Building Survey Terms Explained

*This post was written in collaboration with Chekes.

Building Survey

Some people take to the home-buying process like a duck to water. Yes, there really are a handful of people out there that enjoy the mortgage process. granted, you get the end result of the lovely new home, but the steps you actually have to take to get there are confusing and stressful. One of the parts of the process is getting a building survey. Finding the best property valuation or building survey is only half of the battle: you need to understand all of the jargon as well. Hopefully this post will be useful to anyone that is currently in the process of understanding all of the terminology associated with a building survey.

Planned maintenance

“Planned maintenance” just means any repairs that are likely to be needed in the future. This could appear in a building survey to help the people buying the house find out how much they may need to invest in the property in the future. A lot of surveyors will also offer a separate planned maintenance survey that goes into more detail. Planned maintenance is also a good way to ensure that if you buy a house you are not caught short. Getting a building survey is a good move because reactive repairs are often more expensive than controlled maintenance that is carried out on a regular basis.

Schedules of condition

Schedules of condition just indicates the part of the survey that will take into account the overall condition of the property. Any defects will be identified in this part and this will be done before the lease or sale.

HSV (homebuyer survey and valuation)

This type of survey is done using a format that is set out by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. It is very in-depth (9 pages long), and usually includes everything that is visible to the surveyor. This survey might be the only one that is needed, or the surveyor might identify in this document other areas that need looking in to. It is usually cheaper than a building survey, and is the most common form of survey used by new home buyers.

Building survey

An actual building survey is a lot more detailed. There are some types of property that a HSV cannot be competed for, so any types of unusual property will usually have a building survey rather than a HSV during the mortgage process. It may also be the case that the mortgage broker only offers a HSV, but the buyer would like to organise a thorough building survey off of their own back. It does not provide a valuation as standard, but a valuation can be included if requested.

Basic mortgage valuation

A basic mortgage valuation is usually used just to clarify how much the property is worth. Some lenders will offer this service for free as an incentive for buyers to use them as their mortgage lender. Although this document does not guarantee that the building is worth the asking price, it is a good frame of reference for when you are getting started with the home-buying process.

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