Which Survey Should I Get?

Choosing the Right Survey?
Posted on March 20, 2018 Categories: Buying a House, Getting a Survey, Moving Home

If you’ve done your research, you’ll know that getting a survey should be an important step in your house-buying process. Research by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), for example, has revealed that buyers who do not get a survey will face, on average, a staggering £5,750 in repair bills due to hidden defects that were not discovered before buying the property.

Your mortgage lender may be conducting a mortgage valuation, but you cannot rely on this to report the property’s true condition – so the question you’re left with is which survey should you get?

RICS Home Survey Standard – Level 2 (survey only)

This is the most popular report for buyers and can be carried out at the same time as a valuation report. It usually takes around 2 hours to complete and is sent to you within 5 working days.

You should get this if:

  • You are looking to buy a flat, bungalow, or house that is in a reasonable condition
  • The property is of traditional construction
  • You are not considering major alterations or renovations

It includes:

  • An inspection of all visible elements of the interior and exterior of the property
  • Information as to the construction and general condition of the property
  • Identification of risks and defects
  • A valuation and reinstatement cost for the property
  • Recommendations for repairs and ongoing maintenance and an estimate of rebuilding costs

Building Survey

This is a more detailed survey than the Level 2 survey. It usually takes around 3 hours to complete and is sent to you within 6 working days.

You should get this if:

  • You are looking to buy a property that is old, run down or of an unusual construction
  • You are planning to carry out a renovation or conversion
  • The property has been extensively altered

It includes:

  • Tailoring to your specific needs
  • An inspection of all visible elements of the interior and exterior of the property
  • Full details of the construction, materials, and general condition of the property
  • Identification of any risks, defects, or significant damage
  • Comments on the damp proofing, drainage and insulation
  • Photographs
  • An insurance reinstatement cost

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