“Why do I need a survey ?”

“Hasn’t my mortgage company already done one?”

If you are buying a property for cash you will probably have already considered the need for a survey and valuation to ensure that your funds are well invested. Indeed, most solicitors will recommend to their clients that they commission a survey in these circumstances.

Most people buying a house, however, do so with the help of a mortgage, and as part of the process will be told that a mortgage valuation is necessary before a mortgage offer can be made. Many people quite naturally assume that because this inspection is being made by a “surveyor” that a survey is being undertaken……... But, this is not a ‘survey’, merely a valuation for the lender to ensure that the sum being lent is covered adequately and frequently you will not even be given a copy.
Also, even if you do receive a copy, you should not rely on its content as a comprehensive statement of the property's condition. A “Mortgage Valuation” is simply an estimate of the properties worth……….albeit by a qualified valuer. A “survey “ is a detailed inspection of the property to establish and report upon its condition, and identify wants of repair. The Survey Report can be accompanied by a valuation which obviously takes into consideration the state of repair and thus seeks to identify the true value of the property. Clearly, buying a house is most peoples single biggest investment, but building repairs can be very expensive, and unexpected works can be particularly irksome when they are not budgeted for. Because the ‘mortgage valuation’ does not provide anything but a brief indication as to the condition of the property, you may wish to consider whether it provides you with the comfort and knowledge that you need before committing yourself to the purchase of your new home


“What type of Survey do I need?”

We are able to provide two types of Survey which you can commission independently of your mortgage and which will give you the further information and firm foundations that you need to make an informed decision whether to proceed with the purchase at the agreed price, or to negotiate a revised figure once you have received an informed report on the properties condition. These are The RICS Home Buyer & Valuation Report and The Building Survey (previously known as a structural survey).

  • The RICS Home Buyer & Valuation Service
This is a popular report which involves a thorough inspection of the property by a qualified Chartered Surveyor. The report is for your benefit and will give you a professional opinion as to whether the property in all the circumstances is a good purchase at the agreed price or not.

The report is in a logical format and designed to be easy to read. The format has been specified by The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (‘The RICS’) the leading professional property body in the UK. It will include an assessment of the property’s Open Market Value which is based upon our findings as to the condition of the property. It highlights defects, potential hazards and any further investigations that are considered necessary, together with comments on matters that you should bring to the attention of your Solicitor and other information that we consider that you may need. It is designed for properties of traditional construction and will not be recommended for older or more individual properties.

  • The Building Survey
This report is suited to older, larger or unusual properties, and will describe in greater detail any evident structural defects which may adversely affect the function, performance, value or saleability of the property.

The inspection can be tailored to suit your individual requirements but naturally includes all visible parts of the property including the roof void where access is available. However the scope of inspection may be limited, particularly if the property is occupied, furnished and carpeted. We can advise on the need for any detailed tests of plumbing, sanitary, heating, electrical and drainage services by specialist companies if required, but we will comment on visible parts of service installations without undertaking such tests. A Building Survey does not normally include a valuation but one can be added if desired at additional cost. We find that many of our clients use the report as a useful checklist of works that need to be undertaken ticking them off as these repairs are completed. The report can also form a basis for securing quotes from a building contractor, although it is not in the form of a specification.

“What do we need to do if we want to commission either a The Home Buyers Service or Building Survey ?”

The first thing to do is to call and ask to speak to one of our Chartered Surveyors who will ask for a description of the type and age of the property you intend to buy, and then they will discuss with you the various merits of these services in relation to the property. The surveyor will provide you with a quote for the provision of the chosen service and send you a letter confirming the quoted fee and provide you with further information on the survey together with a letter of instruction that you should sign and return in the envelope supplied.

The Survey & Report

Upon your verbal instructions we will liase with the vendor or the vendor’s agent to arrange a suitable time to undertake our inspection and following receipt of your letter of instruction we will inspect and report as soon as possible thereafter (usually within 3 days). When the report is ready we will contact you again and confirm that the report is ready for collection or dispatch by post and we will issue this upon payment of the quoted fee. Once you have read the report our surveyor will be pleased to talk you through any aspect of it from a technical viewpoint as an additional part of our service at no further cost.
“When in the house buying process should I commission a Survey ?” Surveys are usually undertaken just after the vendor has accepted your offer . We can and do undertake surveys before our clients submit an offer and the survey can assist in deciding what offer is submitted. This is usually more appropriate for buildings requiring Building Surveys.

About us……..

Sandoes are the longest established independent firm of Surveyors in the Westbury area. The Sandoe family have been active in Westbury for over 30 years and involved in the property business for 5 generations and in excess of 150 years. Our surveying services are undertaken by local Chartered Surveyors who live in the area and know it intimately. The long standing nature of our activity in this area we believe affords us a depth of experience and building knowledge that is unavailable elsewhere within the town under one roof.

These abilities are used to ensure that our clients secure best advice and a quality service from people who are both friendly and approachable.

© Copyright reserved Sandoes 2011
Smallbrook House, Edward Street, Westbury, Wiltshire BA13 3BQ Tel 01373 858505
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