Why have a survey?
It can save you money and inconvenience
Buying a home is one of the biggest investments most of us will make, and it is not without risk. A survey will help highlight any problems before you commit to the purchase that might otherwise result in unexpected and costly repairs or improvements being required, and can potentially save you thousands of pounds.
You will get expert advice in plain English
A survey is an in-depth visual inspection of the property. The report provides an expert account of the property's condition written in plain English, and highlights any problems in simple colour-coded ratings to indicate where defects are serious or urgent.
A mortgage valuation is not a survey
If you are getting a mortgage, you should not rely on the mortgage valuation, which does not give you an assessment of the condition of the property or advice about repairs and maintenance.
Why use a Chartered Surveyor?
Having your survey carried out by a surveyor who is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) gives you reassurance that you will be receiving a high quality, reliable and cost-effective service based on RICS standards of practice.
There are two main types of RICS survey:
Homebuyer Report (Level 2 Survey)
A concise report that sets out the condition of the property and offers advice on urgent defects and defects that may affect the value of the property, as well as advice on repairs and ongoing maintenance. Guidance to legal advisors is also included. There are two versions of the Homebuyer Report - one with a market valuation and insurance rebuild cost included, and one without. The Homebuyer Report is aimed at conventional properties and newer homes and will help you make an informed decision about whether to go ahead with the purchase, what is a reasonable price to pay, what repairs or improvements are required, and whether any further advice is needed. You can expect to pay from £425 for the Homebuyer Report, depending on the size and value of the property.
Building Survey (Level 3 Survey)
A detailed report providing an in-depth analysis of the property’s condition with extensive advice on defects, repairs and maintenance issues. The Building Survey is suitable for older or larger properties, historic/listed buildings, unusual or significantly altered properties, or run-down buildings in need of refurbishment. A Building Survey is also advisable if you are planning major works, including extension or conversion. The report includes photographs to illustrate defects and issues, and guidance for your legal adviser. A valuation is not included as standard but can be included as an additional service if required. You can expect to pay from £750 for this top of the range survey, depending on the property size and value.