Property Surveys – protecting your interests

Buying a residential or commercial property is a big commitment, both financially and emotionally.

Your mortgage lender will carry out a survey to confirm that your property value matches the purchase price. However, as a property owner this won’t provide you with all the details you need.

It’s important to understand the condition of your property before you complete your purchase. Our survey team can provide you with the information you need to know whether there are any underlying issues.

There are a range of surveys to choose from, depending on your requirements, but they are all designed to protect your interests.

HomeBuyer Report

We recommend a HomeBuyer report for conventional properties built using common materials that are in a reasonable condition. Your report will tell you if there are any structural issues or hidden problems inside or outside and it will include a professional opinion about the ‘market value’ of your property.

Condition Report

If you are looking for a high-level overview that will identify any obvious areas of concern or issues in a property then a shorter condition report survey will provide the information you are looking for.

Building Survey

If you are buying a large, older, run-down or unusual property you will want the much more detailed assessment provided by a full building survey. This will give you more detailed information about the structure and overall fabric of the building.

Valuations

A valuation survey will give you an expert assessment of the value of a property based on its overall condition, location, size and characteristics. In contrast to a mortgage lender’s overview valuation this type of survey will give you more information about what a property is worth and why.

A valuation survey will be needed if, for example, you are interested in a leasehold property with less than 70 years remaining on the lease. To obtain a mortgage, you will need a valuation to extend the lease by 90 years or more. You might also need a valuation when you’re buying a freehold property, or for inheritance and capital gains tax purposes.

Party Walls

Usually, the boundary for two buildings with a shared wall is in the centre of the wall, but sometimes disputes can arise. This can happen when a party wall is on land belonging to two or more different owners or where it is on one owner’s land but the wall is used by other owners to separate their buildings. Our surveyors can carry surveys to help resolve disputes and meet the requirements of the Party Wall Act, following RICS guidance.

Insurance Rebuild

While we hope this will never happen, if your property was destroyed by fire for example, you would need a survey to confirm the cost of rebuilding it. Our reports are produced using tables prepared by the Building Cost Information Service from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). We recommend your property is valued on this basis every five years to update your insurance policy.

Court Requests

Court reports are normally commissioned by divorce solicitors as an independent survey that can be relied on in court. This type of survey is produced according to the legal requirements for civil proceedings. Similar reports are also produced for property, valuation or building disputes. Our experts are also qualified to appear in court if necessary.

Frequently asked questions

As part of the Homebuyers survey, do you tell me the value of the property?

Yes, we do. As part of this survey, we will also give you the reinstatement value which you will need for the building insurance.

If I need my valuation updated will there be a charge?

The first updated valuation, usually within the first 3 months of the report being produced, is free of charge. If you require another valuation after this period, there will be a small charge.

I’ve had an offer accepted on a property do I contact the vendor to arrange the survey?

No you don’t need to do this if you have instructed us to carry out the survey. We will make all the necessary arrangements then send you a written confirmation which includes our terms and conditions as well as the date of the survey.

I’d like to alter or extend the property, can your surveyor advise us on the plans?

Yes, we can. You just need to let us know before the survey is due to take place, the day before at the latest.

Once you have sent me the report, can I discuss the contents with the surveyor?

Yes you can, we are always happy to discuss any of the details.

My neighbour is planning to build an extension, can you advise on this?

Yes, we can advise and act on your behalf for any boundary or party wall issues.

Meet the survey team

James Hawkesford

Managing Director & Auctioneer

Alistair

Surveyor

Sally

Admin

Sunny

Admin

Get in touch

Please feel free to contact us should you have any questions, queries or suggestions – we would be happy to help.

LEAMINGTON SPA OFFICE
6 Euston Place,
Leamington Spa, CV32 4LN
01926 430 553
leamington@hawkesford.co.uk

SOUTHAM OFFICE
74 Coventry Street,
Southam, CV47 0EA
01926 811 848
southam@hawkesford.co.uk

WARWICK OFFICE
1 The Hughes, 24 – 26 Swan Street,
Warwick, CV34 4BJ
01926 411 480
warwick@hawkesford.co.uk

ALDERNEY OFFICE
Albert House Victoria Street,
Alderney, GY9 3TA
01481 822 211
alderney@hawkesford.co.uk