No matter how new or old is the house that your are considering buying you should always have a survey done. It is the one sure way of making certain that it is worth the asking price and gives you some bargaining power if it is not. The difference between a survey and a mortgage valuation is that with the former there is a responsibility to point out any repairs that need doing, while the latter simply confirms to the lender that the property is worth at least the amount that is being loaned.

There are four types of house survey. The homebuyer’s report covers structural safety, pinpoints problems and provides an expert, independent view of the property’s value. A building survey is mainly for older properties and those of non-standard construction, and gives a detailed report on the condition of the property, including areas that need further exploration before you go ahead with the purchase. It does not, however, include a valuation.

The home condition survey does exactly what it says – it tells you all about the condition of the property, advises on any problem areas and, for insurance purposes, estimates what it would take to rebuild the property.

A new-build snagging survey is for new homes and is designed to detect any problems with plumbing, unsatisfactory paintwork and plastering, and other defects which are most common to such properties. If there is anything amiss, your independent surveyor will arrange for the developer to put things right before you sign an agreement to purchase the property.