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Surveying

Surveying Services & Homebuyers' Surveys And Valuations

Surveying Services:  Farrell Lewis has teamed up with leading London chartered surveyors that have extensive experience providing valuation, survey and general practice services across the Capital.
From home owners to home buyers, private banks to mortgage lenders, they assess your requirements and recommend the most suitable report and level of detail.
The survey and valuation work is undertaken within the strict guidelines set down by the RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors), which gives added peace of mind as all our work is quality assured. 

Homebuyers' surveys and valuations:  Our surveyors are fully experienced with handling different types of property surveys available to buyers and investors.
There are two main types of structural survey available for those buying a property: a Homebuyer's Report or a Residential Building Survey.
A homebuyer's survey and valuation report is an investigation carried out when you are buying a property. This is a more in depth survey than a mortgage valuation, but is still an economical way of learning about a property's condition and value.

Our surveyor will look at all reasonably accessible areas of the building and provide the following:

  • An opinion of the property's general condition, current market value and future sale prospects
  • Identification of any items or issues which require attention and/or may affect the value now or in the future
  • A list of matters with probable/possible legal implications which should be referred to your solicitor/conveyancer
  • Advice on maintenance and safety issues
  • Details of matters to be investigated further or acted upon prior to legal commitment to purchase
  • Residential building survey
  • A building survey (formerly a structural survey) is the most detailed property inspection available.

The main difference between a homebuyer's report and a residential building survey is that the residential building survey takes a more in depth look at the property's construction and condition.

A building survey provide more detail about:

  • Any major problems with the building
  • The general condition of reasonably accessible internal and external parts of the building
  • The roof structure
  • Any suspected problems like timber infestation or damp that might need specialist advice
  • Boundaries, grounds and outbuildings
  • Consequences of any problems discovered during the inspection
  • It also includes the overall impression of services like water supply and drainage (testing these services is not included). A building survey can be tailored to your needs including major conversion or renovation.

To find out more about the residential building surveys contact us.

Valuations

Our Partner Surveyors provide a full range of property valuation services, from mortgage valuations for lenders and individuals to historic valuations that can help calculate any capital gains tax liabilities.

We offer Five different types of property valuations:

  • Mortgage
  • Insurance
  •  Matrimonial
  • Probate
  • Tax

Each of these valuations is available to make sure you fully understand the value of your assets. Our Surveyors also ensure the valuations are supported by clear and understandable reporting.

To find out more about any of our property valuation services, or to arrange a valuation, contact us.

Types of valuations and surveys

We offer a wide range of residential and commercial valuations and survey services.

Mortgage valuations:  When you take out a mortgage, your lender will ask for a mortgage valuation. This is a basic inspection to reassure the lender that the property offers suitable security for the loan. A mortgage valuation looks at things like a property's size, location and age. It isn't a detailed review of its condition. If you want more information on the physical state of the property you are buying, a homebuyer's report or full building survey may be required.
Insurance valuations:  An insurance valuation estimates how much it would cost to rebuild your property.
The calculation is based on using modern materials and techniques, and includes costs such as site clearance. It forms the basis of your buildings insurance policy.
Matrimonial valuations:  A matrimonial valuation is used in divorce or separation proceedings. The court will use this valuation to achieve division of assets in matrimonial disputes.
Probate valuations: When someone dies, the executors of their estate will often need a valuation of the property owned by the deceased. These probate valuations are then used to calculate inheritance tax.
Tax valuations:  Working out how much capital gains tax you need to pay on a property can be complex, especially when you sell property you have owned for a long time.  Our tax valuation service puts a historic value on your property, making self assessment for capital gains tax easier.
Commercial building survey:  We offer a building surveys for commercial premises. It is important for you to know what costs and repairs you might face. It would also be important evidence later if your landlord tries to pursue dilapidations or other repairs. Talk to us for assistance.

Leasehold and freehold property

Our Surveyors are fully experienced in dealing with leasehold and freehold tenures.

There are two fundamentally different forms of legal home ownership: freehold and leasehold. The difference can be between a home that is worth buying and one that may not be. If you own a leasehold property it is important to be aware of the time left on the lease. Short lease terms, those below 80 years, can affect the value of the property as well as a potential buyer's ability to secure a mortgage.

The 1993 Leasehold Reform Act allows most leaseholders to extend their leases by up to 90 years, to potentially improve the value of the property. There are some conditions:

  • You must have owned the property for at least two years
  • There must have been at least 21 years on the original lease

Leasehold can be extended at any time, whether or not the property is being sold. If you're a home owner and want to extend the lease but still live in the property, the process is straightforward. You will need to instruct a surveyor to carry out a leasehold valuation. The surveyor will establish the likely cost of extending the lease and then serve notice to the freeholder.
Extending the lease during the sale:  Many leasehold extensions are carried out during the sale process so a maximum sale price can be achieved. As a vendor you will need to carry out a leasehold valuation in the same way highlighted above.
Between the exchange and completion stages of the purchase your solicitor will inform the landlord of the wish to extend the lease and offer a price for doing so based on the leasehold valuation. This means that the buyer can take over the application, rather than having to wait two years before they are entitled to begin the process themselves.
Buyers should seek independent advice so that they can renegotiate the agreed purchase price if required.
Freehold option:  You may also be interested in acquiring the freehold of your property, or a joint share in the freehold of your building with other owners. Since 1993 leaseholders have been entitled, with certain stipulations, to do this whether a landlord wishes to sell or not.
We can provide property owners, vendors and buyers with a leasehold valuation for the extension application. Please call us on 0208 743 3323 or send us an email.