With all the money you’re already spending on your new home, it can be frustrating to hear that you need to spend even more of your hard-earned cash on surveys and reports before completing your purchase.
Does your new home really need a survey? And if so, which one is the right one to commission?
Three types of survey
There are three main surveys you can carry out when buying a new home. All three focus on the physical integrity of the property, but each one goes into greater detail than the last, so choosing which survey to commission depends very much on the type of home you’re looking to buy.
RICS Condition Report
This is the most straightforward of the three reports. A condition report aims simply to identify and clear and obvious problems with the structural integrity of the home. Ideal only for relatively modern properties which are unlikely to have the deep rooted issues that many older properties can suffer from.
Using a basic red, amber, green, colour system, the RICS Condition Report is there to alert you to any emergencies that require immediate attention or else present a possible threat to your health and safety.
Price: £400-£950 – the higher the value of the home, the higher the cost.
RICS Homebuyer Report
Easily the most common report, the Homebuying Report is ideal for any properties that could be said to be in at least a reasonable condition. This means they don’t need to be brand new homes. Instead, this report is perfect for any property that has enjoyed the normal wear and tear of everyday life, without suffering from any obvious problems around dilapidation and structural integrity.
This is a so-called surface level report. The inspector will not, for example, lift up any floorboards or shift any heavy furniture. It’s aiming to spot any issues that go against building regulations, as well as clear problems like damp, asbestos, or compromised roofing.
As well as safety and structural feedback, the Homebuyer Report can also contain information on the home’s overall value on the open market.
Price – £450-£1,000 – the higher the value of the home, the higher the cost.
RICS Building Survey
Finally, here is the full building survey, the most comprehensive of all the three options. You will receive insight into the structural integrity of the home, plus its overall condition from the roof all the way down to the foundations.
This survey is good for older properties, or those which have been allowed to fall into a state of disrepair. It can tell you about all of the hidden issues that the naked eye cannot see, thus helping you understand which areas of the property require the most urgent attention.
A building survey is also recommended if you’re planning to carry out any extensive refurbishment or modernisation of the property. It can alert you to any areas of the home which you should avoid messing with – for example, walls you shouldn’t knock down.
With a Building Survey, the inspector will be thorough, lifting floorboards, heading up into the attic, checking the tiles on the roof. They will also provide advice on how to address the issues discovered, how much it should all cost to fix, and how long you can expect the work to take.
Price: £600-£1,500, the higher the value of the home, the higher the cost.
Is it worth the money?
Quite simply, yes, commissioning a survey is definitely worth the money. In the grand scheme of things, an extra £500-£1,000 is a small price to pay to ensure that the home you are buying is in the condition you both expect and have been promised it is.
If you don’t spend this money now, you are, in many ways, buying your home blind, simply hoping that it doesn’t hold any nasty surprises that could cost you thousands to fix or even present a potential threat to your safety.
Furthermore, if your survey comes back saying that £20,000 worth of repairs are desperately needed, you can then go to the seller to ensure they remove that £20,000 from the asking price.
Are you considering commissioning a home survey? If you’d like any advice at all on the matter, our property expert, Russell Quirk, will be happy to help. Just drop us a message in the comments section below and he will get back to you lickety-split.