All You Need to Know About Surveys

Added on April 11th 2016

All You Need to Know About Surveys

A house survey tells you about the condition of a house and you need one even if you’re buying a new-build. If it highlights any problems, you have good reason to negotiate a lower price or ask the vendor to fix the issues before you buy.

Three types of survey

The three main types of survey are the RICS Condition Report, the Homebuyer’s Report and the RICS Building Survey. The type you choose depends on how much detail you want and on the type of property you’re buying – the older the place, the more detail you want.

The RICS Condition report

This is very basic and looks at the property’s condition and may note significant issues, with a traffic light system for the different areas in the property. It’s best for new-builds and for reassurance and should cost between £150 and £300.

The RICS Homebuyer’s report  

This is more detailed and highlights and explains problems. It includes advice on any repairs and maintenance and lists anything that doesn’t satisfy building regulations. This survey takes two to four hours and doesn’t look too deeply. It’s a good survey for older buildings and costs between £350 and £950.

The RICS Building survey

This is the most thorough survey, giving a comprehensive assessment and breakdown of the property’s condition. The surveyor will spend a full day, and will examine things like attics and floorboards. You can ask for an estimate for costs and timings for potential repairs.

If you’re buying an older property, or one that’s unusual or run-down, this is the survey you need and it costs between £500 and £1,300.

Is a survey necessary?

A survey seems like yet another expense, but you need to know about potential problems so you can ask for a reduction or plan for future repairs.

Some mortgage providers like to see the survey report and a valuation before they agree to lend you the money.

Is a valuation the same as a survey?

No, a valuation report is done to satisfy your lender that the property is worth the money before they lend you anything.

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