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Why you should have a survey…
Buying a house is a major investment – you need all the information you can get to make an informed decision. A Which report states that 70% of homebuyers don’t commission an independent survey - but it could save you up to £10,000.

Home Condition survey
Having a Home Condition Survey (HCS) means you will know everything you need to about the property you’re about to buy. The HCS is for properties that are relatively modern where no major problems are anticipated, but where there might be hidden problems.

What to expect from the Home Condition survey?
The HCS is delivered by specially trained and fully accredited residential property surveyors, who must be a member of SAVA (The Surveyors and Valuers Association).

  • Identify any major problems with the condition of the property you are buying.

  • Highlight any hidden areas of possible concern that needs further investigation.

  • Delivered in a comprehensive and jargon-free report.

  • Help you plan for future expenditure.

  • Give you a simple easy to understand 1-2-3 condition rating of all the key aspects of the property


Building Survey

If the property you’re interested in is old or has major problems, then you should consider a more comprehensive Building Survey. Building Surveys are recommended for properties that may have problems, have not been maintained or which are very old or dilapidated. You should expect the surveyor to be at the property for between 5-6 hours for this type of survey.

What to expect from the Building survey
You will receive details on each of these areas:

  • The building condition and design, and any defects.

  • Any structural movement or cracking;
    giving you a guide to all issues found.

  • Condition of the electrical services; Gas, Heating system and plumping.

  • Any damp, rot or woodworm.

  • Any alterations and their condition.

  • Condition of the drains.

  • Any environmental issues.

  • Condition of the roof chimneys.

The Building Survey operates a Four Condition rating:

  • Condition rating 1 – No repair is currently needed. Normal maintenance must be carried out.

  • Condition rating 2 – Repairs or replacements needed but the surveyor does not consider these to be serious or urgent.

  • Condition rating 3 – These defects are either serious and or urgent and require immediate repair or replacement. The Surveyor can also recommend that further investigation is required.

  • Condition rating 4 –  HS for Health and Safety rating. These issues require your immediate attention, and failure to attend to these issues could result in serious injury or death.

Click to download sample surveys

We provide Level 2 Building Surveys. These are a less comprehensive Building Survey and we do Defect Reports, which are for a specific area of a property that needs investigation.

Click here to get

Questions to ask your surveyor

  • Can you speak to them before they inspect your new property?

  • Are their reports individually audited or is it just their company that’s audited?

  • How long do they expect to be at the property? and can you meet them there?

  • Are they part of one of the large chains linked to the estate agency you are using? This could lead to a conflict of interest.

  • What level and type of insurance cover do they have?

Remember, to correctly survey a property, a surveyor should be at a property for a minimum of four hours. Do not just accept the word of your estate agent as they are also working for the seller and their commission.

Valuation reports

A valuation report is a short appraisal of the property usually commissioned by a lender, a building society or bank, so they can judge whether the property is a good risk. The valuer is usually only at the property for between 20-30 minutes, completing a tick box exercise with a few notes. This is not a survey.

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