Is a mortgage valuation the same as a survey?
Many buyers who have had a valuation carried out for their mortgage are under the impression they have had a survey. Many buyers ask the question “is a mortgage valuation the same as a survey?” A mortgage valuation is not a survey. It is not intended to inform a buyer of the condition of the property and some lenders do not release a copy to the purchaser. The valuation is arranged by the mortgage company and may be carried out either by an in-house valuer, or a valuer on their panel. The purpose of the valuation is to confirm to the mortgage lender the value of the property in the event that the home owner defaults on the mortgage payments the lender needs to know that the property offers sufficient security for the loan.
For an average 3 bedroomed house the mortgage valuer is likely to spend no more than 20 to 30 minutes carrying out the inspection. The valuer will not normally get into the roof space (head and shoulders inspection only) and will not usually lift back edges of carpets, open windows, run water down the drains, etc. Part of this time will be spent measuring the property in order to calculate the rebuilding cost therefore the inspection itself will not be detailed.
In comparison, a surveyor carrying out a survey on the same property is likely to spend around 3 hours carrying out the inspection, although the actual time will obviously vary from one property to another. The surveyor will normally carry out a detailed inspection of the roof space (if safe access is available), lift edges of carpets (where possible) to check the construction of the floors, open windows, run water down the drains (where possible) in addition to inspecting other parts of the property.
What Types of Property Require a Survey?
All properties require a survey, whether new, old or newly refurbished.
A survey is not only necessary to check whether a property has any defects, other items may be identified in the course of a survey which require further investigation or specific enquiries to be made by your solicitor. Questions may include:
- If there have been any recent alterations to the property have these been carried out with Local Authority approvals?
- Are there any issues with trespass such as overhanging gutters or trees?
- Are there any asbestos containing materials (ACMs) within the property? These are not always obvious and may be in the form of textured coatings to ceilings and/or walls, floor tiles, etc.
- Has adequate fire protection been provided between the house and any attached/integral garage?
- Are there any flying and/or submerged freeholds? These may affect your buildings insurance.
- If you are purchasing a flat do you know whether there is adequate fire protection and means of escape?
- Are there any trees which may be within the zone of influence of the building?
- Are there any known issues in the area, such as subsidence, pitch fibre drains, etc?
The survey can either be carried out by the valuer at the same time as the mortgage valuation or you can instruct a surveyor of your choice to carry this out separately. You are able to instruct a surveyor who you think is most suited to carry out the task, this may be someone who is recommended by a friend, family, solicitor or anyone else. You are NOT under any obligation to have the survey carried out by the valuer who carries out the mortgage valuation. Remember to obtain written quotations on the cost of a survey.
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