When it comes to buying a residential property, getting a survey report by a Chartered Surveyor is a must. There are Home Survey Reports (previously known as Homebuyer Reports) and Building Survey Reports, along with Valuations and Specialist reports…But what is the difference and how do you know which one is the right one for you?

This blog explains…

Homebuyer Reports are a standardised type of report by the RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) that provide homebuyers with an overview of the property’s condition, identifying the overall condition of the house and any main defects.

The idea of the Home Survey Report is that it is easy to read and understand by prospective buyers. This type of report provides useful ‘traffic light’ style ratings on the basis of priority/urgency for the repairs required, giving a clear idea of what needs addressing and in what order.

RICS Home Survey Reports are most suitable for most houses, flats, or bungalows of a conventional type and construction that are in reasonable condition. RICS Home Survey Reports are not usually recommended for older properties as a more in depth inspection is usually required.

Home Survey Reports are the most common type of survey report we undertake, along with Building Survey Reports.

A Building Survey Report, also known as a ‘level 3 report’, is the most comprehensive type of inspection and condition survey report available for residential properties. It is suitable for all types of residential and commercial property, and contains full details of the construction and condition of the property, covering both minor defects as well as major repair works.

Completed Building Survey Reports will comment on the condition of all walls, floors and roofs throughout the main property, along with those of all permanent outbuildings.

The main difference between a Building Survey Report and a RICS Home Survey Report is that Building Survey Reports are bespoke to each individual property, where RICS Home Survey Reports follow a set, standardised format. Building Survey Reports can be tailored to report on elements of a property including its design, materials, construction techniques, and services.

A note on Valuations and other specialist reports…

Outside of these two main types of survey report, we offer several other, more specific reports, including specialist survey reports and specific defect reports.

Whilst many lenders will insist on a Valuation Report, it should be noted that this is not a survey report! If you want the complete picture before you progress any further – limiting the possibility of nasty surprises once you move in – you need to have a survey report completed!

Each type of survey we offer has its own benefits. Should you be unsure about which survey is right for you, please contact us and a member of our team will be happy to discuss your options with you.

Preston Office
Telephone: 01772 458866
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Telephone: 01254 260196
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Telephone: 01200 320040
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Telephone: 01524 899850
Lea Hough is a trading name of Lea Hough & Co LLP, which is a Limited Liability Partnership registered in England and Wales under partnership number OC306054.
Registered Office: 7 Ferry Road, Office Park, Preston, PR2 2YH.