Rainfords Chartered Surveyors - Surveying homes across Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales
Why Have A Survey?

When you're buying a new home, it's all too easy to get seduced by the look and feel of the place and ignore the crumbling brickwork or gurgling pipe work. A little outlay on a survey could save you thousands - by providing ammunition for negotiating a price reduction- or by making you think twice about taking the property on at all.

Which Survey?

We undertake a range of surveys to suit a variety of budgets and tastes. Our most popular products are shown below. Please call or email for more information on products, current promotions and custom options.

Survey Types

Most buyers tend to rely on the mortgage lender's valuation, which is simply the check on the property your mortgage lender makes to ensure it's worth the money they're lending. And although it will show up any serious defects that are likely to affect the value of the property, it won't give you a real picture of its condition. For that you need a homebuyer type report or full structural survey, carried out by a qualified Chartered Surveyor. Be prepared to budget for more than one survey in case the first sale falls through.

Here's what you need to know about the three types of survey: the valuation report, Homebuyer survey and structural or building survey.

Valuation Report 

This is the simplest and cheapest form of report on a property, and will be all that a mortgage lender will require. Its purpose is to reassure the lender that the property is sufficient security against the loan they are offering. So if you default on your payments, the lender wants to be able to sell the property at a price that will meet the outstanding debt. 

The valuation takes a short time. A surveyor will check the property inside and out, and assess a suitable value based on its general condition and the values of recently sold properties, and the state of the housing market. The report will contain a summary of condition, with comments on any general faults. It will also have brief recommendations to the buyer on further checks to be carried out. 

Even if you are buying a new built home, the valuation is probably still not sufficient even if the builder has signed up to the NHBC Buildmark warranty. as this does not cover minor snagging defects. In addition the Builder is responsible for the property for the first two years.  

We undertake valuations for many reasons including for probate, and matrimonial purposes.


This is more detailed than the valuation report and can often be carried out at the same time. It's not usually suitable for properties in need of renovation, or if you're planning major alterations. The survey will check out: 

* the general condition of the property.
* any major faults in accessible parts of the building that may affect the value.
* urgent problems that need inspecting by a specialist before you sign a contract.
* results of tests for damp in walls.
* damage to timbers - including woodworm or rot.
* the condition of any damp-proofing, insulation and drainage.

* the value of the property on the open market. can be provided as an extra service subject to an additional fee.* 

*Source: RICS


This is the most complete and expensive survey. It is suitable for all properties, especially listed buildings, older buildings, properties you plan to renovate or alter in any way. So you should consider this approach - spending a little more now could save you significant sums in the future. The survey will include extensive photographs and advise on: 

* major and minor defects and what they could mean.  
* results of damp testing on walls. 
* damage to timbers. 
* the condition of damp-proofing, insulation and drainage (though drains aren't tested). 
* technical information on the construction of the property and the materials used. 
* the location. 
* recommendations for any further special inspections.* 

*Source: RICS
 
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