Undertaking a home buyer’s survey

Undertaking A Home Buyer’s Survey

A survey is essential to protect both home buyers and their mortgage lenders. Sellers are obliged to share information about the property, but they may not have the full details about the level of insulation or the state of the roofing tiles. So the buyer agrees to take the property as they find it. Having a survey can reduce the chances of expensive surprises further down the line, and it will give you a true idea of how much you will need to invest in your home. 

This guide to surveys explains the options that will be available to you, and how much you should expect to pay. 

What Is A House Survey?

A house survey is an inspection of a property that is carried out by an expert, a surveyor will visit the house and compile a report that shows any issues they have found. The level of detail varies according to which report you choose. 

What Are The Different Types Of House Surveys?

There are a number of different housing surveys available to you. Which survey you choose will depend on your budget and the depth of assessment that you would like.

The 3 main types of house surveys are:

Condition Report (Level 1)

Homebuyer Report (Level 2)

Building Survey (Level 3)

Condition Report (Level 1)

This is the most basic type of survey that you can choose, it is most suitable for new-build homes or homes that are in particularly good condition. The report will show the condition of the different parts of the home, using a basic traffic light system, green is good, amber shows that there are potential problems to consider, while red shows that serious repair work will be needed. Note, that this type of report will not offer a valuation for comparison.

Homebuyer Report (Level 2)

According to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, this report is the most popular choice. It is suitable for homes that are in reasonable condition. It is a non-intrusive inspection, this means that only the visible areas will be inspected. So if a problem lies under the floorboards or is hidden behind a sofa, the inspector will not see it. If you want the next level of detail, then you may wish to consider a Building Survey. 

Building Survey (Level 3)

This used to be known as a Structural Survey, and is the most comprehensive report. It is not a quick process as a full report can take a few days to complete. This Level 3 Report shows a high level of detail, looking at the building’s structure and condition. This type of survey is ideal for older properties or those in poor condition. The final report will tell you what repairs need to be carried out and give you an approximate idea of costs. This survey will inspect all accessible areas of the property, including the windows, roof, garage and attic.

How Much Is A Survey On A House?

The cost will depend on a number of factors including the size and shape of the property and where it is located. The costs also vary according to the level of detail you choose.

Level 1 – prices start at £250, but can vary according to the size of the property.

Level 2 – prices start at around £400, adding a valuation report can add another £150, but again the final price can change according to size. 

Level 3 – you can expect to pay somewhere between £600 and £2000 for this level of detail. As above the size of the house will be factored into the final price. 

Where To Find A Surveyor?

You will be able to find a qualified, professional and knowledgeable surveyor on the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) website.

Do I Need To Get A House Survey?

Buying a home is the biggest purchase many of us will make, so while the surveys are all optional it can save a lot of time and money. You can also gain some peace of mind, by knowing exactly what you are taking on. Depending on the report you choose, you might decide to renegotiate the price based on the information in the survey, or you might need to walk away if the problems are too big, or expensive for you to take on. 

When moving home, it is vital you have all the bases covered, H McPartland & Sons conveyancing experts offer peace of mind during this stressful time. Get in touch with our Lurgan or Lisburn office for more information.