property.
A typical basic valuation fee can be around £200 although this may be waived with some type of mortgage.
The Homebuyers report advises only on areas of the property that are visible. Surveyors therefore cannot lift floorboards or knock holes in the wall to check for damp and other problems.
The RICS homebuyers report is presented in a standard format and is designed specifically as an economical survey and is a cost-effective way to minimise risk to potential purchasers of a property.
Typical costs for this type of survey will be around £450.
The Full Building survey is especially recommended for older buildings and those constructed out of unconventional materials. The surveyor will check the property thoroughly and give an appraisal of the form and materials of construction. The surveyor will give a technical analysis of significant defects revealed and guidance on appropriate further actions. As well as any major problems the full structural survey report will Identify less significant defects, general disrepair and shortcomings in the physical condition, maintenance and design of the building.
This type of survey is extremely comprehensive both in the extent of inspection and in the detail of the report, the full building survey or full structural survey can typically cost upwards of £700.