Our team of experienced Chartered Surveyors cover a wide geographical area from the Bucks/Northants border in the north to Surrey and Hampshire in the south and West London to West Berkshire and Oxfordshire.
In general, our services include valuations for lending purposes, buildings insurance assessment, family division and probate. We also conduct full building surveys and prepare RICS Home Buyers Reports for private individuals.
CHOOSING BETWEEN SURVEYS
Why do I need my own Survey?
The best way to reach an informed decision on such an important investment
as a home is to have a professional survey and valuation of the property which
interests you. Before you decide to go ahead and commit yourself legally, you
can minimise the risks by asking a qualified surveyor to answer these questions
- Is the agreed price reasonable?
- Are there drawbacks I don’t know about?
- If so, what do I need to do about them?
Commissioning your own survey is the simple, economical way to avoid unpleasant
– and perhaps costly – surprises after moving in. In some cases, the surveyor’s
report may enable you to negotiate the price.
I already have a Mortgage Valuation report
Even if you are seeking a mortgage – and may be paying for a Mortgage Valuation
report – it is still advisable and prudent to arrange a survey by your own surveyor.
The Consumers’ Association Which? magazine and the Council of Mortgage
Lenders both give this advice.
The reason is simple: the Mortgage Valuation report is prepared for the lender
– not for you, the borrower. It answers only the lender’s questions
concerning the appropriate security for your loan. You cannot rely on it
to answer the questions which concern your personal interests.
What choice of surveys do I have?
RICS and ISVA members also offer two forms of survey which are specifically
designed to help homebuyers:
A Building Survey
(formerly called a structural survey)
A Building Survey is suitable for all residential properties and provides
a full picture of their construction and condition. It is likely to be
needed if the property is, for example, of unusual construction, is dilapidated
or has been extensively altered – or where a major conversion or renovation
is planned. It is usually tailored to the client’s individual requirements.
The report includes extensive technical information on construction and materials
as well as details of the whole range of defects, major to minor.
The HOMEBUYER SURVEY & VALUATION
(usually called ‘The HOMEBUYER Service’)
By contrast, The HOMEBUYER Service is in a standard format and is designed
specifically as an economy service. It therefore differs materially from
a Building Survey in two major respects.
- It is intended only for particular types of home: houses, flats
and bungalows which are:
- conventional in type and construction
- apparently in reasonable order
- It focuses on essentials: defects and problems which are urgent
or significant and thus have an effect on the value of the property – although
it also includes much other valuation information.
The HOMEBUYER, unlike a Building Survey, provides not only a survey but also
a valuation as an integral part of the Service.
What else should I know about the HOMEBUYER Service?
The Service – the inspection, the report and the valuation – are all explained
in detail in
the accompanying Description of the HOMEBUYER Service, but the highlights
- This is an economy package. Because of the practical limits on the
type of property and on the scope of its coverage, the HOMEBUYER Service
is priced mid-range – more expensive than a Mortgage Valuation, but less
than a Building Survey.
- The surveyor’s main objective in providing the Service is to assist
the prospective homebuyer to:
- make a reasoned and informed judgement on whether or not to proceed
with the purchase
- assess whether or not the property is a reasonable purchase at the agreed
- be clear what decisions and actions should be taken before contracts
The surveyor also gives his or her professional opinion on the particular features
of the property which affect its present value and may affect its future resale.
- The concise report covers the building inside and outside, the services
and the site. It focuses on the defects and other problems which in the judgement
of the surveyor are urgent or significant, but it also covers:
- the general condition and particular features of the property
- particular points which should be referred to the client’s legal advisers
- other relevant considerations concerning, for example, safety, the location,
the environment, or perhaps insurance.
Matters which are judged to be not urgent or not significant are in general
not included in the report, but the surveyor will mention matters judged
to be both helpful and constructive.
- Where the client has a particular concern – perhaps whether the property
is suitable for a disabled person – the surveyor will keep this in mind during
the inspection. Or, a specific addition to the Service – perhaps to the standard
inspection – may be agreed between client and surveyor.
Where necessary, the surveyor may also be able to provide some extra service
which is outside the scope of the standard package – perhaps providing a schedule
of minor defects (for later discussion with a contractor), or arranging for
the testing of mains services by suitably qualified specialists.
- Where the client should take some action before deciding to proceed
with the purchase, this is signalled clearly in the text of the report and
included in the summary of action and other key considerations.
The main features of the HOMEBUYER Service are compared
below with those of a Building Survey:
Survey & Valuation
Type of property
Conventional houses, flats, bungalows, etc., in apparently reasonable condition
Any residential or other Property, in any condition
Type of service
Economy package in standard form
Custom-made to client’s individual
Objects of service
To assist client to:
- make an informed judgement on whether or not to proceed;
- decide whether or not property is a reasonable purchase at agreed
- assess urgent and significant matters before exchanging contracts
To provide client with:
- assessment of construction/condition of property; and
- technical advice on problems and on remedial works
Focus on urgent and significant
Details of construction/materials/defects
Integral part of HOMEBUYER Service
Provided as agreed extra
Form of Report
Compact, fixed RICS format
Usually much longer, in surveyor’s
THE ROYAL INSTITUTION OF CHARTERED SURVEYORS 1997