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Buying property tips: Arranging a survey

You will need a surveyor who will act on your behalf once you have found the property. Make sure you get an accurate quote for the type of survey you want to have carried out. Most lenders will require at least a basic Mortgage Valuation on the home that you are buying. Before you pay out for a survey, it is worth taking the time to think about what it is you want the survey to tell you. Your requirements will be different if you are simply moving house than if you are looking to renovate or restore a property. Does the property you are interested in need a full building survey or are you better off with a Homebuyer's Survey and Valuation?

Special requirements
If you have a specific requirement from your surveyor, it is worthwhile trying to find a surveyor who has some degree of experience or specialty in that field. If you have any plans for renovating the property, your surveyor is the best source of information you have to consult about the considerations that your plans may raise. Your surveyor can provide you with information and advice about:

Planning permission - What are the restrictions? Are there any fees?
Demolition and erection of structural walls and other major changes.
Listed Building regulations - guidelines and limitations.
Conservation area regulations and levels of restriction.
Safety issues.

If you have chosen to undertake a survey of a property independently of that required by your mortgage provider it is worth spending the time making sure your surveyor will provide what you need from a survey. Surveys are expensive and can be very important when deciding whether to go ahead with a sale so don't be afraid to ask questions. Many surveyors have areas of specialty which may cater for more directly for your needs. For example, they may specialise in listed buildings or auction properties.

Chartered surveyors
Chartered Surveyors (Members and Affiliates of RICS) can be identified by the letters MRICS (Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) and FRICS (Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors). They are the only people allowed to call themselves Chartered Surveyors or Chartered Building Surveyors.

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