tickYou’ve found a home you’re longing to buy; it has swept you off your feet with its period architecture, stolen your heart with its charming features, and the view ‘had you at hello’.  Your offer has been accepted and you’re skipping down the track of the sales process.


Your mortgage lender arranges a valuation survey and when you’re asked if you want to spend money on another survey, you decline.  Well, you’ve had a survey done and the mortgage lender is happy to lend you the money, so the property must be OK, mustn’t it?


This is a common misunderstanding when it comes to property surveys.  The survey conducted by your mortgage lender is for valuation purposes only; they are merely checking that the money they are lending you could be recouped should you fail to meet the mortgage repayments.  It is not a survey that will give you the details you want and need in order to understand the condition of the property you wish to purchase.


We have all heard of people buying a property that ended up being a house of horrors.  Behind the perfect façade lay hidden truths about much-needed repairs and upgrades.  Imagine the heartache that will occur when your dream turns into a nightmare and the growing costs escalate beyond your means.  You need to be forewarned to be forearmed, and this can be easily achieved by investing in a survey by a surveyor qualified by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).


Many buyers want to get a head start on knowing the anticipated costs before they get to this stage in the sale.  One free tool that can help you do this prior to viewing a property or making an offer is iHouseCheck.  Developed specifically for homebuyers by experienced tradespeople, this online tool can generate an instant condition report.  We must strongly state, however, that this is not a survey and must never be a substitute for one.


A RICS survey is a must, and shouldn’t be viewed as an optional extra.  There are three types of survey:


    Condition Report

    Homebuyers’ Survey

    Building Survey


You should never choose the survey based on price, but on which is most relevant for the property you are looking to buy.  Details of each survey can be found on the RICS website, together with information about how to find a local and qualified surveyor.


Know your surveys and get to know your new home, heart, body and soul