0114 4199 819
Principal: Steve Butler MRICS Chartered Surveyor
16 High Street, Staveley, S43 3UX
8.30am to 6.30pm Monday to Friday
Choosing Between Surveys Leaflet
Building Surveys and Structural Investigations
Which type of house survey should I choose?
Your home is likely to be the biggest purchase you’ll ever make. A survey by an RICS Chartered Surveyor could potentially save you thousands of pounds in costly repair bills in the future.
Which? consumer magazine, the Council of Mortgage Lenders and any solicitor will advise you to get a survey by an RICS Chartered Surveyor before you buy a property, and not just to rely on a mortgage valuation. The solicitor would be considered to be negligent if he did not do so. The following paragraphs explain why.
A valuation is not a survey. A valuation generally is concerned with problems that might affect the security of the loan only. Specific defects may be accounted for in the valuation, but don’t necessarily need reporting to the lender or borrower. Valuations may be undertaken as a physical inspection, but are sometimes a ‘desktop valuation’ or Automated Valuation only where the property may not even be inspected by a surveyor.
An RICS surveyor carries out a survey to see if there are any problems and answer any concerns you may have. There are three main types of survey inspection:
Survey Level One: The Condition Report (HCR)
The RICS Condition Report describes the condition of the property, with a summary of any risks and potential legal issues. It uses simple ‘traffic light’ ratings to clearly highlight the condition of elements of the property. The survey is designed to be boltd onto a mortgage valuation. The surveyor is not required to enter the roof void or lift up drain covers. These areas can be important particular in older properties. Because of these limitions Condition Reports have never been offered by Steve Butler Chartered Surveyors
Survey Level Two: HomeBuyer Report (HBR)
This is most suitable for conventional properties which are in reasonable condition. It provides a concise report detailing serious problems, urgent repairs that could make a difference to the value of the property. Steve Butler Chartered Surveyors reports include a valuation. This is our favorite report and we consider it to be suitable for ninetly five prcent of properties. It tells you what you really need to know without any un-necesssary distrations.
Survey Level Three: Building Survey
This is a more detailed report with extensive commenty on a property’s construction as well as condition. It’s particularly useful if the property is dilapidated, has been extensively altered or you’re planning a major conversion or renovation. Essential for larger or older properties, or if you’re planning major works. The most comprehensive report provides you with an in-depth analysis of the property’s condition and includes advice on defects, repairs and maintenance options.
Keep in mind when you buy a home, you want independent advice, giving you the detail you need.
A valuation from a mortgage lender is not a survey. It only really tells the lender whether the house offers security up to the amount you are wishing to borrow.
A survey from an RICS surveyor could save you thousands in the long run – especially in older properties which require higher maintenance, or in properties where you wish to undertake alterations. The survey may also enable you to negotiate the price.
Surveyors’ fees vary based on the type or age of the property and the level of report you are looking for, so compare prices and consider your requirements before choosing. Ask the surveyor exactly what’s covered in the survey, so you know what you’re paying for.
If you have any specific concerns, speak to the surveyor and ask them to take a closer look at the item.
Further information about surveys
To understand more about the different types of surveys available and what they offer, view the Property Surveys leaflet which can be seen below
RICS CHOOSING BETWEEN SURVEYS LEAFLET