Moving house: different types of survey

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Mortgage Valuation

A mortgage valuation is a very brief report to advise the mortgage lender on the construction and condition of the building, and any specific criteria the lender may have to enable consideration for loan purposes. You should never rely on this type of report when you move house. Even if you are seeking a mortgage and are paying for a mortgage valuation report, it is still advisable and prudent to arrange a survey by your own independent surveyor. The Consumer Association’s Which? magazine and the Council of Mortgage Lenders both give this advice which is invaluable when moving house.

Specialist Valuation

In addition to standard mortgage valuations on behalf of building societies and banks, MAP is able to undertake a range of specialist valuation inspections.

These could include valuations for:

  • probate purposes
  • matrimonial reasons
  • valuations for tax purposes
  • retrospective valuations

In situations where the circumstances relating to buying or moving house have altered, the company is able to offer “before and after” valuations, which can be of assistance in dispute resolution.

Homebuyers Report

This is a standard report form of survey produced by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) to outline significant and urgent matters to be addressed when buying or moving house.

The homebuyer service is a standard format and is designed specifically as an economy service. It therefore differs from a building survey in two major respects:

It is intended only for particular types of home: houses, flats and bungalows which are conventional in type and construction and apparently in reasonable condition. The report is not suited to properties in excess of 150 years old, unless otherwise agreed with these offices.

It focuses on essentials: defects and problems, which are urgent or significant and thus have an effect on the value of the property although it also includes much other valuable information.

The homebuyer service, unlike a building survey, provides not only a survey but also a valuation as an integral part of the service.

Building Survey

(Formerly known as a structural survey)

A building survey is suitable for all residential properties and provides a comprehensive picture of their construction. It is likely to be needed if the property is, for example, of unusual construction, is dilapidated or has been extensively altered – or where a major conversion is planned. MAP does not undertake building surveys on flats or maisonettes.

The building survey is considered particularly relevant to older properties and the surveyors will be able to offer individual advice as to which form of report is most appropriate in any given circumstance. The building survey will typically tend to be a fairly lengthy document, often including elements of description of property of the type not normally included in the homebuyer service.

As with the homebuyer service, the client has the opportunity to request that specific attention be paid to particular elements provided that this is agreed in writing with the surveyor before the inspection is undertaken. The report may include technical information on construction and materials as well as details of a range of defects, whether they be minor or major.


The MAP Homescore product is a cost effective alternative to the more expensive traditional surveys, and is designed for use when purchasing a property that is not particularly unusual and that to the untrained eye, appears to be generally in reasonable condition.

Homescore is a visual and non-invasive inspection undertaken by a chartered surveyor. Numeric score ratings are applied to key areas of the property.  Comments will be added where in the surveyors’ professional opinion it is considered appropriate.  Services and non-attached outbuildings are excluded. There is no valuation or comment on sale ability.

This content was provided by MAP Surveyors


Tel: 0845 634 4187
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