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RICS Chartered Survey

Choosing the right property survey

There will come a point in your house-hunting ventures when you finally find the right home, but before you go ahead and finalise the buy it’s important to ensure the property is not going to collapse around you; buyers often miss or even ignore things like crumbling bricks, peeling paint and noisy pipes.

This is where a survey comes in, to assist in spotting possible flaws throughout a property, which can only be of benefit when it comes to negotiating the price.

A mortgage valuation

A mortgage valuation, reveals issues that affect a property’s value. It is a way for a lender to check that a property you are planning to purchase is worth what you are going to pay for it. A mortgage valuation is beneficial for the lender but is not the same as a house survey.

A house survey comes in various levels of depth and details potential issues that could affect your purchase or future resell value of the property. You also have a mortgage valuation if you remortgage your home.

Be aware that even if you pay for a mortgage valuation, there’s no guarantee you will see a report. The only way to be sure a property is safe to purchase is to get a survey. Let’s go through those now.

What are the different types of survey?

There are three surveys available that go into different depths of a property’s condition. All are carried out by chartered surveyors and are recognised by The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Some include a valuation of the property too, which you can use to revise your offer if it shows the property is worth less than the mortgage valuation you had done. Check this when you are choosing your survey.

The three types of survey are:

A condition report

The RICS Condition Report describes the condition of the property. This is a basic ‘traffic light’ survey and the cheapest, costing around £250. It identifies any risks and potential legal issues and highlights any urgent defects. This type of survey is best for new-build and homes in good condition as no advice or valuation is provided. If it finds anything ‘red’ on the traffic light scale, you will need to further investage and this could cost you more money.

A homebuyer report

This is more comprehensive than a valuation report with costs starting at £400 on average. This survey checks the overall condition of the property (similar to the condition report) and any major faults or urgent issues which require specialist advice. A homebuyer report doesn’t look beyond the floorboards or behind the walls though, so damp or serious structural issues may not be discovered.

A building or full structural report

This is the most comprehensive survey available, particularly useful if you are buying an older home or property that might need repairs. This type of survey typically costs upwards of £600 and provides detailed advice on repairs. The surveyor will check a loft and look under floorboards. You can also ask for projected costs and timings for any repair work to be recommended in the report.

Do you need a survey?

The short answer is yes. A survey acts to assess the overall state of a property and achieve transparency, so you know exactly what you’re buying and its overall value.

A survey can typically cost a few hundred pounds, but it’s a wise investment as you could be risking spending thousands of pounds later on fixing issues you weren’t aware of beforehand.

Some homeowners pay for a survey before putting their home on the market, since it will locate any issues that may need to be addressed before it gets listed with an agent. It also signals to potential buyers that you care about your home and have done everything you can to make sure it’s suitable for the next owners.

Get moving

From our jargon buster to advice for buyers, MovingCircle is on a mission to get you moved with as little stress as possible. If you are looking to buy or sell property, we can help. Get in touch today and see what we can do for you.