The main survey that you'll hear mentioned when you're about to become a homeowner is the all-important mortgage valuation. The funny thing is, it's not really a survey at all, even though people often refer to it as one. The true purpose of a mortgage valuation is to satisfy your potential lender that the property you want to buy is worth the amount you're prepared to splash out. The lender will appoint someone to take a cursory look at the property to assess its value – but don't mistake it for a comprehensive picture of the home's condition.
A mortgage valuation won't point out the finer detail about structural problems or maintenance work the property needs, although the surveyor might make a note about any major works that affect the value of the building. Typically, the cost of a mortgage valuation is based on the size of the property and can be anything from £150 – to over £1,500. If the property is valued below your offer price, you can go back to the seller or estate agent, and offer a lower price based on the lender's valuation. Another option is to dispute the valuation by providing evidence, if possible, of similar properties in the area selling for the same price or higher.