For most of us, buying a home will likely be the most expensive purchase that we’ll ever make. Understandably, you’re going to want to know every detail about the exact condition of the property before you sign. Of course, you’ll be able to spot some issues from the get-go. If the roof is falling in, you’ll probably be able to tell. It’s often the case, however, that it’s the hidden issues that end up causing the most damage over time. In order to discover these, a house survey is necessary. But what types of house survey even exist?
Condition Report (Level 1)
A condition report, now known as a RICS Home Survey, is the most basic form of survey. Essentially, it looks to provide a surface-level visual inspection of the building’s condition. This includes commenting on its existing structure, any defects, the state of repair, and any maintenance issues. It will not, however, share advice on how to remediate any issues that are identified. Because of its simplicity, a condition report is typically recommended for newer and more conventional properties.
Homebuyer Survey (Level 2)
These types of house survey are a step up from condition reports. Alongside identifying major structural issues such as subsidence and damp, they also discover any major defects within the property. A homebuyer survey will cover the following factors, presenting its findings in a standardised report:
- A visual inspection of the property’s major features including the roof, windows, pipes, and chimneys.
- A visual inspection of major indoor features including the walls, ceilings, and fittings.
- A brief review of services such as gas, electric and water.
Homebuyer surveys will highlight any urgent repairs, using a traffic light grading system to indicate their current and long-term severity. Homebuyer surveys are the most popular types of house survey.
Building Survey (Level 3)
A RICS-certified building survey is the most detailed form of survey, something that’s particularly important for older or listed properties. In addition to that offered by a homebuyer survey, a building Survey also:
- Includes a bespoke report tailored to your property looking into specific issues you raise.
- Provides detailed advice on both visual and potentially hidden defects.
- Covers all accessible areas, including basements and attics.
- Reviews the performance of services and provides comments on the EPC.
- Covers wear and tear as well as major issues.
- Discusses repair costs and timeframes for identified issues.
Why Might I Need Additional Types of House Survey?
Should the RICS-certified surveyor who is carrying out the survey flag an issue, sometimes, additional investigation may be recommended to determine its prevalence. After all, with such a considerable outlay, you want to ensure that you’re leaving nothing to chance. These surveys can help ensure this isn’t the case. More information on these supplementary surveys can be found here.
If you’re still unsure about the best types of house survey for your future home, why not get in touch! To reach our team at Munday + Cramer, give us a call on 01245 326 200, or email email@example.com.