Once you have reached the stage where you have agreed on a price for your house you will have to have a mortgage valuation, which is a compulsory part of the sale.
Your mortgage company needs to make sure that, if you default on your mortgage, it can at least recoup its money by selling the property. So you will need at least a surveyor’s valuation before your lender will release the money.
However, generally speaking, you should get a more detailed report on the condition of the property before you go any further in order to be made aware of existing or potential problems. In fact, in most cases, it is essential that you also get a more detailed report on the condition of the property before you go ahead with the purchase. You need to be alerted to any potential problems that could either affect the value of your property, or that require repair work.
The Homebuyer survey and valuation is recommended for most modern homes. In this case the surveyor would point out any defects in need of attention; give his professional opinion on features which might affect the value, and make recommendations for further investigation.
However, in this case he inspects only those parts of the property that are easily accessible. If you want a more comprehensive survey you need a structural or building survey, which includes extensive technical information on the construction of the property, as well as any defects.
This closer inspection can reveal problems which will affect the valuation of the property, although it does not in itself provide a valuation. It could result in you re-negotiating the price – or even pulling out of the deal. So you might consider it money well spent.