Most of us buy our home with the aid of a loan. This loan, secured on the title of our home, is known as a mortgage and this mortgage is offered subject to a variety of criteria and tests. Many relate to the borrower’s ability to pay the monthly repayments and their past credit history. However, the loan is also subject to a supporting mortgage valuation.

A mortgage valuation differs from an RICS Homebuyer’s Report or a Full Structural Survey in several important ways, but it is worth considering using the same surveyor for both if you commission one or more.

A Mortgage Valuation must be undertaken by a valuer / surveyor approved by your mortgage lender and as each lender will have an approved ‘panel’ of valuers, it is important that you use someone that is on their panel. Most lenders will appoint a valuer as part of the process.

A Mortgage valuation will include summary notes made by the valuer after a short inspection of the property inside and out. It will make recommendations with regard to further investigations deemed necessary and it will also include an open market valuation and a recommended figure for insurance purposes. A valuer is unlikely to even raise carpets or inspect the loft space. Lenders often don’t share the reports with clients, and some don’t even share the value!

If you are buying a modern property in good condition then it’s probably that a mortgage valuation will be sufficient for your purposes although it’s worth noting that the valuer is simply there to make sure that the home being bought offers sufficient collateral for the loan. The inspection is cursory and it is not meant to be a detail survey.

If you are buying an older property, a property requiring some work or an unusual property then it may be worth employing the services of a surveyor to undertake this more complete appraisal. Most panel valuers can also undertake a more detailed inspection at the same time and it’s worth making sure that if you want a more in depth report you tell the valuer before he inspects. This can save a valuer duplicating his time and thus save you money.

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