Residential Property Surveys

publication date: Apr 21, 2011
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author/source: Kate Faulkner, Designs on Property and Author of Which? Property Books
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Residential Property Surveys


Not having an independent survey on a residential property before purchase may save you money in the short term but may just as easily be ‘a disaster waiting to happen’. There may be many problems of which you are not aware, such as subsidence, damp in the walls or floors, or a leaking roof. Having a survey may prevent your dream home from becoming the ‘house from hell’.

Mortgage Valuation

What you may refer to as the mortgage survey is in fact a Mortgage Valuation and is always carried out – at your cost - by the lender. They used to cost about £100 but now lenders frequently charge from £250 to £600 or even more but however much you pay, bear in mind the Mortgage Valuation is for the lender, NOT you! If things go wrong, such as a problem with the roof, or damp, you are still liable for the costs.

Differences between a Mortgage Valuation and an Independent Survey

Mortgage ValuationIndependent Survey
Only takes a few minutes to an hour Takes a minimum of two hours to a full day
Report is a few pages Reports are typically around forty pages
Report is owned by the lender You own the full report
You have no come back if there are mistakes You will have some recourse for mistakes

Which Survey to Choose

There are various types of independent survey that you can have done on a property. Which one you choose depends on the age, property type and condition of the property. The different types of survey are:-

  • New Build Snagging Survey
  • Home Condition Report
  • Home Buyer’s Survey
  • Building Survey


For more detailed information on all the above mentioned property surveys, download a copy of our Essential Mini Homebuyers' Guide produced for National Homebuyers' Week.

Also visit the RICS website and ensure you look out for companies/surveyors that are ‘Regulated by the RICS’ – visit the RICS or call 0870 333 1600.

National Homebuyers' Week (16th-22nd April)
Thinking or in the process of buying a property and need some help? DOWNLOAD a FREE Designs on Property 'Mini' Homebuyers' Guide here!


Need help with a property problem? Have a question? Why not call Designs on Property on 07585 897128 or Contact Us via email.
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