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Buying a property is almost certainly one of the most expensive purchases you will ever make. As such, it surely needs to be the best informed decision it can be. Whilst a mortgage lender's valuation does provide a very basic level of survey, the reality is that it only comprises a relatively brief inspection undertaken on behalf of the mortgage lender to check that the property provides adequate security for the mortgage advance in question. Whilst it may flag up any obvious serious issues where they substantially adversely affect the value of the property, it will not give the buyer a comprehensive and detailed picture of the overall condition of the property. Buyers who rely on the limited information provided by a mortgage valuation when committing themselves to such a large investment are therefore taking a significant and unnecessary risk.
To mitigate such risks anyone buying a property is free to commission an independent chartered building surveyor like myself to carry out a RICS Building Survey.
Three 'levels' of RICS home survey are available in the residential building survey marketplace: for more information in this regard please click here. The two most frequently requested types are the Level 2 - up until recently known as a 'Homebuyer's Report' and the Level 3 - still widely known as a 'Building Survey'. Whilst both Level 2 & 3 Surveys adopt the same logical RICS format, the Level 2 Report is a more generalised survey targeted at more conventional properties built after 1960 with no obvious serious issues, whereas the Level 3 Report is a more in-depth survey aimed at older properties - especially where substantially extended or altered over the years and/or of non-standard construction.
Please be assured that my survey reports don't simply consist of a standard set of caveats and phrases: they are individually tailored to each property and, in so far as is reasonably possible within the remit of whatever type of survey is being undertaken, will also look to address any particular concerns you may have about the property as voiced to me beforehand. So whether you are a first-time purchaser or a seasoned house buyer you are most welcome to contact me with any questions you might have both before and after the survey has been carried out.
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