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  • Which Type of Survey is Right for Me?

    9th October 2017

    The Types of Survey – Overview

    • Mortgage valuation: is not a survey – it is to confirm to your lender that they could recover their loan if needed
    • RICS Level 1 Condition report: the most basic detail level
    • RICS Level 2 Homebuyer Report: mid level survey
    • RICS Level 3 Building Survey: the most comprehensive level of detail


    Survey Factors

    Understanding the factors below is important to understanding why a survey is right for you:

    1. Age:

    As the property increases in age there are likely to be more subtle hidden defects or maintenance repairs required meaning you should look towards a more comprehensive survey that can detect these. Over 100 years old and you should look at a Building Survey. A Condition Report suits a new property (up to a maximum age of 10 years) and a Homebuyer Report for a property no more than 100 years old.


    2. Type:

    The larger and less conventional your property is, the more complicated the structure becomes. This requires a greater the level of time and expertise to analyse the property correctly and you should consider a higher level survey.


    3. Condition:

    If the current condition of the property is poor, more time and expertise is needed to establish which issues are cosmetic and which issues are structural and the higher the level of survey you should commission.


    4. Length:

    Your surveyor will spend longer at the property conducting inspections as the level of survey increases. This is to do with the report detail.


    5. Report Detail:

    As the level of survey increases the more detail you receive

    • Condition report: defect
    • Homebuyer report: defect plus cause
    • Building survey: defect, cause plus advice to fix


    6. Report Content:

    • Condition report: obvious defects
    • Homebuyer report: obvious and hidden defects
    • Building survey: obvious and hidden defects, maintenance required now and very soon


    7. Cost:

    As the level of survey increases the cost increases due to the increased expertise, time and advice


    8. Survey Outcome:

    • Mortgage valuation: lender decides if their money is safe and whether to provide you an offer
    • Condition report: you are aware of any obvious defects that you will need to address
    • Homebuyer report: the report helps you decide if you should renegotiate based on the issues found
    • Building survey: the survey helps you decide if you should renegotiate based on the issues found and how much you will need to budget each year for maintenance repairs after moving in


    Deciding on which survey:

    For each factor above, decide which survey level you think your property and requirements fall into. The highest survey level your needs fall into is the survey type you should get. All surveys can come with a valuation if you request one when getting a quote.


    Next steps: