What Sort of House Survey Suits You?

Buying a home is likely to be one of the most significant expenditures for most people. Therefore, having a house survey carried out on the property before you sign on the dotted line can help you avoid significant repair bills down the line. Major structural issues are often difficult to spot unless you’re a trained professional, so having a survey conducted can be invaluable.

According to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the average buyer spends an additional £5,750 on repairs after purchasing a property. However, commissioning a survey before you purchase could help you reduce or even avoid this additional cost. If a survey does highlight any issues, you’ll have the opportunity to flag them with the vendor and either request that they rectify them before you exchange or negotiate a discount on your offer price to cover the repair work needed.

Misconceptions of House Surveys

Many buyers believe that the valuation carried out by the mortgage lender assesses the condition of the property. However, a valuation is purely for the benefit of the lender and checks whether the property is worth the amount of money you’re borrowing against it. If you want to find out the condition of the property in more detail, you’ll need to commission a survey.

Another misconception is that your mortgage lender will arrange your survey for you. However, if you want a survey in addition to your mortgage valuation, you’ll need to arrange and pay for it yourself. It’s best to let your solicitor or conveyancer know when you first instruct them that you’d like a survey as well as a mortgage valuation. They may be able to manage the paperwork and potentially help you find a surveyor to instruct.

The only person who can carry out a survey is a chartered surveyor, who is typically a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). There are four main types of surveys available, all varying in levels of detail.

How Much Does a House Survey Cost?


The cost of a house survey depends on the firm you use, the value of the property, and the type of property. As a general rule, the more detailed the survey, the more it costs.

What Types of House Surveys are Available?


Condition Report

The most basic form of survey provides a high-level description of the property’s condition. It highlights any major risks or defects that may require urgent attention, as well as any potential legal issues. However, a condition report doesn’t provide any advice on how to deal with them. This type of survey is suitable for most conventional types of property and is the cheapest survey available, costing around £300 upwards.


HomeBuyer Report

A HomeBuyer Report is a step up from a Condition Report and is suitable for properties in reasonable condition. This type of survey will help identify any significant structural problems, such as subsidence or damp, together with any other major defects with the interior or exterior of the property. However, a HomeBuyer Report won’t go into a lot of detail, such as inspection behind the walls or under the floorboards. It is the most requested type of survey by purchasers and typically costs around £350 upwards.


New-Build Snagging Survey

A relatively new type of survey, the New-build snagging survey, provides a professional and independent inspection of a new build property. It may highlight issues that the builder or developer needs to rectify before you complete on your purchase. This type of survey

Common questions about house surveys

A house survey is a report on the condition of a property conducted by a surveyor. It aims to identify any issues or defects with the property that may not be immediately obvious to the buyer. This includes problems with the structure, roof, walls, windows, doors, plumbing, heating, electrics, and more.

There are three main types of house surveys: condition report, homebuyer report, and building survey. A condition report is the most basic type of survey and provides a general overview of the property’s condition. A homebuyer report is more detailed and highlights any significant defects or issues that may affect the value of the property. A building survey is the most comprehensive type of survey and provides an in-depth analysis of the property’s condition, including advice on repairs and maintenance.

The type of survey you choose depends on various factors, such as the age and condition of the property, its location, and your budget. If you’re buying a relatively new property in good condition, a condition report may be sufficient. If you’re buying an older property, a homebuyer report or building survey may be necessary to identify any potential issues that may require significant repairs or maintenance.

The length of a house survey depends on the type of survey and the size of the property. A condition report can take a few hours to complete, while a building survey may take a day or more. The surveyor will usually provide you with an estimated timeframe when booking the survey.

The cost of a house survey varies depending on the type of survey, the size of the property, and the location. A condition report typically costs between £250-£400, a homebuyer report between £400-£700, and a building survey between £500-£1,500. It’s important to note that the cost of a survey is a small price to pay compared to potential repairs or issues that may be identified during the survey.

Although new build properties are generally considered to be in good condition, it’s still recommended to have a survey conducted to identify any potential issues or defects. This is particularly important if the property has been unoccupied for some time or if there have been any issues during the construction process. A snagging survey is a type of survey specifically designed for new build properties, which identifies any issues that need to be addressed before completion.