What is a survey

The verb ‘to survey’ just means to examine something. But a Building Survey is not the same as a Home Buyer Survey, although both are usually commissioned by people who want to buy a building. And a Mortgage Valuation Report is different again! If you are buying your new home or investment property through Field Palmer we will advise you on the most appropriate survey for your particular circumstances. We will also be happy to introduce you to one of the local surveyors that we have worked with for years and trust to do an excellent job.

The Mortgage Valuation Report [£]

Helps lenders decide how much they want to lend

The clue is in the first word, really. A Mortgage Valuation Report is a particular kind of survey that is commissioned by a (mortgage) lender to help them decide how much money to lend you towards the purchase price. As such it will only consider things from the lender’s point of view. For example, they would look at the price you are paying for the property and decide how much they are willing to lend you towards it (as a loan to value) based on how much they think they could recoup if you defaulted on your mortgage payments and they had to sell it quickly. The report will not cover aspects of the house that may affect you as homeowners, actually living there.

The Home Buyer Survey and Valuation [££]

Helps potential buyers decide whether to proceed with a purchase

The Home Buyer Survey and Valuation, which is sometimes shortened to the Home Buyer Service, is a stripped down or ‘economy version’ of a full Building Survey. It is very useful if the property you are buying is fairly straightforward, by which we mean a conventional home (house, flat or bungalow) in apparently reasonable condition. The report will highlight any essential issues that are likely to affect the value of the property, such as urgent or significant problems and defects. It also includes a useful valuation, which you can compare against the amount you have offered to pay.

The Building Survey [£££]

Provides detailed information on the condition of a property and advice on remedial works

The Building Survey used to be referred to as a Structural Survey, and the earlier name gives a clearer idea of what is involved. Essentially, a Building Survey is the gold standard as it leaves no stone unturned – or brick unexamined. The report will provide a detailed assessment of the construction and condition of the property, including all major and minor defects, and offer technical advice on each problem and how to address it. If you are thinking of buying a property that is in anything other than good condition then we strongly recommend you invest in a Building Survey before you part with any more money. This does not mean that properties in poor condition are not worth having. It just means that you should do your homework and find out how much more it is likely to cost you to get the property up to scratch.

Need survey advice?

Our team would be more than happy to chat to you to help you decide which option is best for you!

Field Palmer could earn a fee, in the form of a Voucher, upon a successful survey referral to one of our recommended Surveying companies.

Why choose Field Palmer?

We have enviable knowledge of Southampton and the local area.


Thinking of selling? You can trust us with your most valuable asset.


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