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Mortgage Valuations and Surveys

A handy guide to our mortgage valuations and surveys: why we need them, what they cost and what they mean for your mortgage application.

What are my options?

Standard mortgage valuation

This provides us, the lender with guidance on what the property is worth. It applies to all mortgage applications, including house purchases and remortgages.

Homebuyer Survey & Valuation

This focuses on urgent matters needing attention but doesn't detail every aspect of the property. It includes a standard valuation.

Building
Survey

A detailed and comprehensive report to highlight faults and advise on any necessary repairs - a valuation is not included.

The standard mortgage valuation

Before we can lend to you, we will obtain a valuation for all house purchase and remortgage applications to check that the property provides adequate security for the loan we are providing to you. We also use this to calculate the proportion of your loan compared to the value of your property (this is known as the Loan to Value or LTV).

This is not a survey and so may not identify any repairs that might be needed. Because of this, we strongly recommend that you obtain either a Homebuyer Survey or a Building Survey to give you a more detailed inspection of the property.

How we will do the valuation:

  • Instruct a valuer to visit the property and produce a written valuation report
  • We may use a specialist database to compare the details against other comparable properties in the area
  • We may, at our discretion, carry out a Property Assessment as an alternative to a physical inspection of the whole property (based on database information, an external appraisal of the property by a valuer, or a combination of both).

In some circumstances we may ask the valuer to carry out a quick check of the outside of the property (known sometimes as a drive-by valuation). When this applies, a standard mortgage valuation can be requested at a later date and you will need to cover the cost of this.


The Valuation Report

You will normally only receive a copy of the valuation report if a full internal inspection of the property has been carried out. It's important to note that you may not receive a copy if you apply for a fee-assisted mortgage product and you will not receive a copy if we carry out a drive-by valuation, carry out a database valuation or a Property Assessment.

If you do receive a copy of the report, please remember it is not a survey, it does not give any indication as to whether the property is worth what you are paying for it nor does it provide a list of any repairs that may be needed.

Valuation fees

Unless you have chosen one of our fee-assisted mortgages, you will need to pay a valuation fee which covers the cost of the mortgage valuation. This is payable at application.

Unless you tell us otherwise, we will instruct the valuation as soon as we begin to process your application (providing the fee has been paid). Once a valuation has been carried out, we can't refund the fee even if your mortgage does not go ahead.

View a breakdown of valuation fees (including the cost if you decide to opt for a Homebuyer Survey which includes the cost of a standard mortgage valuation).

How the valuation may affect your mortgage application

There is a possibility that the property will get valued at less than you were prepared to pay for it, or estimated the value at. This may mean that you no longer qualify for a product with a specific LTV. If this happens you will have to switch to another mortgage product with a higher LTV, or it may mean that we are unable to offer you a mortgage. There is no cost for switching to another product under these circumstances.

If we are unable to offer you a mortgage after your mortgage valuation, any mortgage application processing fee or valuation fees would not be refunded, so it is essential you are as accurate as possible when providing us with an estimated value of your property.

Existing customer valuations

If you are an existing mortgage customer there are some scenarios where we may need to carry out a new valuation (or ‘revaluation’) of your property. This includes when you are transferring to a new mortgage product or you’d like to take out an additional loan.

To find out more about the revaluation process, please call us on 0345 1200 822* or book an appointment in a branch.

A non-refundable fee of £70 may be payable for revaluations on additional loan application. This fee is payable in full at application and cannot be added to the loan amount.

Surveys

Homebuyer Survey & Valuation

The Homebuyer Survey is suitable for most conventional properties which are in a reasonable condition and focuses on any matters which need attention. The Homebuyer Survey contains details which can help you make an informed judgement on whether or not you should purchase a property and whether or not the purchase price is reasonable. It will also give you a good idea of any issues which need to be discussed or actions which should be taken prior to contracts being exchanged. You should be aware that it doesn't detail every aspect of the property but the following details are included:

  • The general condition of the property
  • Any major faults in the accessible parts of the property
  • Any urgent problems which would require inspection by a specialist before you sign the contract
  • The results of tests for damp in the walls
  • Damage to timbers
  • The condition of any damp-proofing, insulation and drainage
  • The estimated rebuilding cost (which can be used for insurance purposes)
  • The property’s value on the open market.

A standard valuation is included with this survey.

Building Survey

This is a detailed and comprehensive reported which can be tailored to suit your needs and is suitable for all residential property types (including period properties, those with extensive accommodation or in a particular state of repair), covering all defects whether minor or major. There is no standard scale of fees for a Building Survey but the cost is higher than the Homebuyer Survey. You should be aware that a valuation is not included but this can be arranged directly with the surveyor and will be required for us to process your mortgage application. The surveyor will contact you to discuss the details before starting the survey.



What if I already have a report from a Homebuyer Survey or Building Survey?

We may allow the same surveyor to prepare a mortgage valuation based on the results of the survey (a transcript). The same surveyor must be a member of the Society's approved panel and we won't accept a transcript of a Home Buyer Report or Building Survey Report that has been carried out by a valuer that has not been approved by the Society. If we agree to allow your valuer to prepare a mortgage valuation report for us, and your valuer agrees to do so, there will be a fee of £55. This includes payment to the valuer for the report and VAT.