House surveys when buying a house: Do you need a survey and a surveyor? 

If you’re considering buying a property, it’s important to ensure the condition of the property is worth the investment. The best way to do this is by getting a survey done. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) provides two primary survey types: the HomeBuyer Report (Level 2 Survey) and the Building Survey (Level 3 Survey). A Chartered Surveyor performs these house surveys, and it’s essential to find an accredited solicitor who has had specialist training and is knowledgeable about any changes in the business. A HomeBuyer Report is most suitable for modern, conventional buildings that are reasonably maintained, and made of common materials. It evaluates every permanent building on the site and identifies significant issues that could have an impact on the value of the property.

On the other hand, a Building Survey is more thorough and provides a thorough examination of both the inside and outside of a building. It’s most suited for older buildings, those built of unusual materials, or those that have undergone extensive construction. It gives a thorough report and analysis of the construction and state of the property and examines any conditions that could jeopardize the building’s structural integrity. The cost of a house survey depends on the type of survey, the type of property, and its size, but it is a wise investment that may help you avoid spending hundreds of dollars. Read this blog to know more in detail! 

What is a survey?

A survey evaluates the state of a piece of property. The different survey kinds are arranged by level and each has its own advantages. The survey is more thorough the higher the level. When a buyer considering a house, you would receive a survey in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Prior to listing a property for sale in Scotland, you must have a survey completed (a Scottish Home Report).

Surveyors perform house surveys, and we always advise getting in touch with our accredited solicitors since you can be sure they have had specialist training and are knowledgeable about any changes to the business.

Types of surveys

We provide two primary survey types:

  • (Level 2 Survey) Report on Homebuyers
  • (Level 3 Survey) Building Survey

A Building Survey (Level 3 Survey) is typically required if you’re purchasing an older property, one that has undergone considerable building work, or one on which you intend to perform building work. It goes into further detail and will identify problems as well as the estimated cost of any prospective repairs. Although a HomeBuyer Report (Level 2 Survey) is simpler, it is the most suitable for most houses.

A building survey is probably what you need if your property needs as much detail and information as possible (it is old, built of unusual material, or has undergone considerable building work).

What is covered in both the HomeBuyer Report and Building Survey is shown in the section below. A building surveyor is another person you can speak with to find out what they think of the property. This can prevent you from selecting the incorrect survey and getting rejected.

Level 2 Survey: To Buy a House 

A HomeBuyer Report includes the following things: 

  • Most appropriate for modern, conventional buildings that are reasonably maintained, and made of common materials. 
  • Written in accordance with the RICS’s standard format, giving condition ratings for each component of the property
  • evaluates every permanent building on the site, such as the garage.
  • identifies significant issues that could have an impact on the value of the property
  • Will offer the home ongoing maintenance advise
  • Gives a general assessment of the condition based on visual inspection; manual testing is not performed.

Level 3 Survey: Survey for new build

Building surveys, formerly known as structural surveys, are more thorough and provide a thorough examination of both the inside and outside of a building.

A survey of buildings:

  • is most suited for older buildings, those built of unusual materials (such as thatch or timber), or those that have undergone extensive construction. 
  • gives a thorough report and analysis of the construction and state of the property. ocular inspections of accessible places, such as the roof or the cellar.
  • Examines any conditions that could jeopardise the building’s structural integrity, such as dampness, dry rot, woodworm infestation, or any possible dangers like big trees close by.
  • can be used for any age of property, but is especially beneficial for old, big properties constructed with unusual materials.
  • beneficial for deteriorating buildings and those that have had significant renovations. 
  • Especially helpful if you intend to remodel or convert the property.
  • gives advice on flaws, repairs, and expenses, as well as the price of not repairing something.
  • includes suggestions for future upkeep
  • does not contain a valuation unless you ask the surveyor to include one expressly

Other types of house surveys

Mortgage appraisal

This is an evaluation by your mortgage lender and isn’t actually a survey. To value the property, they dispatch a valuation expert. This is done to determine its value and if the lender should grant you a mortgage on it. These assessments might range from a quick “drive-by” to a thorough examination of the property.

Only issues that could jeopardise the loan’s protection are of concern to the valuer. They are not required to inform you of any structural issues. Simply put, the lender needs to know that they can recover their debt if necessary.

Report on Condition (Level 1 Survey)


This is the most basic of reports; it provides a general assessment of the property’s state and is meant to complement the data from a mortgage valuation study. A HomeBuyer Report (Level 2 Survey) is required for the majority of properties rather than the survey that may be required for new construction only to acquire a general appraisal.

Highland Home Reports

A Scottish Home Report is a little different because it is given by the property’s seller. A current Home Report is required in Scotland in order to sell a home. Before making an offer, a prospective buyer must have access to this. A home report is necessary if you’re selling in Scotland.

What do house inspections cost?

The cost of a house survey varies depending on the type of study, the type of property, and its size. A survey is a wise investment because it may help you avoid spending hundreds of dollars.

HomeBuyer Report (Level 2 Survey): Prices vary by property type and range from £400 to $1,000. The price for a building survey (Level 3 survey) is between £600 and £1,500 plus VAT. This is due to the fact that it is more detailed and the surveyor will need more time to evaluate the property and produce the report. Obtaining a survey quote will allow you to compare costs for both building surveys and homebuyer reports.

Obtaining a House Survey when buying a house

Despite the fact that it may appear to be yet another expense associated with the home-buying process, the price is actually quite affordable when compared to the possible costs of having to fix something that could have been discovered during a survey. It can also give you proof that you can use to bargain for a lower price or decide not to make the purchase at all.

Your surveyor will be able to provide you with professional, unbiased advice on which survey would be necessary for the property you are wanting to buy if you are unsure which one is necessary. Keep in mind that you could have to go through the process if your surveyor determines that the survey you ordered isn’t appropriate. 

Need a survey? Get in touch with our surveyor 

We advise contacting our surveyor for getting the expert advice a house survey offers. Contact us at 0808 169 7318 and get in touch.

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