We are always happy to put you in contact with a local surveyor with whom we have worked in the past.
What are the different types of surveys when buying a house?
Surveys are an all over health check on a property. Your survey should be carried out before you exchange contracts so if it reveals any defects, it is not too late to seek an appropriate reduction in the purchase price or even withdraw from the purchase if the defect is serious.
While a survey is another professional fee to incur, you are strongly advised to choose one appropriate for the condition of the property, irrespective of the cost. To do otherwise can quickly prove to be a false economy. The last thing you need after the upheaval and expense of moving home is an unwelcome, costly and unbudgeted surprise, which may even become apparent some years after completion.
The main types of survey which are 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 with the property. Any faults highlighted should be rectified by the developer before you move in.
A Condition Report is a short, surface-level report which describes the general condition of the property and highlights any obvious defects. It is suitable only for new-build homes and possibly for conventional homes in a 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 is 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 is 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 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 will depend entirely on the type of survey that you require. Clearly, the more detail needed, the more time it will take the surveyor to carry out and then write up the survey. In our experience the typical range of cost is between £300 and £2,500.