Buying property is likely to be the biggest purchase you will ever make and commissioning a Home Buyer Survey is part of the property buying process. However, a recurring misunderstanding amongst prospective homeowners is the belief that Home Buyer Surveys and Mortgage Valuation Reports are the same.
Not only are they not the same but there are marked differences between them.
A Mortgage Valuation Report is usually carried out by the Lender, it simply advises you and your Lender of the market value of your property and assesses whether it provides good assurance against the mortgage/loan.
A Home Buyer Survey, is commissioned by you (as the purchaser). It is comprehensively concerned with structural issues. It gives you the benefit of an expert, ensures you are professionally informed about the condition of the property, enables you to negotiate the price (should issues be found) and limits the likelihood of unanticipated problems arising after you’ve financially committed.
As part of a RICS Home Buyer Survey, the property is attended by a surveyor who performs an inspection, assesses the condition of the property, applies their professional knowledge and documents any areas of concern using a ‘traffic light’ rating system. The surveyor advises on aspects of the property’s condition which may be minor and could be overcome, and provides guidance on critical recommendations that must be attended to before property occupation.
Choosing which level of survey is required depends on factors including the age and size of the property, as well as the extent of work done (or to be done) to the property:
Survey level one: RICS Condition Report
Aimed at typical properties in reasonable condition and new builds, this survey looks at the property’s overall condition including building, utilities and outbuildings. The guidance provides information about defects requiring attention and general advice regarding development or planning issues useful for your legal representatives.
Survey level two: RICS HomeBuyer Report Survey
Also aimed at typical properties in reasonable condition and new builds, this survey incorporates all the points addressed in a RICS Condition Report (as listed above) but is more comprehensive and includes: information on the property’s location; energy efficiency; ‘behind the scenes’ inspections for easily accessible areas; information about defects that may affect the property in future and advice regarding repairs and ongoing maintenance; as well as providing insig
hts into potentially problematic legal issues.
Survey level two: RICS HomeBuyer Report Survey & Valuation
This survey is the most thorough for typical properties in reasonable condition and new builds, it incorporates all the points detailed on both Surveys level one and two (as listed above) but it also includes a market valuation and the rebuild cost for insurance purposes.
Survey level three: RICS Building Survey
Finally, this level three survey is recommended for very old properties or for those undergoing major structural changes. It provides intricate details about the condition of the property, it includes assessments of difficult to access areas, outlines any issues in terms of defects and gives advice about repairs and maintenance.
If you are about to buy a new home or property, listening to the right advice means you’ll be aware of the exact condition of your investment and you’ll be able to make informed decisions relating both to the property value and legalities.
For advice regarding this or other property matters, please call MGY on 029 2046 5466.