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Gorvins Residential What Are the Different Types of Homebuyer Surveys?

What Are the Different Types of Homebuyer Surveys?

Last Updated: August 3rd, 2022

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As a homebuyer, the excitement and thrill of purchasing your dream house can overshadow the expenses involved to repair or renovate your new property. However, a homebuyer survey can come to your aid as it will give you a better idea of how much you need to invest in the house to avoid any unexpected and expensive surprises.  

A homebuyer survey is carried out by an RICS Chartered Surveyor who will inspect your property and detect any dangerous and visible issues that might affect the house’s market value. At the end of the inspection, the surveyor will complete a report which will detail your property’s maintenance and whether it requires any repairs that you will need to consider in the future.  

What does a homebuyer survey include?  

Typically, the homebuyer survey includes three parts: inspection, testing and an overview of your property’s maintenance plan. The Chartered Surveyor will examine all the accessible areas of your property, such as ceilings, roof, outside doors, bathrooms and floors. However, it’s worth noting that the surveyor will only focus on the property at the surface level and he won’t be too intrusive, such as lifting your furniture or looking through your attic.  

In addition, the surveyor will test for the dampness of the walls and provide informed recommendations regarding any potential environmental hazards that you need to be aware of.   

Normally, the type of survey you choose is based on two key factors: the age and the condition of the house you’re buying. In this blog, we’ve rounded up the different types of homebuyer surveys and which one might be best for your property: 

RICS Home Survey – Level 1  

Level 1 is the standard survey that is suitable for any homebuyers who are looking to purchase a fairly new and modern property. The surveyor will use traffic light ratings to evaluate the condition of your house and he will highlight any significant repairs needed, but ultimately won’t go into too much detail.  

The Level 1 survey is ideal if you are just getting on the property ladder and your property is in very good condition or it’s completely new.  

RICS Home Survey – Level 2  

The most common type of home survey is Level 2, which is the standard choice for any houses that are in a reasonable condition.  

As stated above, the inspection will be non-intrusive, however, the surveyor will pay more attention to the visible parts of the house and identify any problems that might influence your house’s value to decrease over time. The surveyor will also test the walls against dampness, and identify any drainage and insulation issues and the windows will be checked to whether they are double glazed.  

The report will outline any urgent repairs or major faults that should require special attention and a market valuation if you opt for a homebuyer survey with valuation.  

RICS Home Survey – Level 3 

The Level 3 Home Survey provides the most comprehensive analysis of your property’s internal and external structure and it is the ideal choice if you’re purchasing a house older than 30 years old. Moreover, this type of survey is useful if you plan to purchase a property in very poor condition but undertake major renovations or completely transform the space.  

The RICS surveyor will conduct a thorough examination of the property, including the more intrusive parts, such as checking the floorboards or the attic in more detail. In the final report, the surveyor will highlight any major defects and a maintenance plan to help restore your property. In addition, you can ask the surveyor to include an estimate of costs needed for the repairs and a timeframe for any major faults to be repaired.  

Overall, a homebuyer survey might seem like an unnecessary expense, however, it can save you money in the long term and it is a hassle-free process if you use a specialist surveying company. After the survey, don’t be afraid to speak up if you have any questions and if there are any major problems, make sure you discuss with the seller to either renegotiate the price or get the problems fixed before you move in.  

As experienced conveyancers we’ll discuss each of the steps to be undertaken when buying your home, so you can have all the information you need to make the best-informed decisions. If you’re looking for a solicitor for buying a house or get a quote for your property purchase you can call us on 0161 930 5350, e-mail us at or fill in our online form


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