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Which house survey do I need for remortgaging?

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A house survey is an integral part of the mortgage process. Whether you are a first-time buyer or are remortgaging, your lender will want to know that their money is in safe hands.  As well as the usual credit checks on you, they’ll also want proof that the house is valued correctly.  

There are different house surveys available to you, depending on your circumstances.  A house survey is a worthwhile investment. It ensures that you know exactly what sort of property you are investing in. It will also help to secure your finances from your mortgage lender. 

So which house survey is the most appropriate for your needs?  We have listed the three main types below:

Valuation Report

A valuation report is the most basic of house surveys and therefore is typically the cheapest option.  In many cases, a valuation report may actually be free of charge, included as part of your mortgage deal. 

A valuation report is usually the type of survey that is used by homeowners who are remortgaging their properties.  It is ultimately carried out for the lender’s benefit.  A valuation report will confirm that the purchase price or remortgage value is aligned to the current property market.  It will also confirm to the lender that it meets the level of security required for your mortgage agreement. 

A simple valuation report is undertaken by a mortgage surveyor.  They will value the house based on a number of different factors. This could be the current housing market, general condition of the building as well as the value of other houses in the area that have recently sold.  The survey can actually be carried out without anyone visiting the property. However in some circumstances the surveyor may just observe the exterior of the property.   If the surveyor has reason to believe there may be underlying issues, they may recommend undertaking an additional survey.

If you are buying a home for the first time, then a valuation report may be too basic a survey. It will not tell you if anything is wrong with the property.  However, if you are purchasing a new-build home, you may decide that a valuation report is sufficient in this case.  

Homebuyer Survey

For a more detailed report about the home you are buying, a Homebuyer Survey is a popular option.  This is more likely to reveal any problems that may have gone unnoticed during a standard viewing.  

Whilst a Homebuyer Survey will help you to determine the value of the property, it is carried out for your benefit, rather than your lender.  When you make an offer on a property, this is usually subject to survey.  It can give you peace of mind that you are making the right decision with your property purchase. It can also allow an opportunity to reconsider if it reveals any serious problems with the home. 

A Homebuyer Survey will typically cost in excess of £250 but provides much more than a valuation report.  This survey will consist of a visual inspection of the property, including the interior.  However it should be noted that the inspection is fairly superficial.  Carpets, floorboards etc will not be taken up and furniture will not be moved.  So if there are issues that are very hidden, they may not be picked up during this survey.  The surveyor will be able to look for any obvious signs of damp or subsistence, and may be able to see other structural problems. It will not encompass every detail of the property.   A Homebuyer Survey is designed to give you a general overview of the condition of the building and should highlight any obvious and urgent problems that need addressing. 

Structural Survey

This is the most comprehensive of the house surveys available.  A full structural survey can be carried out on any property, but may be particularly useful if the property you are looking at purchasing is an older building, or if you are planning on making any renovations in the future. 

Prices for a full structural survey could be in the region of £1000 but could be more depending on the value of the property.  Whilst this may seem expensive, it could help you avoid you ploughing all your finances into a potential money pit.  

A structural survey will include everything that a Homebuyer Survey includes but will provide a much more detailed report.  It will outline everything from how the property is constructed and any issues that this may cause.  There may be suggestions for further specialist inspections if the house is a particularly unusual property.   The surveyor will undertake a much more thorough inspection inside the home, looking deeper into potentially hidden problems.  

Why get a house survey?

Investing in the right house survey can help to protect you from any costly repair work at a later date so it can be worth the investment at the start.  

Whilst finding faults in a property could cause you to pull out of the purchase, you could always use the information as a bargaining tool.  Certain issues may lower the value of a house, so you may be able to lower your offer.  Any money saved could be used to repair the property back to standard.  

Find the right mortgage provider

A house survey comes part and parcel with buying a home and obtaining a mortgage, whether you are a first-time buyer or whether you are looking to refinance your current home.  You may choose to have a survey provided by your own mortgage provider or you can instruct an independent surveyor.

If you are currently looking for a new mortgage deal, then why not speak to So Smart Money today?  We can connect you with mortgage advisers who can help you with whatever your mortgage needs.

The above post does not constitute advice – financial, legal or otherwise. The information within this article is the author’s own opinion and do not necessarily reflect the views of SO Media or So Smart Money.


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