What Sort Of Survey Do You Need?

Last updated: March 2021 | 2 min read

Just after your offer has been accepted, you will want to get a house survey. However, there are so many types of surveys that choosing one which is perfect for you can be mindboggling.

This article will take you through the different types of home surveys to help you decide which survey is right for the property you want to buy.

Why do you need a home survey?

Through the survey, you will get detailed information relating to the condition of the property. A surveyor inspects the property for structural problems, highlights the significant repairs needed, and can also provide expert comments on the property.

Is a property survey different from mortgage valuation?

Yes, a mortgage valuation is not a survey. For mortgage valuation, they only look at the property in a very cursory manner to determine the property's worth. The mortgage lenders require it to ensure that it is a good property to lend against.

Who carries out property surveys?

You should get a qualified surveyor to conduct the survey. The most qualified surveyors are members of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Survey cost varies from one surveyor to another and depends on the size and location of the property.

Is it compulsory to get a property survey?

Though it is not compulsory to get a property survey, it can be of significant help to you. It can help avoid some expensive work you will need to get carried out.

Equipped with the information provided to you by the surveyor, you will be in a strong position to decide whether you want to buy the property. Otherwise, you can decide if you want to renegotiate the price.

What sort of survey should you get?

There are various types of surveys to choose from. However, you should keep in mind what level of information you want from a survey and your budget.

Condition Report - level one survey

This is the most basic and cheapest type of survey. It will provide only basic details. Further, it will summarise the defects in the property and possible risks affecting the property.

However, it does not include any advice or valuation.

HomeBuyers Report – level two survey

HomeBuyers survey is a lot more detailed and one of the most popular options as per RICS. You should know that there are two types of surveys in this option. One is with valuation and one without.

HomeBuyers Report – only survey

This survey report will tell you of all the major issues with the property such as structural issues, rot, repairs required. However, this type of survey is non-intrusive. Therefore, the report you will get will be limited.

 HomeBuyers Report – survey and valuation

A HomeBuyers Report with survey and valuation will include all the feature of the standard HomeBuyers Report. Further, it will include a valuation and insurance restatement value.

Home Condition Survey

Home Condition Surveys are offered by the Residential Surveyor Association (RPSA). You should know the following about Home Condition Surveys:

  • Specialist residential property surveyor conducts the surveys. The report is in a consumer-friendly format.
  • The survey report provides practical information, including internet speed, boundary issues, damp assessment. Your conveyancer can consider these issues while advising you on whether to purchase the property.

Building Survey – level three survey

Building Survey is conducted by the RICS surveyors and is considerably more expensive. However, they can be worth it. You should know the following about Building Surveys:

  • The cost will vary depending on the size of the property.
  • It is an extensive survey. You will be given a detailed report by the end of it.
  • The surveyor will take a look at all part of the property. He or she will get into the attic, look between floors and above ceilings, and check out behind walls.
  • The report you will receive will include advice on the repairs and an estimated time and cost to carry them out. It will also tell you what may happen if you do not carry out the repairs recommended.
  • You will probably have to specify if you want to include an insurance reinstatement value estimate or market valuation of the property.
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