Why Are Property Surveys Essential?
A property surveyor will inspect a property to identify any issues with the structure and major indoor features. For example, a detailed property survey will reveal if there are problems with subsidence, damp, drainage, insulation, and the roof. In assessing the property’s physical condition, the surveyor will also check gutters, bathrooms, gas, electricity, plumbing and heating systems.
In other words — a property survey is an excellent way to uncover serious problems with the building and learn its actual condition. Therefore, most homebuyers consider property surveys an intrinsic part of the buying process.
Types of Property Surveys
The type of survey your potential new home requires depends on several factors. For example, a complete structural survey may be best for older homes. However, a Homebuyer report may suffice for newer homes in reasonable condition. But even for newly-built homes, a snagging survey could flag the builder’s faults before you move in.
RICS Home Survey – Level 1
Also known as a condition report, the Level 1 home survey is the most basic type of property survey. The house surveyor provides a report with a traffic light rating of the property’s individual features. This will uncover obvious defects, urgent issues that need addressing, risks and legal issues with the building.
It’s worth noting that the only guidance the Level 1 basic survey provides is green, amber or red to indicate the degree of problem. It doesn’t provide advice or property valuation. Also, the survey doesn’t include inspections in the attic or cellar.
A Level 1 property survey is helpful for newer homes that are in good condition.
RICS Home Survey – Level 2
A Level 2 property survey is the most popular choice for homebuyers. Formerly called a Homebuyer survey, the mid-level inspection is suitable for traditional properties in reasonable condition. The survey includes everything in the Level 1 inspection, as well as checking cellars and roof spaces.
An advantage of the Level 2 home survey is that you get advice on repairs, their potential cost of repairs and future maintenance issues. This gives you a clearer picture of the home’s true condition.
Some homebuyers opt for an RICS Home Survey Level 2 with valuation. This will include the market value and how the surveyor’s report could affect the final sale price.
RICS Home Survey — Level 3
The RICS Home Survey Level 3 or RICS Building Survey is the most comprehensive survey. This will identify all potential issues with the property like a Level 1 and Level 2 survey provides. Additionally, the detailed inspection will provide recommendations on the type of remedial work required, the timescale and the potential consequences if repairs are ignored.
A Level 3 home survey is advisable when buying the following types of properties:
- Homes over 50 years old
- Property in poor condition
- Listed buildings
- You plan on doing extensive renovations
RPSA Property Surveys
The Residential Property Surveyors Association also carries out home surveys. Their surveyors provide consumer-friendly information, similar to RICS surveys. The two types of surveys they offer are the following:
- RPSA Home Condition Survey. This is the equivalent of the RICS Home Survey Level 2.
- RPSA Building Survey. A high-level, detailed report like the RICS Home Survey Level 3.
Property Surveys — In Conclusion
If you are thinking about buying a property in the Bristol area? Then it’s highly recommended to arrange a property survey. This will help you make an informed decision on purchasing the home or not.
At Hydes of Bristol, our expert property agents have experience helping homebuyers find their ideal home. To find your perfect home, call a member of our team today on 0117 973 1516 or fill out this easy online form.