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A Guide to House Surveys - Everything You Need to Know



If you ever had an offer accepted on a property, you may be wondering whether or not you will need a house survey and, if so, which type that would be. Here, we are looking at different types of house surveys and which one is the most fitting for your property.


There are a few types of house surveys, each depending on the depth of the survey you need, your budget, the condition of your property and more.


RICS Home Survey – Level 1


The RICS Home Survey Level 1 is the first step if you purchase a conventional property built from commonly used materials and in reasonably good condition. This type of survey was previously known as a Condition Report. Level 1 surveys give you a general idea of the condition of different parts of your building, grounds, services, etc. It helps you notice problems that may need attention, and the assessment is essential to understanding what needs to be done. It will also include a summary of the risks to your building, the grounds and the people. The report doesn’t go in too deep with details and has no advice or valuation.


RICS Home Survey – Level 2


It used to be called a Home Buyer Report or a Homebuyer survey. This mid-level survey is among the more popular choices for people buying a conventional property in good condition. It will cover everything you get in an RICS Home Survey Level 1 and check roofs and cellars. You can also get recommendations for more investigations where the property surveyor finds it hard to conclude within reason. This report will also give you advice on the budget for repairs that need doing and the amount of ongoing maintenance required in the future.RICS Home Survey Level 2 also comes with or without evaluation. Go for a Home Survey Level 2 with evaluation. This will also include a market value, insurance reinstatement figure and the list of problems that the property surveyor believes may affect the value of your property.


RPSA Home Condition Survey


An RPSA Home Condition Survey is more or less the equivalent of the RICS Home Survey Level 2. It is offered by the Residential Property Surveyors Association instead of RICS. Home Condition Surveys are produced in a consumer-friendly format and are independently checked for quality and consistency. You will get information such as damp assessment, boundary issues and broadband speed for the conveyancer to consider.


RICS Home Survey – Level 3


The RICS Home Survey Level 3 is also known as a complete structural survey and RICS Building Survey, one of the most thorough ones offered by RICS. Though they are the more expensive option, they are more thorough. This is a good house survey option if you are going for a property over 50 years old, one with an unusual design or something listed in poor condition. It’s also helpful if you are planning to undertake renovations or are worried about the state of the property.


Level 3 surveys will include everything you get under the RICS Home Survey Level 2, as well as describing the identifiable risks and causes of potential hidden defects in areas that weren’t inspected. It outlines the likely scope of remedial work and explains the consequences of avoiding repairs. You will also get recommendations on the priority and timescale of these repairs.


RPSA Building Survey


An RPSA Building Survey may be the highest level of a non-invasive survey from the RPSA. You can get everything the Home Condition survey offers and more comprehensive descriptions of the construction and its defects. It will also explain how to fix those and what will happen if you don’t.


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