Our advice on choosing the right house survey

When buying a house it’s important to check the condition and structural well being of the property. The purpose of a survey is to undertake a full inspection of the property and to ascertain if there is any costly work that needs doing before contracts are exchanged.

When buying a house it’s important to check the condition and structural well being of the property. The purpose of a survey is to undertake a full inspection of the property and to ascertain if there is any costly work that needs doing before contracts are exchanged. The findings of the survey may result in the house price being negotiated down, or may result in the buyer choosing not to purchase the property after all.

If you require a mortgage on your property, a mortgage valuation will need to be carried out to ensure the property is worth the money the broker is lending you. The valuation report will not highlight any problems with the property so should not be confused with a survey, the purposes of which is to check the condition of all accessible aspects of the house. This includes things such as checking for damp in walls, assessing the condition of damp proofing, insulation and drainage. The survey will not check things such as wiring, water or gas supply or the condition of floors which are covered.

There are two main types of survey which are recognised by The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors ; the Homebuyers Survey and Valuation (HSV) which is also known as a Homebuyer's Report and a Building Survey.

Homebuyers’ Survey and Valuation (Homebuyers report)

This is a concise report which covers the inside and outside of the property. It will determine the structural safety and highlight any major or urgent problems surrounding the walls, roof, floors, walls, ceilings, damp course, rainwater goods, windows, joinery and chimneys. The report will highlight anything that doesn’t meet current building regulations. It will not include any opinion on maintenance or repairs that are not considered urgent or significant.

The survey will take around two to four hours to complete, and the report will give an independent and expert view on the property’s value. The report will be approximately 9-15 pages in length.

The homebuyers report is best suited for properties which are conventional in type and construction, have been built in the last 50 years, are less than 2000 square feet and are in reasonable condition.

Building survey

A building survey is much more detailed than the homebuyers report and provides a comprehensive account of the condition of the property. The survey will highlight areas for repair and maintenance and will draw attention to major and minor defects or general areas requiring attention.

The report will provide detailed comments on the inside and outside of the property and any major or minor problems surrounding walls, roof, floors, walls, ceilings, damp course, rainwater goods, windows, joinery, chimneys, kitchen and bathroom fittings, outbuildings, gardens, fences and boundary walls. General comments will be given on services such as gas supply, electrics, heating and drains but these services will not be tested.

The Building Survey is suitable for all types of property including listed building, unusual or old properties and properties with extensions and those which are intended for renovation.

A buildings survey can take in excess of four hours to complete, although this is dependent on the size of the property, and the report will be approximately 20-30 pages long.

For more information or help with this or any other matter, please contact Tepilo on either 0844 3878377 or 01702 870878, or you can email us at info@tepilo.com