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Reduce your chances of buying a nightmare with a private survey

Dowen Surveying Services is a specialist division of Dowen Estate Agency

We carry out professional survey and valuation work for private individuals, solicitors, companies and institutions such as banks and building societies

Our aim is to provide a service where the Surveyor will also be available, personally, to discuss any aspect of the survey work he/she has carried out 

Our clients find this aspect of our service invaluable, as we insist that the Surveyor concerned will always be approachable and ready to answer any queries raised in easy-to-understand layman terms  


The purchase of your own home is generally regarded as the biggest financial outlay you will ever make

Most mortgage lenders will insist on at least a basic valuation before allowing your purchase to proceed

However this valuation provides little more than to advise the lender of the basic condition of the property and that it is a worthwhile mortgage risk.

If you are buying for cash a survey is essential to ensure that your purchase is sound.

Intelligent home buyers therefore realise that it is important to commission a professional survey to advise as to whether the property is free from significant defect and associated expense. 

Money wisely spent on a professional survey can often save the need to spend thousands on repairs or replacements

In the event of essential repairs being found, your survey report could also be a useful negotiating tool to further reduce the price you pay for your next home

If no significant repairs or expenditure are required then at least you have peace of mind.

Remember it is too late to re-negotiate the sale price once you have exchanged contracts or moved in.

When buying a home you should never rely solely on a mortgage valuation.  Most lenders themselves state, within their terms and conditions, that this should not be done.

The section to the right allows you to consider the benefits of each type of professional survey and which type would best suit your needs 



1) RICS Homebuyers Report

The RICS Homebuyers survey is designed specifically as an economy professional survey and is a cost-effective way to minimise risk.

The report focuses on essential defects and problems, which are urgent or significant and have an effect on the value of the property.  This report is more detailed than a basic valuation and comes in a standard format which is easily understood and divides the report into different sections i.e.. walls, roof, gutters etc.

The Surveyor’s main objective in providing the service is to assist the prospective home buyer to:-

  • Make a reasoned and informed judgement on whether or not to proceed with the purchase.
  • Assess whether or not the property is a reasonable purchase at the agreed price.
  • Be clear about what decisions and actions should be taken before contracts are exchanged; in particular, features of the property which affect its present value and may affect its future resale.
  • The report covers the building inside and outside, the services and the site. It focuses on the defects and other problems which in the judgement of the Surveyor are urgent or significant, but it also covers:-
  • The general condition and particular features of the property.
  • Particular points which should be referred to the client’s legal advisers.
  • Other relevant considerations concerning, for example, safety, location, the environment or perhaps insurance.

Matters which are judged not to be urgent or not significant, are in general not included in the report, but the Surveyor will mention matters judged to be both helpful and constructive.

Where necessary the Surveyor can also provide an extra service, which is outside the normal scope of the standard package – perhaps providing a schedule of minor defects and arranging the testing of mains services by including suitably qualified specialists.

The Surveyor will be happy to personally discuss with you any aspect of the report which causes you concern and will answer any questions you may have

Cost Of A RICS Homebuyers Report 

 Property Price

 Survey Price

Including Vat 

 Up To £100000


>£100000 - £200000


>£200000 - £300000


>£300000 - £400000


>£400000 - £500000 



 Please Ask















2) Building Survey

A Building Survey is more expensive than an RICS Homebuyers Report and is suitable for any residential property. It provides a comprehensive picture of its construction and condition of the premises.  This is a more extensive report than the Homebuyers Report. 

There is no set format for the report though it is generally broken down into sections covering:-

  • The main walls – general stability, effects and causes of cracking, condition of materials, weather tightness, windows, guttering, damp proof course, ventilation etc.
  • The ceilings.
  • The floors – suspended timber floors will be raised where possible to check on joist sizes, woodworm, fungal attack, dampness etc.
  • The roof – internal and external although inspection will, in some cases, be confined to ground level depending on the height of the building.
  • The drains – inspection chamber covers will be lifted where possible and flow tests carried out.
  • The site generally – garages, outbuildings, paths, fencing etc.

Cost Of A Building Survey

From £ 595 including vat

 Please Ask For A Quotation








This style of report is suitable if valuations are required for

  • Matrimonial Purposes
  • Disputes
  • Probate
  • Tax Purposes
  • Compulsory Purchase

Cost Of A Private Valuation

From £105 including vat

 Please Ask For A Quotation







To arrange your private survey or valuation please contact us


21 Athenaeum Street, Sunderland, SR1 1DH

Tel: 0191-5142299

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