There are three types of valuations and surveys - valuation reports, homebuyer's reports and building surveys:
- Basic valuation report - This is a basic report paid for by you, but completed by the valuer for your lender. Your lender will use this report to help them decide whether they'll lend you the amount of money you need to buy your property.
- Homebuyer's report - This is a more detailed report that a surveyor completes for you. There's an important difference between a basic valuation report and a homebuyer's report. The valuation report belongs to the lender and the valuer completes the report for them. With a homebuyer's report, the surveyor works for you and they're responsible to you if they fail to spot things. Whilst this costs more than a basic valuation, you should consider asking for a homebuyer's report as it will give you a lot more information about your property. It's particularly useful if you're buying an older property. Your lender will normally use the homebuyer's report to help them decide whether to lend on your property, so you won't normally need more than one report. Your lender can arrange this.
- Building survey (previously known as a full structural survey) - This is the most detailed type of survey that's completed by a surveyor working for you. The surveyor is responsible to you if they fail to spot things. Building surveys are normally asked for by those who are looking to buy:
- an older property
- one which needs substantial refurbishment
- where there have been structural problems in the past
This has to be arranged by the buyer. Additional surveys or reports may be needed by your lender before they'll make you a mortgage offer.
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