Buying a new property? Choosing the right survey

A property is one of the largest purchase you’re likely to make and so choosing the right survey is paramount in protecting your investment. Ensure your property is valued correctly, and the true condition of your property is revealed with our HomeBuyer Report or Building surveys.



Hello, I'm Joe Arnold from Arnold and Baldwin Chartered Surveyors. I must hear almost every customer, buying a residential property ask, which survey would I recommend. Understandably you're about to spend a huge amount of money so it's really important that you get the right advice, I appreciated it's expensive time but believe me, it will only become more expensive if you choose not to undertake a survey. Our vision is to protect your investment as honest approach for experts. This clip has been created to help you to decide which survey is right for the property that you are buying.

No doubt, you'll be getting a mortgage. Banks will require a mortgage valuation to be undertaken, and it simply is, that it is a valuation report that the lender will need to have undertaken so that they can assess what the property's worth, and whether or not they want to lend the money against that property. If you don't pay your mortgage, they will be looking to repossess it, and that is the purpose of that report. If you are looking for someone yourself to have a look at the condition of the property, then there are two other options, there is the HomeBuyer report and the Building survey. The HomeBuyer report is designed for your traditional 1930s semi-detached houses or your detached 1960s properties, something which is in relatively good order and doesn't need to have too much work undertaken. Within this report we look at the main walls, the roof, the chimneys, we look at the guttering, we look at the plot, the drive, check the drains internally, we go into the lofts, I assume you haven't been up into the loft and get covered in those cobwebs, we will do that for you, to make sure there's no defects up there. We check the damp, woodwork, look at the electrics, heating system, kitchens, bathrooms, ceilings, the walls, we also check whether anything has been altered structurally, so that your solicitor who won't go to the property can also then raise questions for you.

The next step will be a Building Survey, and this is more designed for properties that are unique. So let's say a barn conversion, or an oast house, or perhaps a property which is in pretty poor condition and needs everything doing, this sort of property would need a building survey, which just goes into that bit more depth, so it is a bespoke report for that property. We can take drainage experts with us, we can take roofing contractors with us, we can look at potentials to extend, or if you've got any other options that you're looking to undertake once you've bought the property, then this is the more bespoke tailor-made reports for that style of property.

At Arnold and Baldwin Chartered Surveyors, we're here to help you, so please do pick up the phone and we're all more than happily have a look online at the property that you're buying, and we will give you our honest view of the type of report that we think is best suited for that property. We always promise never to up the seller product so please do feel free to contact us. 

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About the author

Joe Arnold avatar

Joe Arnold

Joe is the guiding force behind Arnold & Baldwin and has overall responsibility for all commercial and residential surveys and valuations. Passionate about delivering the highest quality products at the fairest prices possible, he has been consistently searching for new and innovative client-focused services since founding the company with Jobie in 2007

Read more about Joe Arnold

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Here's what our customers say


Professional, efficient surveyors. Get the job done in a timely manner, had our survey back within 5 days of inspection. All team members I spoke with (Tiffany and Billy) were really lovely. Highly recommend. :)


I have only just started working with Stephen and he has already demonstrated the high levels of customer attention and dedication that this company has. The first impression he has caused is such that made me write this review. I have no doubt that the continuous service will be of same level. Looking forward to working further with Stephen. Well done!

Steve Kenny

Lease extension - I found Daniel Grove very professional and had an excellent understanding of all aspects relating to this transaction. Advice was invaluable, and it was nice to come across someone who did exactly what they said they were going to do. Would not hesitate in recommending the firm and Daniel to anyone who has a lease to extend.

Petros Kyrkilis

Amazing job and fully professional treatment. The surveyor went above and beyond to check for everything, when he could have easily claim lack of access. In addition he was more than happy to answer questions over the phone and be there to explain the steps.

Lynn Wilson

Within 48 hours I received my detailed report from Joe Arnold which enabled me to see the property as it was and not through rose-tinted glasses! The report highlighted areas where money might need to be spent and provided guidance on questions for my solicitor - just what I needed. Overall, the survey enabled me to re-assess my offer and in this respect was invaluable. Thank you for a friendly and professional service.

Mark Roberts

100% choose this company. As first time buyers we had a mortgage valuation which said the house was fine. The Arnold & Baldwin survey found over £30,000 of problems. Holes in the roof with daylight visible, damp, woodworm, broken sash windows and poor electrics. This company helped us renegotiate and save a fortune.


Arnold & Baldwin came recommended and I’ve got to say they were brilliant - not just in identifying issues with the property I was looking at but in the way they kept me informed and up to date (ie picking up the phone instead of just posting / emailing communications with you). After dealing with estate agents for so long, it’s nice to have someone who is genuinely on your side.

Kamal Rahman

From my initial interaction with the firm I found them to be prompt, courteous and helpful. I received a detailed Homebuyers report within a week of instructing and was given the opportunity to talk it through with the attending surveyour. Overall excellent service all round, would certainly recommend this firm.

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