The Importance of a House Survey in the Mortgage Process


The Importance of a House Survey in the Mortgage Process

5-6 Min Read

Purchasing a property is one of the most significant financial commitments you will ever make. It’s not just about finding the perfect home; it’s also about ensuring that the property is in good condition and worth the investment. One crucial step in this process is instructing a surveyor to conduct a house survey. But what exactly does a surveyor look for, and why is it so important? Let’s delve into the details.

The Role of a Surveyor

Lenders typically conduct a property valuation as part of the mortgage application process. This valuation is primarily for the lender’s benefit to ensure that the property is adequate security for the loan. However, it’s important to note that this valuation is not a detailed survey of the property’s condition. For a more comprehensive assessment, you can arrange for a homebuyer’s survey report or a full structural engineer’s report through your mortgage broker. These surveys provide detailed reports on the property’s condition, highlighting any potential issues or future risks.

Key Areas of Inspection

A surveyor will inspect all main visible and accessible elements, both inside and outside the property, to record any potential issues or likely future risks. This includes the condition of internal and external elements, property services (such as meter type and presence of stop tap), environmental matters (such as risk of flooding or adverse nearby developments), and any evidence of risks to health and safety (such as unsafe glazing and inadequate safety rails). The surveyor will also look for matters that may need investigation by your conveyancer, such as alterations that may have required planning permissions or building regulations approval. Each area examined will have a detailed write-up, along with a condition rating and reasons for the rating.

Special Considerations

If you have any specific concerns or questions about the house you are purchasing, it is advisable to raise them with the surveyor prior to the house survey. Additionally, surveyors will comment on any accessible areas, including permanent outbuildings within the property’s boundaries. However, if any outbuildings are dilapidated, run-down, or not easily accessible, they will not be inspected or included in the final report.

Surveyors will also endeavour to examine the roof space, but this might not be possible if access is limited or seriously restricted. Furthermore, while surveyors will do a basic visual check of the main services in the property, they won’t carry out specialist tests or examine if the services work safely. It is always advisable to hire a professional to check electrics and plumbing, and your solicitor should provide you with the relevant safety certificates from the seller.


A house survey is a crucial step in the mortgage process, providing valuable assurance about the structural condition of a property. If remedial work is highlighted, it may give you the opportunity to have the vendor complete the work or renegotiate the property’s price. If you have specific concerns, do not hesitate to discuss the benefits of additional surveying services with your broker. After all, being fully informed is key to making the right decision when taking on such a significant financial commitment.

For any questions about mortgages or the process, do not hesitate to reach out. We are here to help, whether it’s answering your questions personally or providing informative articles to guide you through the journey.

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