Home Condition Survey

Would you buy a house without knowing what you are buying?

In every investment/ buying process, as a customer, you need to be informed so when buying a home you might need to get a home survey to have the right information about the assets that you are investing in.

But there are different types and levels of home surveys, coming with different costs and you might be confused about how to choose the right home survey.

What is a house survey and why do I need it?

A house survey is a detailed property condition inspection done by a specialized surveyor, which identifies problems for a prospective buyer/investor.

Before commissioning a survey, you should check that the surveyor is a member of RICS - Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. RICS surveyors provide three 'levels' of the survey:

  • Level 1 (previously called a Condition Report) - suitable if you're looking to buy a standard, modern property that's in good condition, and want to confirm that everything is according to the expectations.
  • Level 2 (previously called a HomeBuyer Report) - is the standard choice for most properties in reasonable condition. It will highlight any problems that might affect the property's value and include the surveyor's advice on repairs and ongoing maintenance. It should also highlight issues such as dampness and subsidence, and point out anything that doesn’t meet current building regulations.
  • Level 3 (previously called a Building Survey)- is the most thorough type of survey and provides a detailed analysis of both the property's structure and condition. This survey is recommended when purchasing a property that's over 50 years old, has an unusual design, or is in poor condition. It can also be worthwhile if you’re planning to do significant work or have major concerns about a property. Our surveyor will be ‘hands-on’ and do intrusive checks. The report will list any defects and advise on repairs and maintenance.
Home condition Survey

Home surveys for property purchase

Most property purchases are coming with spending a lot of money on buying the actual asset, and a survey might look like an unnecessary expense.

But it’s far better to be aware of any problems before you buy a property, so you can make an informed decision about how much you’re willing to pay for it and, if necessary, budget for any repair work that needs doing. Also, this can help you push necessary things to repair at the owner's expense, or the findings can help you in further value negotiations.

Why have a home condition survey periodically?

It’s advisable to make sure the information for your home is up to date and the house is safe to live in and maintained to decent standards. Most of the time the surveys are used to confirm if the improvement projects/plans are accurate and make sure you’re getting value for money from your investments.

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How long does a house survey take?

It depends on the level of survey contracted and, the size of the property. For instant:

  • A basic survey might only take an hour to complete.
  • A mid-range survey could take up to three hours.

When we are discussing a full structural survey the time might vary considerably depending on the type of property you're buying, and might take as long as a full day.

After the survey is done, our surveyors will inform you how long the report will take to provide the report, but it shouldn't be longer than five days (level one or two) or 10 days (level three).

What should I know before requesting a Home Condition Survey?

When contracting a specialist to run a survey, make sure you do the following:

  • Read the Terms and Conditions that the surveyor provides you with. This will tell you what they will (and will not) be doing.
  • Check when the surveyor will be carrying out the inspection and when you will get your report.
  • Request direct contact with the surveyor who will be carrying out your inspection so that you can ask questions if anything is unclear.
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