Thursday, 17th June 2021


Property survey and surveying FAQs answered by Tim Wilyman Chartered Surveyors, Emsworth, Hants

I'm buying a new-build house. Do I need a survey?

The short answer is - yes. Most new build homes should come with a 10 year NHBC warranty, under which the builder is responsible for defects in the first two years, and the NHBC offers a structural warranty for the final 8 years. In practice, this warranty depends on the original builder being willing to accept mistakes were made and put them right. By commissioning a survey from a RICS chartered surveyor, you can be informed of any problems, defects or issues with your new home in advance, and have them sorted by the time you move in if required.

I am thinking of buying a home around 60 years old. Do I need a full structural survey?

A Building Survey (formerly known as a full structural survey) is usually required for properties over 100 years, built from unusual materials, heavily extended or modified, or in a poor state of repair. If the house is of common construction, not in a risk area, and well kept by the current owners, a RICS Home Buyers Survey should suffice. If your surveyor notices any major causes of concern, it will be noted in the report, allowing you to decide how best to proceed - or not.

Can a survey force a buyer to lower their asking price?

No, a survey is conducted for you, the purchaser, so you can be fully informed about the condition and potential issues of the property. Once you are in possession of the facts, it is up to you to assess whether the purchase price is too high, or if the problems are too much to remedy within your budget, etc. And, of course, a RICS Home Buyer Survey will also give you a current market valuation, so you'll also know if the asking price is about right!

Is a mortgage valuation the same as a survey?

Absolutely not! A mortgage valuation is just that, a valuation of the property commissioned by your mortgage or loan lender, and written purely for their benefit to assess the risk of their loan against the resale value of the property. A survey is written for you as the prospective buyer (or home owner), to give you the best possible assessment of the property's condition, required repairs and maintenance, etc.

Why do I need to pay for a house valuation when I can find one on the Internet?

Most house valuation websites are simply based on the average price of similar properties to yours in your area. No human being ever sees your property, it's just the 'best guess' by a computer programme. With a home valuation from a qualified chartered surveyor, an experienced surveyor will personally visit your property to assess everything that makes your home unique, from extensions and conservatories to the garage or downstairs loo.


What's the difference between a Home Buyers Survey and a Building survey?

In a word, detail. The Home Buyers Report gives an appraisal of a property based on a non-intrusive visual inspection by a qualified surveyor. A building survey goes further to examine potential defects which may be hidden from view and gives you a more in-depth report supported by photographs and other useful information - see our RICS Home Buyer Survey and Building Survey pages for more detail.


My home is under a Compulsory Purchase order - can you help?

Yes, we can - see our Other Services page for more details. (With CPOs, time is of the essence!)


My question isn’t here!

Call us on 01243 885 856 and ask – we’re happy to help.

Bookmark and Share

Antill & Co t/a Tim Wilyman Chartered Surveyors registered in England and Wales No. 09063106
Regulated by RICS No. 761506

© 2011 Tim Wilyman Chartered Surveyors. All Rights Reserved - Website designed by Akira Studio Ltd.