Do I need a survey when buying a house? If so, what type of survey do I need? Here’s some guidance for you. But if you are still not sure, our team are always happy to put you in contact with a local surveyor.
Contact our team on 01225 755656. Alternatively, you can email them, or complete the Contact Form at the foot of this page.
Conveyancing quotes are also available online.
What are the different types of surveys when buying a house?
Surveys are an all-over health check on a property. You should undertake your survey before exchanging contracts so if it reveals any defects, it’s not too late to take action. This might involve an appropriate reduction in the purchase price or even withdrawing from the purchase if the defect is serious.
A survey is yet another professional fee at an expensive time. However, it’s advisable to select the most appropriate survey for the condition of the property, irrespective of the cost. To do otherwise can quickly prove a false economy. The last thing you need after the upheaval and expense of moving home is an unwelcome, costly and unbudgeted surprise.
The main types of survey recognised by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) are:
New-build snagging survey
A snagging survey is a basic, independent inspection of a new-build property to look for any issues. These may be anything from small and cosmetic, to significant and structural issues. The developer should rectify any faults highlighted before you move in.
See our New Build Conveyancing Guide
A Condition Report is a short, surface-level report which describes the general condition of the property and highlights any obvious defects. It’s suitable only for new-build homes and possibly for conventional homes in very good condition. The report will contain no valuation and no advice on repairs and maintenance.
A HomeBuyer Report is the most popular type of survey. It’s briefer than a Building Survey but more detailed and comprehensive than a Condition Report. It involves a non-intrusive, visual inspection of the condition of the property to highlight any defects.
To put the extent of the inspection into perspective, the surveyor will not lift up floorboards or carpets or move furniture. However, among other issues, it will help to identify any structural problems, such as subsidence or damp. It’s usually suitable for conventional properties in a reasonable condition.
A HomeBuyer Report sometimes includes a valuation, which may help you to revise your offer to take into consideration the cost of any work required.
Building (or Full Structural) Survey
A Building Survey is very comprehensive. Although the surveyor will not look under the floorboards or behind the walls, they will include their opinion on the potential for hidden defects in these areas. The survey will contain advice on repair and maintenance options.
While it is suitable for all properties, in most cases its additional cost is justified only for larger or older properties, or where you are considering major works.
How much does a house survey cost?
The cost of your house survey depends entirely on the type of survey that you require – somewhere between £300 and £2,500. Clearly, the more detail required, the more time it will take the surveyor to carry out and then write up the survey.