Choosing the Right Survey for You

While not the most exciting choice you’ll make when buying a property, choosing which survey you have done is an important one. There are far too many expenses involved to go around wasting money on a level of survey you don’t need but not having an extensive enough survey done could cost you far more in the long run. As such, here is some information on the different types of survey available to help you make the best choice for your circumstances.

Mortgage Valuation Survey

When your mortgage provider sends someone around to inspect the property you’re trying to buy, it isn’t really a useful survey for you. They conduct these surveys purely to ascertain how much the property is worth so they can be confident they’ll get their money back if you can’t pay the mortgage. It will flag up any really serious and obvious issues which could have a major impact on the price of the property but that’s it. These kinds of inspections will certainly not tell you if you’re likely to have a lot of issues with the property in the future due to small but significant defects.

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Home Survey Levels 1 and 2

If you would like a rough overview of the condition of your property and any problems noticeable by an expert casting their eye over the parts of the property they can see without moving anything, a Level 1 RICS Home Survey is adequate. This level of survey isn’t a good idea if you are buying an older or dilapidated property as it won’t flag up issues this type of property is likely to have.

Level 2 Home Surveys are the most commonly requested, according to RICS. They involve a thorough visual inspection of the property including areas like basements and attics. For the majority of modern properties built using standard materials, these surveys are sufficient to spot any potential problems which could impact the value of the property and be costly to put right. It will give you a clear indication of the significance of any defects it finds.

RICS Home Survey Level 3

This is the survey you need if you’re taking on a major refurbishment project, any big building work, a property that is unusual in its construction or is old and/or in poor condition. These very thorough surveys highlight defects, give a probable cause for those issues and give an idea of the scope of the needed remedial work. They also say what the consequences are for not addressing the issues they detail. With prior agreement with the surveyor, these types of surveys can also give an estimate as to how much the needed repairs will cost.

If you have read this blog and are still unsure which survey would be most suitable for the property you’re trying to buy, feel free to ask Marc. He will give you his honest opinion as to which would be the most appropriate. To speak to him about any issues around surveying, please get in touch on 01273 281624 or email

Contact Us

Tate Surveying Services,
Freedom Works, Unit 7 Hove Business Centre, Fonthill Road, Hove, BN3 6HA

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