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20th October 2020

House survey what do they look for

A house survey is an expert inspection of a property’s condition, and identifies any problems to the prospective buyer.

The homebuyer generally has a survey done on a property after their offer has been accepted by the seller.

Reasons to Have a House Survey

Property surveys are often detailed inspections of the home’s state. A surveyor, an expert who is professionally trained to inspect houses, carries out the tasks and gives you a report on all the problems that your property has. After highlighting the structural issues, they then give you a way forward regarding the corrections and alterations. If your roof leaks, they will suggest different ways to fix the roof to avoid more damages. A homeowner knows everything concerning their home. Here is a breakdown of the reasons to have a house survey.

Home survey Quote

Old Property

Just like people, property develops issues as they age. The systems begin failing thus potentially dangerous to the occupants. If you are about to purchase or own an old property, you must have a house survey.

Worry about the Property

Do you have any worry about the property? Have you heard any parts of the home creaking or seen failing structures and systems? Well, it is time for you to have a house survey done. This process is the only way to know where the problem is.

Determine Value

Selling or purchasing a home is a considerable investment. It either takes a huge chunk of money from you or puts a large one into your pockets. For this reason, you must determine the actual value of the home before the transaction.

Types of House Survey

When choosing house surveys, one is advised to make selections in line with the property’s conditions and not the estimated cost. Understand that determining the problems of the house early enough helps the homeowner make the repairs and corrections in good time. As such, one can avoid extensive damages that could occur. Let’s explore the house surveys!

Condition Report

A condition report gives an objective viewpoint concerning the condition of the home at the time of the survey. Done by a certified surveyor from a firm like RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors), the condition report will include the date of inspection and the defects ascertained during the survey. Additionally, they highlight things that require additional investigation to prevent underlying problems from erupting and the shortcomings that are potentially dangerous to the occupants. This home survey is suitable for new buildings and conventional homes to inform you about the conditions generally. It covers the outside and inside of the property as well as the services and grounds.

The ratings on the condition report are NI, 1, 2, 3 in ascending order. NI implies that a building was not inspected while 1 means that no repair is needed at the time of inspection, and the building should be maintained just as it is. On the other hand, 2 implies that the defects discovered need repairing or replacing but are not urgent, while 3 means that the repairs and replacements must be urgently done as they are too risky. As seen, they follow a particular order with 3 being the highest and NI being the lowest.

Home Buyer Report

Buying property can be a complicated process, especially when you are uninformed of how to go about it. With a homebuyer report from a reputable surveyor, one is in a great position to make informed decisions. The information helps you make a reasonable decision about whether you should make the purchase. One also understands the fair price to pay for the property as well as understand the repairs that are needed upon property acquisition. Remember that it is an investment that you are making hence the need to make it worthwhile.

A buyer understands the structural problems in the home, damp, and any other hidden issues both inside and outside. Depending on the professionals you engage, they can also perform a property valuation to give you an accurate value of the property. In the absence of property valuation, an aspiring homeowner must use the report suggestions and bargain for better terms of purchase. Compile the cost of the repairs and renovations and less it from the asking price. The ratings are similar to the ones seen in the condition report.

Building Survey

Majorly used for properties when planning works, the survey is a comprehensive report that gives information regarding the property’s conditions, advice on the defects and due repairs. Just like the other surveys, it should be performed by credible surveyors for best results. The building survey helps you make quality decisions towards the purchase of property, repairs, maintenance and property upgrade. With detailed advice on the underlying conditions, one can identify potential risks that could come to life during the building process. Since it is practical, the property owner also gets an estimate of the costs for the due repairs.

After getting into the attic and checking behind the walls, floors and ceilings, the surveyors will give recommendations to the problems that you have hence protected you from expensive repairs in future. Homeowners must understand that it does not include insurance reinstatement value estimates unless stated by the surveyors.

Home Condition Survey

A home condition survey is performed by the residential property surveyors to reveal issues in the home that require prompt attention. If unattended, these issues could yield to deadly problems in future. With the survey, a homeowner gets insight on the maintenance that you can perform to avoid problems. The reports are independent of each other to foster consistency and high quality.

New Build Snagging Report

Sufficient for new build homes, the snagging surveys are meant to identify problems with a new home before anyone moves in. A homeowner should do it before the legal completion date so that the contractors know where to rectify before you move into the premise. The four to five-hour survey highlights all the problems and gives actionable ways to correct the issues at hand!

How to Find the Best Home Surveyor

Are you ready for your home survey? Find the right home surveyor and get started on the process!


Your location determines the surveyor that you engage for the tasks. With recommendations streaming in from different places, your first instinct should be narrowing down to the home surveyors that operate in your area. There could be right surveyors out there, but it only makes sense when they are in your area. With this, you can enhance the convenience and access to your premise.

Licensing and Regulation

RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) and RSPA (Residential Property Surveyors Association) are the major bodies regulating the activities of the home surveyors. As such, you must only work with professionals that can produce these certifications before performing the surveys. Since the surveyors follow a strict code of conduct, you can trust them to deliver uncompromised home survey reports. You can check for their credibility on these institutions websites. As a homeowner, you must avoid working with them if they are listed for any misconduct or malpractice.

Reputation and Reviews

The online reviews are an indispensable source of information regarding the credibility of the home surveyors. With technological advancements, there is a chance that your selected home surveyor has a website or online presence. Before you engage them, you should check the reviews as written by the previous clients on these websites. Negative reviews imply dissatisfaction, while positive reviews imply satisfaction.


Different surveys have different price tags, and a homeowner should understand the importance of the investment you are about to make. You must talk with several selected home surveyors and obtain quotations for the survey process. With the estimates, it becomes much convenient for you to compare and make informed decisions. Your focus must be directed to the surveyors that guarantee you of value for your money, quality services and affordability.

Should you have a survey done when buying a property?

The survey you choose will depend on the risk you think you are taking when buying a property. You do not have to have a property survey done, but they can help you avoid expensive repairs such as a rewiring job. They give you peace of mind. If you need a mortgage to buy the property than the mortgage company will send a someone to do a mortgage valuation on the property to ensure it is worth what you are paying for the property. This should not be seen as a full house survey as they are just assessing the value of the property.

Given the cost of buying any property it should be seen as a wise investment paying a few hundred pounds for a survey from an expert surveyor.