FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The bank have sent me a copy of a mortgage valuation report but I’m not sure what to do because it says this:-
“The general condition of the property appears consistent with its age and type of construction, but some works of repair and maintenance are required. Elements of the property are ageing and likely to require attention”.
How can I find out what they mean?
Asked by: Dave
This is a really important issue – thanks for raising it, Dave. There’s a lot of confusion about valuation inspections. The key question is this: is a mortgage valuation a survey? And can it be relied upon as such?
Unless you’re a cash buyer you will need a mortgage. Normally the bank charges you a ‘valuation fee’ to secure a mortgage offer. Even though you have to pay for this, it’s entirely for the lender’s benefit (some are offered on a fees-free basis).
The purpose of a mortgage valuation is to confirm to the lender that the property is worth the amount it’s lending you (the mortgage loan is secured on the property). It’s simply to satisfy them that, should you default, they will be able to recoup their money from the sale of the property (or else sue their valuer!). It is not intended to protect you and it’s not the bank’s responsibility to point out any repairs or maintenance issues.
So mortgage valuations are carried out for the bank or building society’s benefit. In contrast, a ‘proper’ survey is done specifically for you, the buyer. So a valuation is not a survey. Despite this, banks persist in referring to valuations as ‘mortgage surveys’ which only adds to the confusion.
Remember it’s you who‘s going to live at the property, not the bank. And you’re the one who will have to pay for any repairs. By arranging your own survey you will be aware of any defects or problems that you will have to fix. It’s a huge risk buying blind without a survey.
It is very common for mortgage lenders offer to arrange a Homebuyer or Building Survey at the same time as the valuation. But banks do this to make a profit, by taking a chunk of the survey fee you pay.
Also, they normally appoint valuation surveyors from big corporate firms who are generally less experienced and under pressure to pack several valuations and surveys into the day, dictating reports using ready-made phrases. This is why Rightsurvey only provides quotes from experienced independent local RICS surveyors, who are careful to do a good job.