Do I need a separate survey when I buy a property?

Considerations when buying your home

Buying your home is most likely going to be the biggest outlay you are ever going to make, so being fully aware of the properties condition is crucial. A survey of the property prior to purchase will help identify any work that may need to be carried out to the property before you buy it. A survey is basically a health check on a property and helps to ensure that the amount you're paying is fair and correct based on the condition it's in. It can also put you in a position to negotiate with the seller before you proceed with the purchase particularly if any issues arise from the inspection.

The type of survey you will require will be based on the details of the property and its age. You should ensure that your surveyor is a member of a recognised governing body such as the Residential Property Surveyors Association (RPSA) or Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyor, we are more than happy to put you in touch with a company that can review this for you.

As a buyer there are three main types of survey to choose from:

Basic Survey

This type of survey describes the condition of the property, identifies any risks and potential legal issues and highlights any urgent defects. It’s most suitable for new-build and conventional homes in good condition; no advice or valuation is provided in this survey. A Condition Report is a very basic ‘traffic light’ survey.

Home Buyer Survey

A home buyer survey reports on defects in the property, its condition, and actionable repairs. They are designed to cover all aspects of the property, however this is an abbreviated version of the full buildings survey. The Home Buyer Report doesn’t look beyond the floorboards or behind the walls. This type of survey report is generally suitable for more modern type property built after 1950’s.

Full Building Survey

This type of survey provides a more detailed report than the home buyer survey. It is recommended for older properties and those in need of work, or simply for peace of mind. These types of survey aim to provide the most comprehensive feedback and advice. The surveyor will look at the complete property and give a detailed information regarding the state of every single aspect of the building. It is particularly suitable for; older properties, properties which have had major alterations over time or presents an unusual structure, properties which have a thatched roof or timber frame, those which are listed, or properties which appear to have problems that require further investigation.

To sum up, having a survey is not a legal requirement when buying a property however it could prove invaluable even though it can feel like an unnecessary expense, it could actually save you money not to mention a lot of stress particularly if it uncovers an issue with the structure of the property.

It is important to note that if you are buying a new-build home, you should get a 10-year warranty from the builder which largely negates the need for a home-buyer's survey although a snagging survey can prove helpful in identifying any issues.

Bear in mind that, if you are buying with a mortgage, the lender will carry out a basic valuation which is completed primarily to identify the value of the property and make sure that the property is suitable for a mortgage with the lender that you are applying with.

The FCA does not regulate Surveyors

Family Protection Advisor

Do I need income protection insurance?

Do I need income protection insurance?

Most of the time the first you will hear about the need of personal protection is when you first look at buying a home, however it can also be important for people renting or even living with family who are wanting to make sure that if anything happens to them that they have some form of financial security, but also they can provide that for their family too.

Whenever you go through the process of getting a mortgage the topic of personal protection will be covered with your adviser, a lot of the time most people don’t know enough about it other than that it can be an unpleasant topic to approach and we occasionally see the view of ‘I am young and healthy and haven’t been unwell yet’.

There is no denying that Covid-19 has opened a lot of our eyes to the fact that we are not invincible, and that in term can lead to financial implications for our loved ones. All you have to do is look up facts about diagnostics to realise that illness is a part of life for many of us.

For example:

  • Cancer Research states that 1 in 2 people in the UK will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetime and that approximately 50% of the people diagnosed with Cancer in England and Wales survive their disease for ten years or more.
  • Diabetes UK states that 1 in 10 over 40 in the UK now has Type 2 diabetes
  • The charity MIND states that 1 in 4 people experience mental health problems each year
  • The British Heart Foundation states that 7.4 million people are living with heart diseases in the UK
  • The stroke association states that there are more than 100,000 strokes in the UK each year and it is the fourth biggest killer in the UK, with more than 400 children having a stroke every year in the UK and a third of stroke survivors experiencing depression post-stroke.

This is without looking at the impact of bowel-related diseases, multiple sclerosis, and many others.

More and more research, money and support services are being implemented by our NHS and amazing charities to continuously improve the level of treatments and survival rates. However, quite regularly it is the financial worries of still having to pay our mortgage, utilities, vehicles, phones, and other debts and commitments whilst seriously ill that can lead to very high levels of unnecessary stress that can lead to further complications and even reduce the rate or chances of recovery.

None of us want to delve too deep into this as it can be very painful and is not something that we want to dwell on, nevertheless, it can be one of the most important conversations of our lives to make sure that if anything happens to us or our family that we could have the financial support that allows us to focus on what is really important, and that is the wellbeing of our family.

If you want to discuss what may be suitable for yourself then get in touch on 01225 962456 or drop us an email on so that we can run through a review or contact us through the website.

Ways to improve the value of your property during lock down

Ways to improve the value of your property during lock down

For many, life in lockdown has meant that we are working from home, with a significantly shorter commute to and from work and the ability to work in a far more flexible manner, in many cases providing us with time that quite frankly we may not have seen for years and years. Then there are some of us who have been Furloughed and simply are not allowed to do their work.

For the first few weeks, maybe even months that seems great. However, there is only so much of the News and Netflix we can watch.


If you are considering selling your property, then perhaps this is your chance to make good use of that time to see if you can increase your property value. After all, first impressions can be the difference between someone wanting to buy your house, or purchasing another. Simple things like a well-kept garden, pathways and fences go an awfully long way, not to mention a freshly painted front door.


When you enter a property it is very easy to say 'look past the mess', but for many it is not always that easy and mess can lead to negative thoughts that in turn can reflect badly on the saleability of the property. Even if you are just chucking all of your children's toys or your clothes in the bottom of a cupboard, at least it will be out of sight.


If you take a look around any sinks, baths or showers, then quite regularly you will find that this can become a bit of an eyesore, and again it can add to the concept of a lower value. Most of the time to redo the grouting in the tiles or the silicon around the sinks is not a huge cost, more than anything it is the amount of time involved that can put people off sorting it.


It is not exactly the best time to consider a new kitchen being installed with the Covid-19 situation and this is highly associated with the risk of overdeveloping your property. However, a far cheaper option could be a new splash of paint to brighten the place up and create that warm feeling that most people desire when they are searching for their home.


Chris Hood ANAEA, Branch Manager of local agents Cooper and Tanner says: ''When showing a prospective buyer around a property, first impressions are everything. Within a few minutes, a buyer often decides whether the property could be their next home, therefore it is essential to create a clean, tidy and inviting home. To maximise the chance of achieving the best possible price, we advise sellers to de-clutter as much as possible and allow in as much natural light as possible. A newly painted room, mowed lawns, clean carpets and even adding some fresh flowers can sound obvious, however, putting in the effort prior to house viewings can be the difference between securing an offer or not.''


More than anything it is a matter of getting your property ready, putting that extra time and effort in that you now have to make your property an easier yes to potential buyers.

COVID-19 Somerset Mortgage Advisor

The impact of Covid-19 on the Housing Market

Prior to the Covid-19 forced lockdown, we had seen the housing market going from strength to strength, with house prices rising by 0.8% in March according to Nationwide, which was the largest monthly increase since early 2018 and resulted in the prices increasing by 3% compared to March 2019.

If you had your property on the market before lockdown commenced on 20th March 2020, or you had planned to put your property on the market this spring or summer, then you are likely to be questioning whether you should hold off until next year.

The Financial Times state that ’experts predict transactions will fall by 60 per cent or more in the three months to June, with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors predicting sales to drop to the lowest level seen in 20 years’. With the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government clear guidance to those buying or selling, essentially stating that if you’re in a position to delay the purchase of your property then you should, it is very hard to see anything but a fall.

The bigger question is what will happen going forward when Estate Agents can open again. According to Zoopla the Covid-19 lockdown has put £82 billion of home sales on hold. Since then many people involved in these purchases will likely have been subjected to a reduction in incomes and will be facing the tough decision of whether to proceed or not.

We have never experienced this before as a country, let alone planet! However, as we are all in the same boat here the market is likely to be more understanding that the process may be taking longer than the industry standard.

For many potential buyers, the question is whether you will be able to obtain a mortgage, with many lenders having to make significant changes. Rightmove believe that it will take the following to kick-start the market again once lockdown is eased:

  • Continuation of mortgage lending on the same terms as before the lockdown, aided by government incentives to encourage moving as a key part of the economic recovery.
  • Forbearance by lenders to limit forced sales until employment levels recover.
  • Social distancing measures may still be needed for some time to come, so safe viewing procedures will require innovation by the property industry.

Yes, the mortgage market did have to take significant measures to ensure responsible lending. Nonetheless, we are seeing lenders changing their criteria on a daily basis. More and more lenders are now accepting automated valuation, providing products at higher loan-to-values that allow first time buyers or people with smaller deposits to proceed. Not only this, but lenders are looking forwards with the understanding that a drop in our incomes now does not represent a trend going forwards. With the Bank of England base rate being 0.1%, the lowest ever level recorded in the history of the Bank, we are finding some of the rates are exceptionally low.

Now more than ever it is important to talk to an adviser who can help you understand your options in a rapidly changing market. If you have any questions just get in touch via email or phone. or 01225 962456.

Your property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

COVID-19 Somerset Mortgage Advisor

The potential impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on your mortgage

We are amid the most significant pandemic of many of our lives, and although the focus of the world right now is to fight the spread of coronavirus, many of us are left understandably concerned about the impact on a house move or remortgage and our chance of success.

There is no hiding the fact that there have been significant changes to both the housing market and the mortgage market. As you can imagine lenders like most businesses right now are faced with staff shortages but they are also receiving a high level of enquiries about mortgage payment holidays.

What we have done is run through a number of questions that we are receiving to try and help provide a clearer picture as to the impact that this may have on your chances of getting a mortgage.

Have lenders stopped offering mortgages?

One of the most common questions right now is whether you can still get a mortgage. Some more specialised lenders have temporarily stopped lending, however, there are many lenders still offering mortgage to both new and existing customers.

A large number of lenders have withdrawn deals available to those with smaller deposits, or who have limited equity in their homes if remortgaging. The main reason for this is due to the complications in conducting valuations as many of these will require the surveyor to enter the property, thus breaching the social distancing rules we have in place currently. Some lenders can use desktop valuations (automated or completed from a computer) as opposed to a physical valuation, however, this is less likely to be possible with a smaller amount of equity.

Can I buy a house right now?

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has provided clear guidance to those buying or selling, essentially stating that if you’re in a position to delay the purchase of your property, you should.

There could be times however that there aren’t issues with this, for example, if you are purchasing the property that you are currently living in then there would be no need for you to leave the property in order to do so.

If you have found a new build property that are still accepting offers then there is no reason why you can’t look at starting the process so that you are ahead of the game when we are ready to move. In any of these situations always check your legal obligations. If you need assistance then we can introduce you to solicitors at any point in the process, including the sale of a current property.

The FCA does not regulate solicitors and surveyors.

Can I still remortgage?

Lenders are still offering mortgages to new and existing customers, although as mentioned before, the lower percentage of equity the higher chance that the lender will not be able to complete a desktop valuation.

Windsor Hill Mortgages can advise you on the deals that lenders are offering to their existing customers and compare this against deals available in the wider market so you can be sure that you make the right choice.

Can I get protection against Coronavirus?

With the death toll continuing to increase in the UK more and more people are realising the need for financial support to protect their families. If someone has a life insurance policy and they pass away due to coronavirus, if the claim meets the term and conditions of the policy then the insurer should pay out.

Coronavirus isn’t covered as a critical illness for insurers, however, if you were to have complications from the virus that lead to conditions that are included in your policy - such as kidney, liver, heart or respiratory failure – the claim would be paid, again subject to the policy terms and conditions.

The most suitable policy will always depend on your personal circumstances. If you have any queries or you just want to see if there is a policy suited to you, whether protection is completely new to you or you want to compare to what you currently have in place, then get in touch with us at Windsor Hill Mortgages on 01225 962456 or email and we will be able to complete a free review for you.

Contact us today for a FEE FREE consultation.

COVID-19 Somerset Mortgage Advisor

First time buyers amid the Covid-19 pandemic

The current expectation is that the housing market is going to take a substantial hit this year, following what was the largest monthly increase in house prices in March since early 2018 according to Nationwide.

Naturally, we can’t say for sure what will happen, however, what we can say is that it is not all doom and gloom if you are looking to buy your first house. If there is a drop in the house prices then it could bring that dream home of yours into a price bracket that works for you. Not only this, but the Bank of England base rate is currently set at 0.1%, the lowest ever recorded in the history of the bank.

Of course, many potential first time buyers may be on furlough currently or may have been impacted financially by Covid-19, on the other hand, you may have been able to work through this, or you may be expected to start again in the not too distant future. Either way, there is a potential opportunity for you to get onto the property ladder.

On our website on the Mortgages tab, you will see that there is a first time buyers section that can provide you with an idea of what to consider as a first time buyer. There is also one tool in particular on the website that can be particularly helpful called the mortgage calculator. This can give you an idea of not only what your monthly repayment costs could be, but also if there is any stamp duty, and if there is how much this would be. You will have to put an estimated interest rate, so if in doubt use the mortgage finder to get an idea of what rates you could be looking at. Of course, these are just indicative costs, and we would run through the true costs, nevertheless, it can provide you with a much better idea. If in any doubt then all you have to do is get in touch, and we will be more than happy to help you out.

Even if you think that you are nowhere near being able to buy a property don’t let that put you off doing your research, or giving us a call. For the sake of a 15-20 minute conversation, we can run through enough information to give you a realistic expectation in the current market of what you could afford, or even potential steps to take to help prepare you for buying your first home whether it is a couple of days, weeks, months or even years. All you have to do is give us a call on 01225 962456 or send an email to so that we can book you in for your fee-free consultation.

Your property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.