Do I need a survey?


...or is it a waste of money? Last year the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) commissioned a survey of recent property purchasers.

94% of respondents agreed on the importance of having a survey (even though around one third had failed to do so!). Of those who did have a survey, 73% said it provided them with peace of mind and of those who did not have a survey before buying, 20% found faults in their new home and 17% paid over £12,000 on remedial works.

“Skimping on home surveys is a false economy!”

Different homes require different types of survey. The most popular survey reports are the RICS HomeBuyer Report and a
Building Survey.

The RICS HomeBuyer Report is set out in a prescribed format and is a licensed product promoted by RICS. This report is in a standard format designed by the RICS using a “traffic light” system to grade each component of the property.

• Red means urgent repairs or significant matters requiring further investigation.
• Amber means non-urgent attention may be required soon.
• Green means no action needed other than normal maintenance.
The HomeBuyer Survey aims to show the condition of the property, offer guidance to legal advisors, highlight any urgent defects and provide valuation advice. Typically the lower priced of the two surveys, whilst most suitable for standard modern purpose built flats, it can be used for newer homes and some other conventional property.

A Building Survey Report (this used to be known as a Full Structural Survey) is the more in-depth pre-purchase report, suitable for all property types and the only report we would recommend for old, large or more complex property. This provides detailed comment on structural condition and can be tailored to address your special concerns. It points out urgent repairs required and may recommend further investigation, with the most significant matters highlighted in a summary.

This is principally a comprehensive report on condition and repair. Valuation advice is not automatically included within a building survey but may be provided (for an additional charge) if required.

If you are in any doubt as to which survey to obtain please call Capital Chartered Surveyors (020 8875 0035) and we will be happy to advise.