Level 1: Home Condition Report

Level 1 surveys are called Condition Reports. These provide an overview of the property’s condition, but do not go into great detail.

The report focuses on the condition of the property and includes:

  • traffic light ratings that show the different parts of the building, services, garage and outbuildings, and will flag problems that require attention

  • a summary of the risks to the condition of the building

  • overview of things like planning and building control issues and guarantees for your legal advisors

It does not provide either a valuation or insurance reinstatement figure.

Level 2: HomeBuyers Report

A HomeBuyers Report, often referred to as a RICS Level 2 building survey, is the most common type of survey for buyers.

It offers a detailed analysis of the property, with attention paid to structural issues like subsidence. A HomeBuyers Report is typically used for traditionally built, modern homes that have not been substantially extended or altered.

The report will provide all of the information included in the Home Condition Report as well as the following:

  • a market valuation based on the surveyor's professional opinion

  • a list of problems the surveyor thinks may affect the value of the property

  • advice on repairs and ongoing maintenance

  • an insurance reinstatement figure

  • issues that need to be investigated to prevent serious damage or dangerous conditions

  • legal issues that need to be addressed before conveyancing is completed

  • information on the location, local environment

  • where available, information on energy efficiency

Level 3: RICS Building Survey

For a more comprehensive report, a RICS Building Survey offers an extensive break-down of a property’s condition.

If you’re buying an older or unusual property, such as a thatched cottage, it's recommended that you get a Building Survey.

The surveyor will inspect all parts of the property that are easily accessible or visible to assess the structure and condition. It's a good idea to discuss the report with the surveyor as they can walk you through their findings.

Every building is different. No building is perfect. But the survey should give you a thorough understanding of what you're buying.

You can learn more about what the different surveys include here.

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