Choosing between surveys
As RICS surveyors, we offer two forms of survey specifically designed to help home buyers:
- The RICS Home Survey – Level 3 (formerly the Residential building survey)
- The RICS Home Survey – Level 2 (formerly the Homebuyer Survey)
Here is a comparison of the different surveys (including the Level 1 survey).
|Level of report||What it covers||What type of home is it suitable for?|
(Previously know as Condition Report)
|The property’s condition, including any risks, potential legal issues and urgent defects.||Standard properties and relatively new homes in good condition.|
(Previously Homebuyer Report)
|Includes all the features of a Condition Report, plus defects that might affect the property, and advice on repairs and maintenance. It can also include a market valuation and how much it would cost to rebuild the property.||Standard properties in reasonable condition.|
(Previously Building Survey)
|An in-depth look at the property’s condition, with advice on defects, repairs and how to maintain the property.||For larger or older (50+ years) properties, unusual homes, renovation projects and properties in poor condition.|
An independent survey will help you to make a reasoned and informed decision on whether to go ahead with buying a property.
For homebuyers, arranging your own survey is the simple, cost-effective way to avoid unpleasant – and potentially expensive –surprises after moving in. In some cases, the surveyor’s report may allow you to renegotiate the price of the property.
Do I still need my own survey if I already have a mortgage valuation report?
Even if you are looking for a mortgage and, as a result, may be paying for a mortgage valuation report, it is still recommend that you arrange a survey by your own surveyor. (Both the Consumers’ Association ‘Which?’ magazine and the Council of Mortgage Lenders give this advice).
The mortgage valuation report is prepared for your lender – not for you, the borrower. It answers only the lender’s questions about whether the property offers suitable security for your loan. You cannot rely on it to answer the questions that concern your personal interests or to give you details of the condition of the property. Also, some lenders do not provide a copy of their mortgage valuation report.
The following guide is produced by RICS to help you choose the right RICS Home Survey: