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About Property Surveys & Valuations

This article explains the following:

  • What is a property survey and why do I need one?
  • What will a property survey check?
  • Bank valuations for a mortgage
  • How much does a home survey cost in Ireland?

What is a property survey and why do I need one?

A property survey is a formal inspection carried out to ascertain the general condition of a building. It is vital that you use the services of a professional property surveyor rather than, for example, a builder. Your survey will identify any defects that could easily be missed by an untrained eye. You will receive a full report including recommendations.

Purchasing any property is a large financial commitment and a property survey provides peace of mind regarding any potential pitfalls about the building you may not otherwise understand. Remember, a seller is under no obligation to tell you about any defects in a property.

A member of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland will carry out your survey or valuation according to  what is recognized as the international best practice, ‘RedBook’ standard.

What will a property survey check?

There are different types of surveys depending on the property itself. For example a modern built house may not require as deep an investigation as would a old house requiring extensive renovation. Generally what can be included is as follows:

  • A visual inspection and a report on the condition of the building, its services and any grounds.
  • Accessible concealed areas like attics and underfloor areas are inspected if it is safe to do so.
  • The report may describe the property’s construction, the materials used, and its condition.
  • Your property survey will provide an assessment of the relative importance of any defects or issues.
  • Advice about repairs and any on-going maintenance issues.
  • Any relevant legal issues and any obvious risks will also be highlighted in your survey.

Bank Valuation For Mortgage

As part of a mortgage application, most lenders will require a formal valuation to be carried out on the property. This is so the lender can decide whether the property is safe to lend on, and up to what amount.

In most cases, the bank pay the valuer for their report and will provide you with a panel of valuers to choose from.

The valuation usually provides a “minimum reinstatement value”, which is the amount of money it would take to replace the property, for example if it was destroyed by fire. The bank will seek evidence that a suitable buildings insurance policy is in place that covers you for this reinstatement value.

How Much Does A Home Survey Cost In Ireland?

The Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) is the professional body for chartered surveyors and they provide guidelines for costs which obviously vary depending on the property. Starting costs are around €250 for a basic survey and rise to €1,000 for full structural surveys.

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Patricia Irwin