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Your guide to choosing the right property survey

Once you’ve found the property of your dreams and before you get carried away, it’s important to make sure that your new home is not going to collapse. It’s easy to get seduced by the way a property looks and feels and miss out on some key structural issues that could end up being costly in the long term. Here is everything that you need to know to choose the property survey that would best suit your needs.

Why do you need a survey?

Buying a property can be an overwhelming and complicated process to understand. While a property survey comes as an additional cost, it’s an essential tool to help you assess the condition of the property and the costs involved to fix any important structural issues. A survey highlighting issues in the property can also help renegotiating the price if some unanticipated works are required.

The types of surveys available

There are different types of surveys to consider when buying a property. Before making your final decision, make sure to check that you have an accurate quotation and understand what will exactly be surveyed. Don’t forget to include those costs in your budgeting and make sure to thoroughly go through the surveyor’s terms and conditions. If you have any concerns or questions you can always get in touch with the surveyor to make sure that you’re happy with everything that’s included in the survey.

Don’t solely focus on a lenders valuation

If you’re planning to buy a property using a mortgage, your lender will undertake a valuation to make sure that the property value corresponds to the amount of money you’re planning to borrow. As this is compulsory for those planning to take a mortgage, many buyers refrain from taking an independent survey and choose to rely solely on this process. You need to remember that a lenders valuation is only for the lender and will not provide you with detailed information related to the structure of the property.

Condition report

A condition report will give you an overview of the condition of the property you’re intending to buy and will identify the key risks and dangers associated with the building and its overall structure. This report is usually recommended to complement the lenders valuation but will not provide you with an entire structural report on the property. It is recommended for new-build properties and those in good conditions.

Homebuyer survey

This survey is more expensive than a condition report but will provide you with more details. This type of survey usually includes a more detailed overview of structural issues as well as maintenance and repair costs associated to the property. It will also include any additional rebuild costs associated with the property. A homebuyer survey is usually recommended for properties in reasonable conditions.

Building survey

A building survey can be quite costly to implement and is recommended if you have concerns about the state of the property and its structure. It will provide you with a detailed report on the property and can be really useful if the house is quite old or has been extensively altered by its previous owners. With this survey you will get a comprehensive report including a full breakdown on the condition of the property with a thorough diagnosis of defects, maintenance and repairs involved.

How to instruct a surveyor?

It’s essential that you do not rush into things. Make sure to speak to your estate agent and conveyancer to discuss any concerns that you may have in regards to the property and seek advice on which survey best meets your needs.


If you’d like any more information on how property surveys, or help with choosing the one that’s right for you, give our property experts a call on 020 7078 0214 or email