Survey types

British buyers are familiar with two main types of survey, a ‘Home buyer Survey’ and ‘Building Survey’. Choosing what type of Survey is correct for you depends upon many things including the age and condition of the property.

A survey should be undertaken and the results taken into consideration before you enter into any kind of contractual agreement. This way, if the survey highlights defects or problems with the property you are in a position to negotiate the asking price, through your Notaire or legal advisor if required. Any necessary repairs can then be factored into the value of the property before you are bound to any sale price.

You will need the owner’s permission to arrange a survey on their property. We will contact the property owner or estate agent and make the necessary arrangements on your behalf.

Please note: All our survey reports can be written in French or in English.

Property valuation

Although a “mortgage valuation” is designed to satisfy a “Lender” that the house you want to buy with a loan is a sufficiently valuable asset that can be sold to repay the loan should you, the borrower, be unable to keep up repayments in the future, it can also help you decide if you are paying the right price for your French property.
A more concise valuation may be required when dealing with some French authorities, for tax and inheritance reasons. In this case we will prepare an “Independent Market Value” report.

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Pre-purchase survey and valuation

This type of survey, well known in Great Britain as the “Homebuyer Survey”, is designed for particular types of homes, defined by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors as “conventional in type and construction” and “apparently in reasonable condition”. This type of survey provides a report that highlights any immediate problems or defects that will have an effect on the value of the property. Our report, specially adapted to the French property market, is designed to provide a prospective purchaser with basic information in a standardised format. We consider however that it is not suitable for unusual properties, ones that are particularly old, or if you are planning to renovate the house.

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Building survey

More suitable for most properties in France, this is a comprehensive type of survey. It is especially recommended for older buildings, those constructed out of unconventional materials, stone or timber; and properties which have had lots of alterations or extensions, or which you intend to alter or renovate. The level of detail is higher than that found within a Pre-purchase Survey report and as such, a building survey is more expensive.

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Onsite Acquisition Advice

The surveyor may well spend a day at the property, with the client meeting the surveyor at the property in the afternoon. A tour of all the most important considerations when purchasing the property can be explained to the client onsite and in front of the item needing consideration.

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Major Defects Report

A Major Defect Report is similar in some respects to a building survey and a homebuyer survey. The level of inspection is usually between the two or close to the level of a building survey. However, the report itself is in less detail than a full building survey and concentrates on those more important and larger building issues.

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Buildings Replacement Valuation and Buildings Reinstatement Cost for Insurance purposes

This assessment is based on cost rather than market value. It assesses the cost of rebuilding a property irrespective of the condition the building or site may be left in following a disaster. It is not the same and can differ hugely from the market price of the property or the cost of building the property.

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Other assessments

There are a number of other types of building assessment possible. To select the most appropriate service, we would be pleased to discuss your individual requirements.