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What is a RICS survey?

A RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) survey is a professional property assessment conducted by a qualified surveyor to evaluate the condition, structure, and value of a residential property. RICS offers several survey types, including the HomeBuyer Survey, Building Survey, and Condition Report, now known as the Level 1, 2 & 3 reports, each tailored to different property needs and complexities. These surveys provide potential buyers and property owners with essential information about the property's condition, highlighting any defects, structural issues, or maintenance requirements, helping them make informed decisions about purchasing, maintaining, or renovating the property. RICS surveys are widely recognised for their credibility and expertise in the real estate industry.

What is a Building Survey?
(Level 3)

A RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) Building Survey, formerly known as a Structural Survey (now known as a Level 3), is a comprehensive and in-depth examination of a property's structure, condition, and overall integrity. Conducted by a residential surveyor with expertise in building assessment, this survey provides a thorough analysis of the property's construction, highlighting any defects, structural issues, and necessary repairs or maintenance. It is often recommended for older, significantly altered, poorly maintained or unique properties. The RICS Building Survey offers buyers a detailed understanding of a property's condition, enabling them to make informed decisions regarding their purchase and any potential investment in renovations or repairs.

What is a Homebuyers Survey
(Level 2)

A RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) HomeBuyer Survey (now known as a Level 2) is a mid-range property survey conducted by a qualified residential surveyor to assess the condition of a residential property. It is typically performed when purchasing a home and provides potential buyers with a concise report outlining any significant defects or issues that may affect the property's value or safety. This survey is less detailed than a full building survey but more comprehensive than a basic valuation or Level 1. It offers valuable information to help a property purchaser understand the potential problems and necessary repairs, ensuring buyers are well-informed about the property's condition.

What is a Condition Report
(Level 1)

A RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) Condition Report is a concise and straightforward assessment of a property's condition, primarily focusing on its overall state and any visible defects but without in-depth analysis. It is the most basic and cost-effective survey option and is typically suitable for newer properties or those in good condition, where significant structural issues are not expected. The report provides potential buyers with a basic understanding of the property's condition, allowing them to make informed decisions, particularly regarding any necessary maintenance or repairs, but it lacks the detailed analysis provided by more comprehensive survey types offered by RICS.

Is a mortgage valuation the same as a survey?

A mortgage valuation and a survey are not the same. A mortgage valuation primarily serves the lender's interest, estimating the property's value as security for the loan, with a focus on financial risk assessment, often providing minimal information about the property's condition. In contrast, surveys, such as RICS HomeBuyer Surveys or Building Surveys, are comprehensive property assessments aimed at informing potential buyers about a property's structural condition, defects, and maintenance needs. Buyers typically order surveys for their benefit, while mortgage valuations are arranged by the lender to protect their financial interest, and the depth of information provided differs significantly between the two. It's often advisable to obtain both a mortgage valuation (if required by the lender) and a survey for a comprehensive understanding of a property's value and condition.

What's the next step...

Get in touch to discuss your requirements. If you are not sure, we are always happy to take a look at the property and advise on the most appropriate type of survey.

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