Mortgage valuation or Survey?

- Wed 21 Oct 2020

For most people the house buying process, particularly at the early stages, is an exciting and emotional time, although the whole process, for many, can be described as more of an emotional rollercoaster. At the point you find and then agree a price to buy your dream home there are a few decisions that need to be made in a relatively short period, such as choosing a law firm to convey your purchase, which mortgage product to choose and as part of that process, whether to have a mortgage valuation carried out or a professional survey. It is at this stage that many aren’t too familiar with what the difference is in order to make an informed decision.

What is the difference between a mortgage valuation and home survey?

It is important for those that perhaps that are not familiar with the differences between a mortgage valuation and survey, to explain them. A mortgage valuation is to essentially check on behalf of both the buyer and the mortgage lender that the value of the home being purchased is not too high, and should the buyer be unable to make their repayments, that the mortgage company will receive their money back. These are often carried out using recently sold properties that are similar in size, style and location and are increasingly done so without actually visiting the property.

There are then two main types of home survey, both of which will require a qualified surveyor to actually visit the property in question and inspect the property and report on the condition based upon the ability to access the various parts of the property. The difference between the two options are based upon the detail in which you require the report to look into. Chartered Surveyors will suggest that a more modern property, say post 1960/70, will usually require a Homebuyers Report and anything older, a more in depth inspection that a Building Survey will be more appropriate. This is a rule of thumb and with any survey, you should discuss the options and the property with Chartered Surveyors office in the first instance.

Two other factors that you may want to consider at this important stage of your purchase include the cost associated with each option and the protection you will or not receive as a result of having a Registered Chartered Surveyor conduct a Homebuyer or Building Survey on your behalf.

Whilst these are questions for the Surveying firm you wish to employ, we do strongly advise that you seek local companies that have a wealth of experiencing properties in the local area, therefore will know of the common problems that certain areas of the country may be affected by.

Bradleys Chartered Surveyors cover Somerset, Devon and Cornwall and are able to provide property valuations reports, Homebuyer Surveys and Building Surveys in addition to many specialist reports such as concrete testing, lease extensions and expert witness reports to name a few. Further details can be found on their website

So, the answer to whether you should have a mortgage valuation or a survey is not as straight forward as it initially seems, although it is fair to say you will have little or no information about the condition of the property you buy if you do not have a Homebuyer or Building survey, let alone any comeback should an issue arise once you have completed on the purchase. Perhaps the very least you should do is contact a local Chartered Surveyors and discuss the options open to you.