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Home Surveys – What are the options?

Frequently, clients inquire about the significance and various types of house surveys.


Gaining an understanding of the different survey levels and their advantages can greatly influence your decision-making process when it comes to purchasing a property. This guide aims to assist you in comprehending the importance of home surveys.   


What is a House Survey?


A house survey entails a thorough examination of a property’s condition conducted by a qualified surveyor. This inspection is crucial as it identifies potential issues that could impact your decision to purchase. Surveys are typically carried out once an offer has been accepted, and it is essential to ensure that the surveyor is accredited by recognised bodies such as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) or the Residential Property Surveyors Association (RPSA).

What Surveys are Available?


Types of House Surveys and Their Significance Depending on the age, condition, and specific concerns of the property, you may choose from several types of surveys offered by RICS and RPSA:


  1. RICS Home Survey – Level 1: This basic survey is ideal for newer, well-maintained properties. It provides a general overview of the property’s condition using a traffic light system without detailed analysis. This is typically the minimum requirement from a lender should you be using a mortgage to acquire the property


  1. RICS Home Survey – Level 2/RPSA Home Condition Survey: This survey is suitable for most properties and offers a more detailed examination. It identifies issues such as dampness and potential subsidence. It is particularly useful for properties in reasonable condition and includes advice on repairs and maintenance.


  1. RICS Home Survey – Level 3/RPSA Building Survey: This comprehensive survey is recommended for older properties, those with unusual designs, or properties in poorer condition. It thoroughly examines the structure and condition, providing detailed insights and potential costs for necessary repairs.


The choice of survey should be influenced by the specific needs and conditions of the property you intend to purchase. For instance, a more thorough survey like the Level 3 is advisable if you plan significant renovations or if the property holds historical significance.


What about Costs?


The cost of a house survey varies depending on the type of survey, the size of the property, and its location. It is advisable to obtain multiple quotes to ensure competitive pricing. Here is a general guide to the expected costs:


  1. RICS Home Survey – Level 1: The cost ranges from £500 to £950, depending on the property’s value.


  1. RICS Home Survey – Level 2/RPSA Home Condition Survey: The typical cost ranges from £500 to £1,000.


  1. RICS Home Survey – Level 3/RPSA Building Survey: Prices range from £700 to £1,500.


Although the initial cost may appear high, investing in a thorough survey can save you from unexpected and potentially more expensive repairs after the purchase.


Why get a Survey?


Despite the costs involved, the value of conducting a comprehensive house survey cannot be overstated. Recent findings from Countrywide Surveying Services reveal that less than 10% of homebuyers opt for a detailed survey.


This is concerning, as a comprehensive survey can uncover issues that may not be evident in a basic inspection or mortgage valuation. Such insights provide you with leverage to negotiate price adjustments or request repairs before finalising the purchase.


Selecting the appropriate level of house survey can save you time, money, and stress in the long run. It provides a clear understanding of the property’s condition, enabling you to make an informed decision and prepare for any additional investments required for repairs.


Moreover, having a precise understanding of the property’s state through a survey can significantly enhance your negotiating position.


In conclusion, while the expense of a house survey may initially seem like an additional cost when purchasing a home, its value is undeniable.


My Contractor Broker typically recommends opting for at least a mid-level survey to ensure that your investment is secure and that you are fully aware of the commitment you are making. Remember, being well-informed is key to a successful property purchase.

#get in touch

Ready to get started ?

Speak to a MyContractorBroker specialist on 02394 211120

#get in touch

Ready to get started ?

Speak to a MyContractorBroker specialist on 02394 211122

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