House Surveys: Which is Best?

Are you buying a home? Before you do you should have the property surveyed. But which survey is best?

Here we explain what you can expect from three different survey reports: condition report, homebuyers report and building survey.

You can learn a lot regarding the home you are thinking about buying with a survey according to the experts at A survey will identify any problems. It will also give you a great negotiating tool when dealing with the seller.

Different surveys

Potential home buyers tend to get one of the following surveys: home condition report, homebuyers report or full building survey. The homebuyers report is very popular. But there is no strict rule about which survey you need to do for the home you are planning to buy.

Guidelines for surveys are set out by the Institute of Chartered Surveyors which uses basic templates for each survey. Most registered chartered surveyors tend to base their reports on these templates.

Some surveyors, who belong to the SAVA scheme, provide another option: a home condition report. Unlike the homebuyers report, the SAVA (Surveyors and Valuers Accreditation) survey does not include a property valuation.

Homebuyers report

This contains greater detail than a home condition report. It identifies potential problems, for example, subsidence and damp.

The report also includes advice about essential repairs required and identifies anything that isn’t in compliance with local building regulations.

In this survey, the surveyor does not inspect walls behind household furniture or beneath floorboards, etc. The inspection will only identify any problems discovered at ‘surface-level’.

The report typically offers a property valuation and estimation of the full cost of rebuilding the property. The surveyor takes between two and three hours to carry out the inspection.

Which survey is most suitable? 

The homebuyers report is the most common survey requested by most buyers. It is suitable for properties which appear to be in good condition. If you are planning to buy an older property, then it is probably a good idea to get a full building survey done. This is more detailed, and the inspection is more thorough.

Cost of surveys

Survey costs vary considerably from one location to another. The size and style of property is also a factor which affects the price.

Different surveyors also offer different survey fees. It is a good idea to ask for at least three quotations before making a final decision.

Is a survey really necessary?

Yes, you will be spending a lot of money to buy your home. And a survey is another expense. But it is also a safeguard against purchasing a property with potential problems which might cost you even more in the long run trying to put them right. You need to be aware of any potential issues with a property before closing the sale.

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