Types of House Survey

A Guide to the Different Types of House Survey

A house survey or building survey refers to an expert inspection that is carried out on a property to determine its condition. The aim of the survey is to identify any current or potential future problems to the buyer and it is carried out by a chartered surveyor, who will visit the property to carry out the inspection before preparing a report that outlines the results. Buyers will usually arrange for a survey to be carried out on a property that they have made an offer on, which has been accepted. Although it’s not legally required to have a survey carried out when you purchase a new property, it is highly recommended that you do so and might be a term of your mortgage. In addition, some home insurance companies might be reluctant to insure your new property if you have not had a survey carried out.

When choosing a surveyor for your property, there are three main accrediting bodies that surveyors can register with. You should ensure that any surveyor you choose to carry out the inspection on your property is registered with one of the following:

  • The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
  • The Residential Property Surveyors Association (RPSA)
  • SAVA

Do I Need a Surveyor Report When Buying a House?

If you are in the process of purchasing a new property and already plan to spend a large amount of money, it can often seem like getting a survey completed will only add to your mounting expenses. However, this is definitely money that is well-invested since it is always best to ensure that you are aware of any issues or potential future problems before completing the sale rather than afterwards. Having a homebuyers survey carried out will ensure that you are able to determine how much you may need to spend in the future to get the property in good condition and make an informed decision about whether or not you would like to continue and go ahead with the sale. In addition, having a surveyor report may also make it easier for you to negotiate a lower price with the seller if you will have to spend a lot of money on repairs once the property has changed hands.

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House purchase survey

Why Do I Need a First Time Buyer Survey?

If you are a first-time buyer, it’s advisable that you have a survey carried out on any home that you are planning to buy, even if it is a new build. New build properties require a specific type of survey that is designed especially for them known as a snagging survey. They are carried out to identify any defects in a newly built property and will cover anything from small cosmetic problems to major structural faults. Getting a snagging survey carried out as a first-time buyer of a new build property means that you can provide your property developer with the report so that they can deal with and rectify any problems found under your warranty.

Can I Get a Cheap Home Buyers Survey?

Buying a property is expensive, so it’s unsurprising that many buyers would like to keep the additional costs as low as possible. The good news is that a homebuyer’s survey does not always cost a huge amount, and it’s well worth investing in since it could save you a huge amount of money on repairs in the future or help you successfully negotiate a reduced asking price on the property. Since many property surveyors are self-employed and will set their own rates, it is worth doing your research and getting several quotes from different surveyors before deciding who to go with. For a house that is worth between £250,000 and £350,000, you can expect to pay around the following for the different types of home buyers survey:

  • Snagging Survey for new builds: depending on the size of the property
  • Condition Report:
  • Homebuyer’s Report:
  • Structural Survey:

What are the Types of Home Buyers Survey Available?

Now that you know how much they will cost you roughly, it’s worth considering which type of survey is best to invest in for your potential new home. The survey that you choose will depend on a number of factors including the current condition and age of the property, any future renovations that you have planned for it, and in some cases, a requirement from your mortgage lender. Deciding on which survey to choose for your property is not always easy, so take a look at the different levels of survey available and which properties they are best suited for.

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What does a home buyers survey include

Condition Report:

This is the most basic survey type offered and is ideal for fairly new homes or properties that are modern and in relatively good condition with no obvious faults or defects. If you want a survey that will simply confirm what you already suspect that the property is in good condition without any major issues, this could be the right type of survey for you. It will provide a general overview of the property while highlighting any major concerns about anything that will need immediate attention or may impact the safety of the home.

Homebuyer’s Report:

This is the most popular type of survey offered and is usually the first choice for anybody who is looking to buy a property that is in reasonable condition. It covers everything that is looked at in a condition report but will go into more depth. Typically, it will be completed in no more than four hours and your surveyor will provide you with a list of issues or potential problems that will need repairing or could impact the property’s value in the future. You will be informed of issues such as damp, subsidence, and any parts of the property that do not meet building regulations. With a homebuyer’s report, you will also get information on recommended work and repairs for the future and how much it would potentially cost you, which can help with negotiating a lower price. You’ll also get more information on the property’s current value and how much it might cost to rebuild it from the ground up.

Full Home Buyers Structural Survey:

Also known as a building survey, this is the most thorough option to choose and is only usually recommended for people who want to purchase an older property or a home with obvious defects. If you want to make major renovations to your home in the future, a full structural survey might also be the best choice for you. The surveyor will carry out a complete and comprehensive analysis of the property and its structure and condition. It is usually carried out on houses rather than flats and involves looking everywhere in the home including areas that can often be overlooked during the other surveys such as underneath the floorboards and in the loft or attic. After the survey is completed, your surveyor will provide you with a report of the defects found in the home and information on future recommended repairs and their potential costs and time to complete.

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Land Surveyor Property Lines

How Long Does a Groundsure Homebuyers Survey Take?

The length of time that you can expect your home survey to take will depend on a few different factors including the size and condition of the property and the type of survey that you choose. A simple condition report on a home that is in a decent state will usually only take around an hour at the most, while a homebuyer’s report goes into a little bit more depth and will take up to four hours depending on the size of the property and the areas that are looked at. A full structural survey is the most in-depth and will usually require a lot longer to carry out. Depending on the property, your full structural survey may take the entire day.

Once the survey has been carried out, you will usually need to wait for your surveyor to put together the report before you get the results. The amount of time it takes will also depend on the type of survey that you have requested and the surveyor you use. A homebuyer’s report or condition report should take no longer than five working days to fully complete, while your surveyor will have a maximum of ten working days to prepare the report for a full structural survey. Your surveyor will usually be able to inform you of how long you can expect to wait before the report is ready.

Finding the Right Surveyor:

Finding the right surveyor is key to having a survey carried out that provides you with honest results and allows you to make an informed decision about the property. Surveyors might work with large companies or be independent contractors – either way, it’s important to ensure that they are registered with RICS or another trade association. You may be able to get recommendations for a surveyor from your mortgage lender or estate agent, however, it’s worth researching to ensure that you are getting the best deal from them.

When buying a property, getting the right building survey carried out will help you make sure that you can make an informed decision regarding buying.