What are the differences between each type of survey?
There are different levels of survey that go into varying degrees of detail. Each should inform you of any work needed on your new home, both imminently and in the future. Wondering which is best for you? Consider the age and visible condition of your property. And remember to choose your home survey based on the building you’re buying, rather than how much the survey costs.
Here’s what’s included in each survey type:
|Valuation survey: an independent review of the property’s value, arranged by your mortgage provider. All properties will need this if being purchased with a mortgage
|Starts from £200, or included as a benefit of your mortgage offer
|RICS Home Survey Level 1: a brief overview of the overall condition of the property, also notifying you of any legal issues concerning your purchase. These are suitable for new builds, or conventional homes in a good state
|£300 – £700
|RICS Home Survey Level 2: a visual inspection of the property raising any structural, subsidence, or damp issues. Rates all permanent structures and highlights any issues which could affect the value of the property. You can also request an independent valuation on top of this, at an extra cost. These are suitable for conventional homes in a reasonable condition
|£400 – £1,000
|RICS Home Survey Level 3: a comprehensive insight into the property’s condition, which grades the seriousness of each issue. With advice on defects, repairs, and maintenance options. You’ll also get a warning of what could go wrong if you don’t address the issues raised. These are suitable for older properties and larger properties.
|£600 – £1,500
What survey do I need when buying a house?
As a minimum, you should consider a RICS Home Survey Level 1 Report. Even if the house is in a good condition and nothing appears to be wrong, it’s still wise to check there are no small unknown issues.
A RICS Home Survey Level 2 Report is the suitable option for most purchases. It goes into more detail than a Level 1 survey, such as checking the roof and cellar spaces and you’ll also get advice on the costs for making any repairs, which is useful to know upfront.
As the RICS Level 3 Survey is the highest level of homebuyer’s report available, it’s a good option if you’re planning to do any major building work. Thanks to a clear presentation style and a rating system that grades the seriousness of each issue, these reports are easy to understand and include in-depth analysis of the property’s condition.
If you’re not sure which level of survey you need, a house surveyor will be able to help advise.