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How To Choose The Right Property Survey


Whether you are buying a brand-new home or a 300-year-old cottage, you must consider a property survey before making the purchase. Having a survey done on the property should reveal potential problems with the property, which could help when negotiating the price! Most buyers rely on a mortgage lender’s valuation only, and this is a mistake. Yes, this evaluation will reveal any serious issues with the property that are likely going to affect the overall value, but it is only a ‘quick’ look at the home. The mortgage lender is ultimately checking to ensure it is worth the money. 


When buying a brand-new home, using a mortgage lender’s valuation alone might be okay. The surveyor will check the property and assess the value based on its general condition, the price of homes sold in the area and the buoyancy of the housing market. However, if you are purchasing an older property, you should undoubtedly have a more comprehensive survey carried out on the building.


Types of Property Survey

According to The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, there are two primary surveys: homebuyer’s and building.

Homebuyer’s Survey

A homebuyer’s survey will go into more detail than a mortgage lender’s valuation. The survey will check the general condition of the home and any significant problems. Furthermore, it will also check for any urgent issues that need attention and specialist advice. Other areas the survey tests include:

  • Damp in walls
  • Damage to timber
  • Condition of damp-proofing
  • Insulation
  • Drainage 

The survey can also estimate the cost of rebuilding the property for insurance purposes, as well as the value of the home on the open market. Something to note; if the property you are interested in requires renovation or major alterations, then the homebuyer’s survey is not suitable, and instead, you should use a building survey.

Building Survey

A building survey can be performed on any property, but it is essential for a home that requires renovation or significant alterations. The survey highlights major problems with the property, as well as minor, and how much the repairs would cost. Furthermore, technical information on the home is explained, as well as the materials used and the location.

Why Are Property Surveys Necessary?

We go to the doctors to have a general health check-up to ensure everything is okay; a property survey works in the same way. By undergoing a property survey, be it the homebuyer’s survey or building or both, you can be sure of precisely what you are purchasing. You can uncover any issues with the property that could help you bring the price down and you can also find out how much money you would need to put into the home, should any works need to take place.


Even if you are a homeowner looking to sell, it could be an excellent idea to invest in a survey before putting the property on the market. By doing this, you can identify any problems that might need to be discussed with an estate agent before listing the property and can, therefore, help to speed up the overall sale process. By taking the time and spending that little extra to undergo a survey on your home, you show potential buyers that you care about the property and that you have done your best to ensure it is the best standard, ready for the new owners.

Alternative Property Surveys

Along with the two primary surveys; homebuyer’s and building, there are some others that you could consider using.

Snagging Surveys

It doesn’t matter if you are buying an old or new property, a snagging survey looks for mistakes made by building contractors, for example, poorly painted walls, missing screws etc. By putting a snagging survey in place, you can ensure that your home is to the perfect standard before moving in. If you confirm that completion is subject to any problems noted from the snagging survey, the developers would have to amend and fix the issues to get their money.

Home Condition Report

Even if the property appears to be in good condition, a home condition report can reveal any hidden problems, such as damp, woodworm or structural issues. By undergoing a home condition report, you can highlight any future costs that may be required later on down the line.


Here at Godfrey, Short and Squire, we want to ensure that you get the best quality from your new home. We hope that this little guide has helped you to understand how to put yourself in a better position when purchasing a property and how to avoid being stuck with a problematic home! If you are interested in buying a new home, we have many homes for sale in Okehampton and the surrounding areas, so why not take a look at our properties today? Start the process of finding your dream home and what better time to look at buying than when property prices are beginning to fall in the South West


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