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Property surveys

Property surveyor
If you are buying with a mortgage, your lender will insist on a survey, usually by one of their approved valuers or surveyors.

You pay for this survey, known as a valuation survey, generally €100 to €150 including VAT, and you should get a copy of it. If you don't, ask for it - after all, you paid for it!
However, this survey is solely for the lender's benefit and is designed purely to assure the lender that the property is worth what they are lending, not necessarily what you are paying. Often it amounts to little more than a drive-by. Don't rely on it to tell you anything about the condition of the property - that's not its purpose.

It is a very superficial survey and you would be well advised, particularly with older properties, to commission your own, more detailed survey. This should point out any significant defects in the property and give you an idea of what it might cost to put them right. If there are specific things you want the surveyor to look at, tell him or her. You might be able to negotiate a reduction in the price if significant defects are found by this survey, but in today's property market, don't bank on it!

Homebuyer's survey

This type of survey is prepared for, and paid for, by you.

Typically, it includes all visible sections of the property. It may not cover items like drains or floors under carpets.

It should alert you to any action required before committing to buy the property, advise you of any repairs required and advise any further specialist reports that may be needed before exchange of contracts.

It will also give you a current valuation and rebuilding cost for insurance purposes.

If you are getting a mortgage and the surveyor is on the lender's panel, this valuation should cost less as it can be combined with the valuation survey.
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