What is a Homebuyer Survey?

A Homebuyer Survey, also known as an RICS ‘Level 2’ survey, is a non-intrusive visual assessment of a residential property such as a house or apartment.

A certified surveyor will check all visible areas of the property to assess its condition and identify any defects.

This survey provides an excellent snapshot of any serious issues the property might have and is particularly beneficial for those considering the purchase of a modern home in decent condition.

For instance, consider the case of a couple looking to buy a semi-detached house in Bristol. Their Homebuyer Survey identified minor roofing issues and inadequate window sealing that were not initially apparent, enabling them to negotiate a better purchase price.

How does a Homebuyer Survey compare to other survey types?

The Homebuyer Survey is more succinct than the RICS Building Survey but offers more detail than both the mortgage valuation and RICS Condition Report. Positioned as a ‘Level 2’ survey,

it is among the most popular choices by RICS. The cost of this survey varies with the property size and its market value.

Surveyors focus on clearly visible problems but will not, for example, lift carpets or move heavy furniture. For those purchasing older properties or buildings with potential hidden issues, a Level 3 ‘Building Survey‘ is advised for a thorough inspection.

Our Homebuyer Surveys are conducted by RICS chartered surveyors in mansfield and are suitable for both traditional and modern properties that are in good condition.

For heritage properties or those in poor condition, a more detailed Building Survey might be necessary to uncover significant hidden problems.

With a Homebuyer Survey, your report will cover basic features similar to a Level 1 Condition Report but includes additional advice on urgent defects, potential impacts on the property’s value, and maintenance and repair recommendations.

RICS surveys also provide a market valuation and estimated insurance rebuild costs.

What Does the Survey Include?

The Homebuyer Survey entails a visual inspection of all major indoor features including ceilings, roofs, walls, and bathrooms, and extends to permanent outdoor structures like windows, roofing, and drainage systems.

The surveyor will assess the heating, electrical, and plumbing systems, commenting on the energy efficiency.

A real-world example can be seen in a recent survey conducted on a Victorian terrace in Manchester, where the surveyor identified issues with damp, leading to necessary damp-proofing measures and insulation upgrades.

Your RICS chartered surveyor will pinpoint areas needing legal or specialist consultation, and the provided property valuation helps in negotiating the purchase price. A reinstatement value estimate is also included, crucial for insurance purposes.

The survey will reveal any serious structural problems such as subsidence and includes checks for damp, woodworm, and rot in accessible timber sections. Issues like septic tank maintenance will also be highlighted if applicable.

Each survey outlines major faults and provides guidance on necessary repairs and maintenance to address these issues.

Looking to ensure your new home is in perfect condition? Contact New Homes Inspections for a comprehensive new build survey tailored to your specific needs.

Whats been learnt

  • Definition and Function:
    • A Homebuyer Survey is a visual inspection that assesses the condition of visible areas of a property.
    • It is known as an RICS ‘Level 2’ survey.
  • Comparison with Other Surveys:
    • It is more detailed than a mortgage valuation and RICS Condition Report but less extensive than a RICS Building Survey.
    • Suitable for modern homes in good condition, less so for older or dilapidated properties.
  • Inspection Details:
    • Includes inspection of major indoor features like ceilings, walls, and roofs, and outdoor features like windows and gutters.
    • Checks systems such as heating, drainage, and electrical for functionality and efficiency.
    • Identifies serious structural issues like subsidence and tests for damp.
  • Additional Information Provided:
    • Offers advice on urgent defects and their impact on property value.
    • Provides maintenance and repair recommendations.
    • Includes a market valuation and insurance rebuild costs.