This week I want to talk about a current dangerous trend, reports indicate that home buyers are scrimping on surveys to keep down their property purchase costs but could end up with a big repair bill as a result. A recent poll of 2,000 home owners by Churchill found that 14% of buyers who have purchased a property in the past 20 years didn’t have a survey and relied on the mortgage valuation. The survey found buyers are now either not taking a survey at all or going for the basic mortgage valuation or homebuyers report. In the past 12 months, 9% didn’t have a survey while 17% took a condition report and 13% had a homebuyers report. Just 6% had a building survey. This is in stark contrast to those purchasing homes in the last three years where buyers on average chose to run with a more expensive informative report. Only by having a qualified surveyor evaluate a property can prospective buyers be fully informed of the true condition of that property, so it is an essential part of the buying process not something where cutting corners or saving a buck are recommended. Those relying on a mortgage valuation alone should be wary as this is just a brief look at a property from a mortgage lender to assess how much it is worth, not a survey looking at the condition of the property. The mortgage lender as part of their usual lending criteria always carries out a simple valuation of the property to make sure they can lend safely, and these are sometimes completed without visiting the property at all rather using just a desktop valuation. The message for home buyers is clear – a home is the most expensive purchase you will ever make and going down a cheaper route will be a false economy if major defects and works are required following completion. There are various levels of surveys available, and it is vitally important to have a qualified surveyor look at your property if you truly want to know what you are buying, otherwise you could risk making a very expensive mistake. So don’t save a few pounds now to spend thousands later, it’s really not worth the risk.