Background information and advice from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Incorporated Society of Valuers and Auctioneers.
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 minimize the risks by asking a qualified surveyor to answer these questions for you:
Even if you are seeking a mortgage and maybe 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 Lenders questions concerning the appropriate security for your loan. You cannot rely upon it to answer the questions which concern your personal interests.
RICS members also offer two forms of survey which are specifically designed to help home buyers:
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...
The service – the Inspection, the Report and the Valuation – are all explained in detail in the accompanying description of the Home Buyer Service, but the highlights are:
This is an economy package
Because of the practical limits on the type of property and on the scope of its coverage...