Home Buying Surveys and Reports Explained

Whether you are a first time homebuyer or someone who has purchased in the past, buying a home is one of the largest purchases that you’ll make in your life which can seem very exciting yet daunting at the same time. There are various things to look at, but the most important is the home survey.

What is a Home Survey?

A home survey is an assessment of a property by a certified property inspector who identifies any major issues for the prospective buyer.

The inspector visits the property, conducts an inspection and prepares the report outlining any problems. The home survey reports give you an idea of the general condition of the house as well as any serious defects. It also provides you with details of future expenditure and advises you whether the property is worth the investment. Homebuyers generally have a survey done on the property after they’ve had an offer accepted.

Types of Surveys

The recognised body for property surveys is The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). You should check that your home inspector is a member of it.

The types of surveys conducted are:

Mortgage Valuation – This is not a full survey, but a way for the mortgage lender to check the value of the property.

RICS Condition Report – This is a basic survey that won’t go deep into the details, but picks out key problems with the home.

RICS Home Buyers Report – This is a more detailed report that uncovers deep-lying things like the dampness, pest problems and structural issues.

Building Structural Survey – This is the most detailed survey which looks at the building’s structure and predicts the costs of fixing problems. You might want this if you are thinking of buying an older home.

New Building Sagging Survey – This survey is specially designed for new homes. The report prepared highlights problems like missing loft insulation, faulty boilers, poor tiling and badly fitted windows and doors. So, you have the chance to raise the issues with the developers before moving in.

How Long Do the Surveys Take?

The home condition report survey covers the general building inspection and generally takes up to a day to complete depending on the size of the property. The building survey can take between two days and a week to complete as it gives you a detailed report of the building and all the underlying issues. However, basic mortgage valuation takes only a few hours.

When Will the Report Deliver?

Once the survey has been completed it is likely to take around 3-5 working days for the report to be produced and delivered. This can vary on the size and condition of the building as well as how busy the surveyor is.

How Much Do the Surveys Cost?

The cost of the surveys depends on various factors including the value of the property, its size, location, how easily accessible is the property and the level of the problem the property has.

With this guide hopefully you’ll get a better understanding what home buying surveys and reports are and that you are fully informed on your surveying needs.