A Beginner’s Guide to Homebuyer Surveys

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Homebuyer surveys are absolutely essential for anyone purchasing a property. They investigate the condition of a building and ensure that there won’t be any unpleasant or costly surprises further down the line. The different types of survey might seem confusing, so we’ve put together a quick guide to help beginners.

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Mortgage Valuation Survey

This is the most basic survey and is designed solely to identify whether a property is worth the lender’s estimate. These surveys are priced according to property size, ranging from roughly £150 to £1,500, but they are relatively short on detail and don’t offer any advice on structural problems or make estimates regarding repairs.

New-Build Snagging Surveys

As the name suggests, these surveys are designed specifically to investigate new-builds. A surveyor will examine the property and identify any potential issues. The difference between this and other surveys is that if any problems are identified, the developer will have to rectify them before you move in. Prices start at roughly £300, but this is dependent on the size of the property.

Homebuyer Reports and Building Surveys

An RICS Homebuyer Report is well suited to most properties in decent condition without obvious or glaring faults. These reports look for structural issues and can identify things like damp or subsidence, which might otherwise have proved costly. They don’t look behind the walls or under the floorboards so aren’t as in-depth as other surveys, but some do include property valuations.

Homebuyer Surveys

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RICS Building Surveys include all the same information as the Homebuyer Report but are generally easier to follow. They use a 1-3 rating system to rank problems. For homebuyers survey cost is always an important consideration. A Homebuyer Report usually costs around £400, and a Building Survey will range from £400-£500.

Full Structural Survey

These surveys are ideal for older properties which might need a lot of work. They go into far greater detail than the other surveys on this list and include the surveyor’s assessment of any hidden problems. Better still, full structural surveys will advise on the potential price of repairs, which can be offset against the property valuation. This homebuyers survey cost comes in at around £600.

A new home is a huge investment, so it’s important to use a reputable surveyor. The RPSA (Residential Property Surveyors Association) and RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) are good places to start your search.