The Two Types of Survey
What choice of survey do I have?
A Building Survey (formerly called a structural survey)
A Building Survey is a bespoke service suitable for all residential properties and provides a ful, detailed picture of their construction and condition. It is likely to be needed if the Property is, for example, of unusual construction, is dilapidated or has been extensively altered – or where a major conversion or renovation is planned.
Building Surveys are usually tailored to the Client’s individual requirements. The report includes extensive technical information on material and construction as well as details of the whole range of defects, major to minor.
The HOMEBUYER Survey & Valuation (usually called ‘The HOMEBUYER Service’)
In contrast to a Building Survey, The HOMEBUYER Service is in a standard format and is designed specifically as an economical service. It therefore differs materially from a Building Survey in two major respects.
It is intended only for particular types of home: houses, bungalows and flats which are: conventional in type and construction apparently in reasonable condition.
It focuses on essentials: defects and problems which are urgent or significant which may have an effect on the value of the Property — although it also includes much other valuable information. The HOMEBUYER, unlike a Building Survey, provides not only a Survey but also a Valuation and reinstatement cost assessment as an integral part of the Service.
What else should I know about the HOMEBUYER Service?
The Service — the Inspection, the Report and the Valuation — are all explained in detail in the accompanying Description of the HOMEBUYER Service, but the highlights are:
This is an economical service. Because of the practical limits on the type of property and on the scope of its coverage, the HOMEBUYER Service is priced mid-range — more expensive than a Mortgage Valuation, but less than a Building Survey.
The Surveyor’s main purpose in providing the Service is to assist the prospective homebuyer to:
- Make a reasoned and informed judgement on whether or not to proceed with the purchase.
- Assess what would be a reasonable purchase price for the Property:
- Be clear what decisions and actions should be taken before contracts are exchanged (or in Scotland, before concluding an offer of purchase).
- Matters which are judged to be not significant or not urgent are generally not included in the Report. The Surveyor may, however, comment on any other matters judged to be helpful and constructive.
- The general condition and particular features of the Property.
- Particular points which should be referred to the Client’s Legal Advisers.
- Other relevant considerations concerning, for example, the location, the environment, or perhaps insurance.
The concise report covers the building both inside and outside, the services and the site. It focuses on the defects and other problems which, in the judgement of the Surveyor, are urgent or significant, but it also covers:
The surveyor also gives a professional opinion on the particular features of the Property which affect its present value and may affect its future resale.