A RICS homebuyer survey is a survey carried out by a RICS registered surveyor. They are available for people looking to purchase a property. They provide information on the property to aid with purchasing decisions and can help to find issues with the property that could lead to complications. In terms of what is actually included in a survey depends on which level you opt for.
What are the different levels of RICS building surveys?
There are 3 different levels of building surveys for homes offered by RICS certified surveyors. These are:
- Level 1 – This is also known as a condition report.
- Level 2 – Known as a Homebuyer survey.
- Level 3 – This is a full building survey.
Level 1 RICS Condition Report
A level 1 condition report is a quick inspection of a property. This will give you a brief overview of a property in its current state. As these surveys are less detailed than the other levels, they are only recommended for the newest properties that seem to be in good condition.
Level 2 RICS Homebuyer Survey
Level 2 RICS homebuyer surveys are by far the most popular of the three levels of survey. A RICS homebuyer survey is a non-intrusive visual inspection of a property. The surveyor will assess all areas of the building that are readily accessible, providing a report on several things if available.
The survey will include:
Inspection – An inspection will be carried out on major indoor and outdoor permanent features. This includes roofs, ceilings, walls, floors, guttering, windows and more. It will also include an inspection of any heating and drainage systems that are visible. Any exposed timber that is easily accessible will also be inspected for signs of rot or infestation.
Advice – A RICS homebuyer survey will include expert advice on building maintenance based on areas that have been assessed in the inspection stage. It will also provide information on potential environmental hazards. Finally, the surveyor will provide information for the consideration of your legal advisor.
Testing – The RICS certified surveyor will test walls and other areas for dampness, which is one of the main common issues that can be revealed as part of the survey.
A level 2 RICS homebuyer survey is recommended for the majority of properties, providing a good amount of detail to help you make purchasing decisions.
Level 3 RICS Full Building Survey
This is the most rigorous of the RICS surveys. It is recommended to carry out a level 3 survey on older, larger, properties that are a little worse for wear. It is also recommended to have a level 3 survey should you wish to carry out any significant structural work on the property, such as extensions and other renovations. Overall, it consists of the same as level 2, but in more detail so you know exactly what you are getting into when buying a property. When agreed, the surveyor can also provide an estimate of likely costs, as well as potential timescales for areas that have been identified to need repairs or other work.
Why is it important to have a RICS Homebuyer Survey?
Homebuyer surveys are very important for anyone looking to purchase a property. They can reveal issues such as damp, subsidence and other issues with a property, which may affect your purchasing decision. They also give you an idea of how much more money may need to be spent on a property to get it up to a safe, habitable standard.
It is important to have a RICS homebuyer survey because using a RICS certified firm, like Munday + Cramer, will ensure they are well versed in the Home Survey Standard. This is a regularly updated best practice guideline for carrying out homebuyer surveys to the highest level. This ensures that you will be receiving the most consistent, transparent and competent residential survey available in the UK.
RICS is the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. This is a professional body for surveyors and has been running in the UK for over 150 years. As such, it is the prominent name in the surveying. field. They promote and enforce the highest professional standards in the building surveying world.
Our RICS surveyors had to go through ongoing rigorous training to gain their qualifications and adhere to strict rules when it comes to carrying out their surveys. As part of becoming qualified they are also regulated and insured. They are property experts and can provide independent, high-quality guidance to homebuyers.
Costs for a RICS homebuyer survey will depend on a few factors, such as the level of survey that you require for the property, as well as the size and value of the property. For a quotation, please get in touch.
For more information on how the team here at Munday + Cramer can help with RICS homebuyer surveys, or if you would like to find out more about our building surveying services, operating in Essex, London, Kent, Norfolk and Suffolk, then get in touch! Contact Munday + Cramer today on 01245 326 200.