Understand what a survey is for

Last Updated: 29th Apr, 2024

Author: Charlotte Burton

Understand what a survey is for

A survey is an inspection of a property’s condition, conducted by a qualified surveyor. It tells you what repairs are needed, or what big structural issues or defects there are with the property. It costs £300-1,500+, depending on what type of survey you choose to get and the property.

Do I need a survey?

You don’t legally have to get a survey, but buying a property without knowing what issues it has could be a big risk.

Your survey results allow you to:

  • 🚫 Withdraw your offer, if it finds significant problems with the property such as subsidence (property is sinking), damp, or structural problems that would require lengthy & expensive repairs.
  • 🤝 Negotiate down the price, e.g. you might reduce your offer by the amount the repairs will cost, or by half the repairs cost (effectively splitting the repairs bill).
  • 🛠️ Plan any repair work that you need to do before moving in (replastering & redecorating are easier to do before you move lots of furniture in).

Is a mortgage valuation enough?

A mortgage valuation is not the same as a survey. A mortgage valuation is a more basic assessment of the property, carried out on behalf of your mortgage lender, solely to make sure the property's value more than covers their loan amount.

You won’t get to see the problems they find. The outcome of a mortgage valuation is how much money the lender is willing to lend to you for the property based on their valuation of it, or the lender’s requirements for repairs before they will lend you the money.

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