Types Of House Survey | What Survey Do I Need?

One of the most common questions we are asked when speaking to our customers is; “What is the difference between a Homebuyers Report and a Building Survey?”

The RICS has two main types of survey; The Homebuyer Report and the Building Survey. These are the most popular survey types, with the Building Survey the most comprehensive of the two.

The Homebuyer Report

The Homebuyer Report will give you expert advice on the condition of the property, highlight any problems effecting the property and give advice on repairs and maintenance. The RICS Homebuyer Report that we produce uses the traffic light colour coding system to rate individual elements of the property and highlight areas of concern, such as damp or structural movement. The level of detail enables you to judge the value of you purchase, in line with the cost of any future maintenance, repair and restoration works.

A standard Homebuyer Report includes details of;

  • The general condition of the property
  • A list of issues that need attention
  • Advice on repairs and ongoing maintenance requirements
  • A round-up of any legal considerations
  • Any urgent problems that might need to be inspected before you sign any contracts
  • You will be informed about any obvious major problems and defects that might affect its value, such as obviousrot, damp and subsidence.
  • If a valuation is in included, the estimated cost of rebuilding the property for insurance purposes as well as a market valuation.

We would recommend a Homebuyer Report for properties that are post war unless they have any specific causes for concern where you may want a more in-depth explanation of any defects together with costings for repairs.

Building Survey

A Building Survey, previously known as a full Structural Survey and sometimes still called a Structural Survey, is one of the most comprehensive property surveys you can have when buying a house. A Building Survey is more suited to older or unusually constructed buildings, is more in depth and more technical in terms of the findings of the report. It will outline any defects of the property, their apparent cause, the urgency at which repairs are required and, in most cases, cost considerations for making those repairs.

Much as the name suggests, the Building Survey can indeed be used on any type of property. However, it is much more suited for buildings that are pre-war or buildings that have specific and obvious defects that need reviewing. This is primarily due to the level of details included within the report and the relative cost compared to other options. You will need a Building Survey if the property is:

  • Historically unique or listed properties
  • Pre 1945
  • Unconventional or uniquely built
  • Within conservation areas
  • Have had or plan to have renovation work
  • In poor condition

At Marwood Surveyors we strive to provide a trusted, experienced and qualified service to all our individual client’s needs. We are regulated by the RICS and are experienced Chartered Surveyors and Registered Valuers. As a company we specialise in Homebuyer Reports, Building Surveys, RICS Red Book Valuations and also carry out Commercial Surveys, Boundary Determination, Party Wall Act and Land Registry Compliant Plans.

We are passionate about property and always go the extra mile to provide excellent customer care to all of our clients. We aim to exceed clients’ expectations by providing peace of mind, expert advice and value for money.

We cover a wide area within the West Midlands and Staffordshire including; Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, Cannock, Walsall, Rugeley, Lichfield, Tamworth, Derby, Solihull, Telford, Stourbridge, Dudley, Wolverhampton and The Black Country.