Property Surveys & Valuations

The acquisition, sale or extension/alteration of a property, whilst exciting and challenging, is one of the biggest financial commitments you can make.
Property costs are substantial and there are pitfalls with serious consequences if it goes wrong. It pays for you to obtain professional advice from an expert who has your interests at heart and really knows what they are talking about. As this is probably the largest purchase you may make, commissioning a survey makes good sense and might save you thousands of pounds worth of repairs.
Choosing the right survey for your needs can be a daunting task for the average home owner or prospective buyer. With a range of surveys available, it is important that the correct type of survey is chosen, depending upon the type of property. At Lambert & Foster we will always ensure we provide the right information and that often means discussing your requirements first. As a guide the three main types of home buyer surveys are:

  • BUILDING SURVEY
  • RICS HOMEBUYER REPORT
  • RICS CONDITION REPORT

 


BUILDING SURVEY

This survey includes a more extensive inspection of the property’s condition, and gives detailed information about the structure and fabric of the property. It is aimed at properties that are over a hundred years old. The report includes a description of visible defects and potential problems caused by hidden flaws, an outline of repair options, advice for your legal advisors, and advice on guide costings for repair work. The Building Survey does not include a valuation of the property.
The Building Survey is appropriate for properties that require extensive works. Typically, these are older properties, especially listed buildings that might be constructed in an unusual way.
Likewise, if a property has had extensive alterations, a more detailed survey would be advised. The survey examines all accessible parts of the property, and you can ask to have specific areas included so it covers any particular concerns that you have about the building. It is a survey that can be tailored to your needs, and agreed between you and your surveyor. Whilst a valuation is not normally included, it can be provided separately if you require it.


RICS HOMEBUYER REPORT

This is aimed at properties that are less than a hundred years old. It is a more concise report which will identify any significant matters that might affect the value of the property. It includes a valuation and an insurance reinstatement valuation.
This report gives you professional advice that will allow you to make better, more informed decisions when it comes to buying a property. Although it does not cover every aspect of the home, the HomeBuyer Report does focus on issues that may have an effect on the overall value of the property.  If the report identifies findings that may be costly, it can allow for the re-opening of negotiations on the sale agreed price. The HomeBuyer Report provides condition ratings to evaluate and describe the condition of each element of the property.  These determine how important and urgent it may be to repair a structure before a sale can proceed.

The RICS defines the conditions as:

  • CONDITION RATING 1 (GREEN):
    No repair is currently needed. The property must be maintained in the normal way.
  • CONDITION RATING 2 (AMBER):
    Defects exist that need repairing or replacing, but are not considered to be either serious or urgent. The property must be maintained in the normal way.
  • CONDITION RATING 3 (RED):
    Defects exist that are serious and/or need to be repaired, replaced or investigated immediately.

RICS CONDITION REPORT

This report focuses purely on the condition of the property by setting out clear “traffic light” ratings of the condition of different parts of the building, services, garage and outbuildings.  This is in a similar way to a HomeBuyer Report.  The condition report may identify that further investigation by a chartered surveyor is required and certain aspects of the property can then be inspected further and a more detailed report provided for the areas where potential may have been identified.  The condition report does not include a valuation but this can be provided as a separate, extra service.
That is being inspected and gives ratings of the different parts of the building, flagging up any areas that need attention. The condition report does not include a valuation of the property.
 


VALUATIONS

The mortgage valuation report is often considered by purchasers to be a report on the condition of the property. In fact, the mortgage valuation is only a brief inspection of the property to establish whether it provides adequate security for the amount to be borrowed. Obvious defects will be pointed out in the valuation, but it should not be regarded as a full survey or as a substitute for a Building Survey or HomeBuyer Report.  
We are able to undertake valuations for all purposes in order to provide a market valuation. This can be for sale, purchase, secured lending, Inheritance Tax, Capital Gains Tax, probate and matrimonial purposes. These will be carried out by our RICS registered valuers ensuring the highest standards of quality and advice.