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Buying a property? How to choose the right home survey

No matter how stylish, homely and structurally-sound a property looks, homebuyers never quite know what lies beneath the brickwork, flooring and ceilings. In order to know exactly what you are buying, and to avoid any nasty (and expensive) surprises when you move in, it’s vital that a professional home survey is carried out before you are committed to the purchase.
But how do you know which survey choose, between a confusing array of possibilities?
Mortgage valuation
When you apply for a mortgage the lender will obtain a valuation, merely to ensure that the property is worth enough to secure their loan This valuation, often confused with a survey, is based on a very quick inspection and the report, prepared solely for the lender, will rarely include detail about the condition of the property. Increasingly, the mortgage might be approved without any form of inspection, being based wholly on a computer-generated valuation.
A mortgage valuation will not tell you what you need to know about your new home and relying on this brief report could land you with a large, unexpected bill. Regardless of the age or size of the property the safest option is to have it checked by an RICS regulated Surveyor.
RICS Building Survey
This is the traditional choice for buyers looking for a detailed survey report and remains the best option if you are buying an old or complex property or one where extensive repair is likely to be required. A Building Survey can be tailored to your needs and will provide you with a thorough and often complex technical report on the construction, condition and future maintenance issues of your intended purchase. Given the detailed nature of the Building Survey it is generally the most expensive report available to the home buyer. It is often referred to as a “level 3 survey”.
RICS HomeBuyer Report
The RICS HomeBuyer Report or “level 2 survey” is a less complex report that many buyers find less daunting than a Building Survey. It uses layman’s terms to describe the construction and condition of the property and includes recommended action points, using a traffic light system to indicate severity. This type of report is most suitable for properties built since the late Victorian period and of conventional construction. The report includes a valuation and an insurance reinstatement figure.
RICS Condition Report
The RICS Condition Report is a concise report that focuses purely on observed defects, setting out traffic light condition ratings, a summary of the risks to the condition of the property; and other matters such as issues for your legal advisers. It does not include a valuation or an insurance reinstatement figure and is often called a “level 1 survey”.
If you are buying a property and are unsure which survey to choose, visit our survey comparison page or contact our team of surveying experts, who will work closely with you to find the right survey and give you peace of mind before you sign on the dotted line.

2019-06-27T08:34:55+00:00February 9th, 2019|