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Arranging a Survey

Your home is likely to be the biggest purchase you'll ever make, so having a survey is worth it. A survey not only offers peace of mind, but could potentially save you thousands of pounds in costly repair bills in the future.

Which?, the Council of Mortgage Lenders and any solicitor will advise you to get a survey before you buy a property, and not just to rely on a mortgage valuation. Here's why:

Mortgage valuation

Your mortgage lender will send a specialist valuer to work out how much the property's worth so they can decide whether to give you a mortgage or not.

The valuer is only concerned with problems that might affect the security of the loan, not whether you have any structural problems that need fixing.


An RICS member carries out a survey to see if there are any structural problems. It's like a 'health check' for buildings, which could save you thousands in the future. There are two main types:

Homebuyer Survey and Valuation (HSV)

This is most suitable for conventional properties built within the last 150 years, which are in reasonable condition.

It provides a concise report detailing any significant problems that could make a difference to the value of the property.

Building Survey

This is suitable for all residential properties, providing a detailed report on their construction and condition.

It is particularly useful if the property is dilapidated, has been extensively altered or you're planning a major conversion or renovation.