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House survey: which survey should I have?

By Maurice Shasha  //  Thu 31st May 2018
Which house survey should I have? Discover why a house survey is important and which one is the best for your property.
Which house survey is appropriate for your property?
As buying a property involves such a large amount of money, some people are tempted to cut corners and skimp on the other expenses involved. Our key piece of advice? Don't skimp on the house survey. A house survey should be viewed as an investment, not a needless cost. Discovering more about the property you plan to buy before you buy it can save you a great deal of money in the longer-term.

Always look on the relatively small cost of a house survey as protection for the money you are investing in the property. However, buyers should be aware that there is no one survey suitable for all properties. Which survey you choose will depend on the nature of the property and its condition.

So, what house survey options are there, and which is right for you?

Mortgage Valuation Survey
This is not really a building survey. It is carried out on behalf of the lender, usually a building society, to make sure the property you hope to buy is worth the money you are asking to borrow. Although the purchaser will pay for this survey, it will not tell you anything about the condition of the building.

RICS Homebuyer Report
This survey will help you discover any problems such as damp, subsidence and structural problems, or any problems that could surprise you in the future. However, this survey does not go behind the walls and floorboards and is largely suitable for conventional properties in good or reasonable condition. If you are considering buying a property which may need major renovations, or a period property, it may be worth asking for a building survey.

RICS Building Survey
This survey will provide you with the same information as a building survey but will also offer a 1- 2- 3 rating system to allow you to identify any serious structural problems. It will give you a detailed report highlighting any issues and advice on how to deal with them. This survey will be useful if you are considering major building works or when buying large or older (150 years old or more) properties.

New-build Snagging Survey

If you are buying a new-build property you should consider taking out a new-build snagging survey. This survey highlights anything from small to major problems, such as structural defects. You should hand this survey to your developer as soon as possible so that any issues can be dealt with under the two-year developer warranty.

The cost
The cost of any survey you request will depend on the type of property, its size, location and possibly its value. Prices may vary between surveyors, so you should obtain at least three quotes from different surveyors.

As there are several surveys which apply to different types of property, if you are in doubt over which one would be the right one for your property, get in touch.

Offices at

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