Property Survey | Property Terminology | Vesta Glossary

A guide on property survey

What is a property survey? Why do you need one? And what are the costs? Find out all you need to know about surveys from this property terminology glossary post.

What is a property survey?

A property survey is a detailed, professional report of your property’s condition. A surveyor will inspect the property and the land it sits on, reporting on its structural soundness and general state, as well as research the property’s deeds and legal history.

Why do I need a survey of my property?

Although a property survey is not obligatory, most mortgage providers will require a property survey to be carried out of your property before agreeing to the mortgage.

A property survey can also help you decide whether you want to buy a new property, as it can give you insight into how much work a house may need after you have bought it. This can strengthen your position when you come to negotiate the purchase price of a property.

Types of property surveys

  • Mortgage Valuation Survey – a valuation of a property used by lenders to check that it is worth the price that you are paying for it.
  • New-build Snagging Survey – an independent inspection that looks at potential issues with the property to find any faults that require fixing before you move in.
  • RICS Condition Report – a basic type of property survey that includes a summary of the property’s defects and potential risks, but does not include any expert advice.
  • RICS HomeBuyers Report – a more detailed type of survey, which comes in two options: just a survey or a survey and a valuation. The survey in both options will let you know of any major problems with the property, going into much more detail than a Condition Report. The purpose of a valuation is to give you an accurate idea of how much your property is worth. This will also include an insurance reinstatement value, which tells you how much you would receive if the building was to be destroyed.
  • RICS Building Survey – the most extensive type of survey and one that will give you a more detailed report that covers all areas of the property. It will also include expert advice about any necessary repairs, estimated costs for these fixes and what could happen if they were left unrepaired. This survey is likely to include an insurance reinstatement value estimation. 

Property survey costs

  • Mortgage Valuation Survey – £150-1,500 (depending on value and size of the property)
  • New-Build Snagging Survey – £300 +
  • Condition Report – £300+
  • HomeBuyers Report – £350-450+
  • Building Survey - £500-2000 (depending on the size of the property)

How to obtain a survey of your property

You can obtain a survey of your property from a property surveyor. You will need to find a qualified surveyor who is accredited by a recognised governing body such as the RPSA (Residential Property Surveyors Association) or the RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors).

While accredited by these governing bodies, surveyors can work for themselves, or as part of a larger company. One of the best ways to find a reliable surveyor is to ask friends, family or business associates for a recommendation. Alternatively, there are many reputable property surveyors online, just make sure to do your research properly and pay attention to user ratings.

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