Frequently Asked Questions

1. What will a Homebuyer Report cover?
2. What will a Building Survey cover?
3. When do I need a Valuation?
4. When should I have a Building Survey?
5. Why should I pay for a survey?
6. What is a Valuation?
7. What is a Mortgage Valuation?

1. What will a Homebuyer Report cover?
A Homebuyer Report is produced in a standard format, defined by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). It is designed for houses and flats built after about 1880 which are of conventional construction and reasonable condition.
Although based upon a thorough inspection it is less detailed than a building survey. It will include the general condition, any significant defects in accessible parts of the property and comment on the existence and condition of damp proofing, insulation and drainage (although the latter will not be tested). Walls will be checked for dampness and timbers for damage including rot and worm. The recommended reinstatement cost for insurance purposes will be given as well as a market valuation.
The report is produced in colour with traffic light system (red, amber or green) indicating condition ratings and urgency of repairs.
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2. What will a Building Survey cover?
A building survey involves a detailed examination of all accessible parts of a property and can be tailor-made to suit your individual needs and concerns.

It will advise in detail on the general construction of the property, its stability, the need to carry out urgent repairs and other potential expenditure. The report will contain a full description of the premises and the structural components, finishes and fixtures and a statement of their condition so far as they are exposed and accessible. It will advise as to the seriousness of defects listed and possible remedies. The walls will be checked for dampness and the exposed timbers for wet or dry rot and woodworm. There will be comments on the existence and condition of damp proofing, insulation and drainage (although the latter will not be tested) Recommendations for any further specialist inspection will be given.
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3. When do I need a Valuation?
BUYING A PROPERTY

A valuation gives you peace of mind that you are paying the correct price when you are purchasing a property without a mortgage.

A valuation is included as standard in Home Buyer Reports and can be added to a Building Survey Report for an additional fee.

PROBATE

DIVORCE

TAX PURPOSES – Capital Gains Tax, Inheritance Tax etc.

OBTAINING A MORTGAGE – normally arranged by your lender.
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4. When should I have a Building Survey?
A Building Survey is a comprehensive inspection suitable for all properties but especially recommended for:

* All listed property
* Those built before 1880
* Any building constructed in an unusual way regardless of its age
* Properties you are planning to renovate or alter in any way
* Properties which have already had extensive alterations
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5. Why should I pay for a survey?
Houses and flats are not always what they seem. Defects are often not readily apparent or are deliberately concealed. Buying a property is a major investment with ongoing obligations so it is essential you find out all you can about the condition of a property you intend to buy or lease.

At worse, serious defects may be found and at best you will have peace of mind of knowing you are going to live in a sound home.

Many clients, armed with the full facts, are able to negotiate for works to be done or the price reduced. Others are prevented from making a costly or ill advised purchase.
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6. What is a Valuation?
A valuation is provided by a Chartered Surveyor and is a formal written document. It gives a simple description of the property being valued and takes into account the location, accommodation and condition and will usually reflect readily apparent defects which could affect value. IT IS NOT A SURVEY.

Many people believe estate agents give valuations of property. In general, unless they are professionally qualified members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (recognised qualifications are FRICS and MRICS) they do not. Most estate agents, when providing guidance on an asking price for a property, are giving a market appraisal.
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7. What is a Mortgage Valuation?
This is a basic description of the premises setting out only the defects which are readily apparent from a brief surface inspection which will affect the adequacy of the property for mortgage purposes. IT IS NOT A SURVEY.
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