Mortgage Valuation and Home Surveys
Mortgage providers do Mortgage Valuations. They check the property you want to buy is worth the price you're going to pay.
Home Surveys check the condition of the home before you buy it. They'll find defects and repair work. They can give you a good idea of any further costs for repairs you might have to pay when buying your property.
Your mortgage provider will arrange and carry out a Mortgage Valuation. It's part of the application process. They need to make sure the property you want to buy is worth what you've offered.
When/if you apply for a mortgage with us, we won’t charge you for one.
Mortgage valuation need to knows:
- These are for the mortgage provider only. You won’t get a copy of the report
- The Mortgage Valuation may not always involve a physical inspection or visit to the property. We may use an Automated Valuation Model (AVM), or do the valuation on a desktop
- There’s no report on the condition of the home you want to buy. That’s covered by a Home Survey.
What happens if the Mortgage Valuation is less than the price you’ve been asked to pay
Sometimes, the property can be valued at a lower price than what you've agreed to pay for it. It may mean that the mortgage provider may reduce the amount of money they are willing to lend you, or change the interest rate which is available to you.
If this happens, your mortgage provider or broker will talk to you about what options you might have, if you still want to buy the property.
Some of these include:
- get a larger deposit
- choose another mortgage product with a higher loan to value
- speak with the seller about what they might be willing to do.
It might be that you have to find another property, or find a different mortgage provider.
Types of Home Survey
We recommend you get a Home Survey done when you buy a property.
The surveyor that does your Home Survey will be a member of RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors). What you’ll get is a report on the property’s condition.
There are 3 levels of survey - Home Survey Level 1, 2 and 3. You’ll need to decide which level is best for you.
Home Survey Level 1
The most basic survey that’s not as detailed as a Level 2 or 3. Suitable for a conventional house, flat or bungalow that:
- are built from common building materials
- are in reasonable condition
Level 1 includes:
- A visual inspection of the property
- A summary of risks to the building, grounds or people in it
- An assessment of the relative importance of the defects and problems
Level 1 surveys don’t include
- Tests to building materials or services
- A valuation of the property
- Advice on repairs or ongoing maintenance
Home Survey Level 2 (also called a Homebuyers Report)
A more detailed survey than the Home Survey Level 1. Suitable for a conventional house, flat or bungalow that:
- are built from common building materials
- are in a reasonable condition
Level 2 includes:
- Looking at the general condition of the property, including a more extensive visual inspection of the building, its grounds and its services, like water and power supply (although the services won’t be tested).
- Concealed areas normally opened or used by the people living there will be inspected if it’s safe to do so. For example roof spaces, basements and cellars.
- An assessment of the importance of any defects/problems.
- The surveyor’s professional opinion on the ‘market value’ of the property
- A list of problems that the surveyor thinks may affect the value of the property
Home Survey Level 3
The most detailed report. Suitable for properties that are:
- Large, older or run down
- unusual construction
- structurally altered
- planning major building works
Level 3 includes:
- A detailed visual inspection of the building, its services and the grounds and provides more extensive details than a Level 2 Survey.
- Services are observed, but not fully tested, in normal operation. They're switched on or off and/or operated where the person living there has given permission and it’s safe to do so.
- Describes the construction and materials used for different parts of the property. It'll also describe the condition and provide an assessment of the relative importance of any defects/problems.
- Describe any identifiable risks of potential or hidden defects in areas not inspected.
- Propose the most likely causes of the defects based on the inspection and outline the scope of any repair work needed, including the likely consequences of non-repair.
- For any repair work proposed, a priority and how long it might take is given. The surveyor may also be able to give an estimate of costs for identified repairs if agreed in advance.
Help choosing the right Home Survey level
The RICS website has more detailed information and guidance on what type of survey is needed for your property.
Or, if you’re applying for a mortgage with one of our mortgage advisers, they’ll be able to talk you through the options.
How much does a Home Survey cost?
Costs vary for each level of survey based on the property value.
Home Survey Level 1 costs are not included in our table. But if you think you still might need a Level 1, it can cost anywhere around £225 to £560, depending on the property value and size.
Mortgages are subject to underwriting and criteria. Minimum age 18, UK residents only.