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Buying a Home Advice - Types of Home Buyers Survey

10 May 2018

Buying a Home Advice - Types of Home Buyers Survey
If you are thinking about buying a new home, then something that you should consider is a homebuyer survey.

This isn’t something that’s compulsory and people often forget to get one done before buying a property. If you are unfamiliar with a homebuyer survey, it helps you to avoid repair costs and unexpected charges in the future. But there are different types of homebuyer surveys to choose from and you should make sure that you choose one based on the condition of the property itself. If you are unsure about which type of survey you will need to take out, then our guide should help you choose.

Homebuyer Report

This is one of the most common reports that you will want to consider when buying a property. It is a report that focuses on inspecting the essential structures and aspects of the property. It highlights any areas of the property that require urgent attention or might need significant repair work. This should highlight whether or not these defects should impact the value of the property. This is useful as it can help you to renegotiate and offer less, should there be significant repairs needed. It is conducted by the RICS and you can usually expect to pay around £400.

Condition Report

This is a more simplified version of the homebuyer report and is best suited to new build properties. The report is simply intended to describe the condition of the property and highlight any surface issues that could be a potential risk. This includes defects or surface damage to the property that will need to be repaired once you move in. No advice or valuation is given in this report however so it is more for your personal use. Getting a condition report from the RICS will cost around £250.

Building or Structural Survey

If you are buying a particularly old property, or you are concerned about its structural condition, then a full structural or building survey is the ideal choice for you. This is the most complete home survey you can undertake and will provide a comprehensive picture of the home that you are buying. You might also want to consider taking out a building survey if the property you are buying is one of the following;

  • Unusual construction: not a usual home but possibly a barn conversion
  • Dilapidated or derelict: if you are aware the building is in a state of disrepair
  • Major conversion or alteration: such as large extensions to the property

The report will cover all structural aspects of the property and provide you with a complete picture of any potential risks or damage. The report is likely to include technical information and other details about materials and the range of defects. You will need to pay around £600 for this survey.

Mortgage Survey

The most common type of survey people take on a new property is a mortgage valuation survey. The sole purpose of this survey is to ensure the lender that the property you are buying is actually worth the price you intend to pay. This is solely a valuation and won’t provide you with any information about the structural stability of the property or any defects that you might expect. The cost of this survey is generally based on the value and size of your property, but you might find that lenders offer mortgages with free valuation surveys.

What To Look Out For

Our blog guide should give you a better idea of the right kind of homebuyers’ survey that you should undertake. You can go with the surveyor when they undertake the survey if you want to and ask about anything that might be concerning you. You should also make sure that you look out for the following;

  • Electrical issues: including problems with wiring or light switches
  • Roofing problems: such as leaks or any potential damage
  • Central heating: make sure that this is working properly
  • Damp: this is often one of the biggest worries for homeowners


Hopefully, you should now have a better idea about the survey process and what you should expect to be looking out for.