A survey is an in-depth report on a property you are intending to purchase. The survey is conducted by a qualified surveyor, someone who knows what to look for and will highlight any potential concerns they have about the property in the report.

There are several types of survey that can take place:

  • A basic mortgage valuation
  • A RICS condition report
  • A homebuyer’s report
  • A full structural survey

It is also possible to get a snagging survey for a new-build property. This is designed to highlight any problems with the new property that should be resolved prior to buying it.

The basic mortgage valuation is to help the lender determine how much they might lend on the property. This is done prior to mortgage approval taking place.

Meanwhile, the RICS condition report is the cheapest option and provides a basic glance over the property to point out anything urgent that needs to be dealt with. Cheap it may be, but it also doesn’t cover anywhere near all the elements you might want to know about.

A homebuyer’s report is the next step up and looks at many more potential issues. This will highlight major problems such as structural ones, but again it doesn’t cover everything. For total peace of mind, the building survey or full structural survey is the one to go for. This is, of course, the most expensive, and would likely be advisable if the property you wish to buy is an old one or looks as though it might need a lot of work doing to it.