The difference between a Mortgage Valuation and a Building Survey

When it comes to choosing the perfect property, it can take a long time to find your ideal home, whether you are looking in the local area or your search has extended throughout the UK for the perfect location to create your dream home. Once you find a property that you like, entering into property purchase negotiations can speed up the purchase process quite a lot! When it comes to purchasing a property, it is important to make sure that you are fully informed of the condition of the property you are attempting to purchase, so that there are no nasty surprises left in store for you when you plan to move in.

Conducting a detailed report on the condition and the construction of the property will allow a professional surveyor to analyse the property in question, listing any potential or immediate defects found, providing advice on how these defects may be rectified and potentially listing the costs of these reparations. It is a common misconception that this is what is known as a Mortgage Valuation.

What is a Mortgage Valuation?

While a Mortgage Valuation is normally required when entering into purchase negotiations, it is not a ‘detailed survey’ in any sense of the word. The Mortgage Valuation is simply a brief report to ascertain whether or not the property provides sufficient security for the bank to lend upon and this can be determined through something as fleeting as a ‘drive by viewing’.

A Mortgage Valuation is conducted purely for the benefit of the bank as the lender and in some cases the buyer may never even see the results of the Mortgage Valuation report. As a more comprehensive survey will be able to shed more light on the condition of the property, a HomeBuyer Report or a Building Condition Survey is always recommended in this situation.


What is a HomeBuyer Report?

In contrast to a Mortgage Valuation, a HomeBuyer Report consists of a fully detailed and in-depth analysis of the entire property, including all visible and accessible areas of the property. This will include the interior and exterior of the property, roofing, guttering, electrical wiring, plumbing, insulation and take note of any immediate or potential defects or issues found within the property. Homeowners need to look at all aspects of home renovation and think of all the costs that they have to incur while setting a price for their property. In this regard, gathering knowledge about situations which could lead to questions like ‘How Much Does Gutter Cleaning Cost?‘ might come in handy.

Special care is also taken to look for areas of dampness, and faulty wiring, so as to ascertain whether or not the services of a network cabling company or similar professionals would be required. Mould and condensation spots and loose or cracked shingles on the roof could also lead to more serious problems, which is why these aspects are involved in the special checks as well. Identifying and assessing defects found within the property is essential, as a professional surveyor will be able to provide you with helpful advice as to how reparations can be made, like finding a certified electrician to reinstall some sections of wiring (check out this site for more information).

A surveyor can also give you the potential costs of these reparations and the value they would bring when fixed which can help you prioritize certain repairs. A full typed report often follows a HomeBuyer visit and may come with full photos of any defects found within the property.

What is a Building Condition Survey?

Along a similar vein to the HomeBuyer Report, a Building Condition Survey also looks at all visible and accessible elements of the property, including wiring, plumbing, interior and exterior walls and roofing, however it also goes into more detail regarding the foundation and construction of the property. Recommended for older properties, period properties, timber framed properties or properties of an altered or non-traditional construction, surveyors with experience in Building Condition Surveys will be able to assess a huge number of features regarding the structural integrity of the property.

The foundations of the property are essential, as a less experienced surveyor may miss features that point to structural instabilities, such as a supporting beam missing in a timber framed property where previous owners have joined two rooms together. Requesting the right chartered surveyor for the job is essential, as it is your future home we are thinking about, after all.


The Importance of a Survey

Surveys are incredibly important, whether you are buying your first home, you are planning on a buy-to-let investment, or you are purchasing a commercial premises. If there are any problems with the condition or the construction of the property, a detailed survey will be able to highlight these as well as their potential reparation costs. This can save potentially hundreds of pounds in advance as you can then enter into property negotiations with the new information to hand.

For example, the market value of the property may be affected by new defects that have come to light as a result of a detailed HomeBuyer Report, so it makes perfect sense to re-negotiate an asking price with the buyer with these defects in mind. It is all about making sure that you as the buyer, are properly informed before you agree to purchase a property that is not quite up to scratch.

Surveyors provide expert and professional advice along with comprehensive and detailed reports that contain photos of the property, any defects found and how these issues can be rectified. To save hundreds of pounds on potential reparations, doesn’t it make sense to request an in depth survey from a certified chartered surveyor?

Article provided by, a chartered surveyor company providing a full property consultation and management service, with over 30 years experience and offices in both Leicestershire & Northampton.

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