A Building Survey is the most detailed inspection of a property that can be carried out without involving any exposure works and provides the most detailed report possible including technical details on materials and construction; defects and their likely cause and appropriate repairs.
A Building Survey can be tailored to your particular needs and we always enquire regarding any particular concerns our clients may have.
If you are buying a ‘big old Victorian house’ that is ‘falling down’ you will definitely need a Building Survey to be able to fully appreciate what you are purchasing. (The Surveyor is also free to fully describe what can be complicated details of construction and condition).
We usually find our clients want to discuss the contents of their Building Surveys and this more detailed report provides a very wide ranging basis for this discussion.
Conversely, if you are purchasing a small modern house, a Building Survey Report would not provide any more useful information than the RICS Homebuyer Service which is generally more competitively priced. In some circumstances our clients require advice regarding market value and insurance valuation. These can be provided if required.
Main Structural Elements Building Survey
We find that some clients who are purchasing a property that is in need of complete refurbishment are not interested in being told about the condition of the incidental elements of the building, e.g. decorations, kitchen fittings, bathroom fittings, non structural timbers, services etc which are often obviously in need of complete renewal.In these circumstances we offer a Building Survey covering the Main Structural Elements. The client is therefore provided with all the information required to access those elements of the building that are not obvious to the ‘untrained eye’. Main Structural Elements Building Surveys are consequently more cost effective.
RICS Homebuyer Report
The RICS HomeBuyer Report is based upon an inspection which covers the same ground as a Building Survey (because it is a Homebuyer Report we do not leave out any elements of the building).However, the HomeBuyer Report is only designed for smaller houses, bungalows and flats that are of a traditional type of construction and are apparently in reasonable condition because the format of the report does not allow for the detailed descriptions necessary for more complicated types of building.
The HomeBuyer Report also automatically includes a Market Valuation and an Insurance Reinstatement Valuation. Because the scope and detail of the report is less detailed than a Building Survey Report it can be produced at a more cost effective price.
A ‘Valuation’ does not involve any kind of ‘ Survey’ of a property. It is a brief inspection to determine the size, type, age, construction and location of the property and to access its value in relation to the sale of comparable properties in the area. Defects will only be identified in the report if they are obvious and have a significant adverse affect upon value.
A ‘Mortgage Valuation’ provides the ‘Lender’ with a report designed to reassure regarding the security of the money they are being asked to lend i.e. Does the property exist? (Is it a case of fraud?). Is it ‘falling to pieces’? Is it worth what is being lent?
For the purchase of all but the most straight forward of properties it is generally unwise to solely rely upon the Lender’s Mortgage Valuation Report.