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Homebuyers and Building Surveys

Surveys are an all-over health check on a property, describing its current structural condition. Usually they are undertaken when the property is about to be sold and can often save a prospective buyer from unexpected repair bills at a later date. In addition, problems highlighted during a survey can strengthen the buyers negotiating position in agreeing a lower sale price.

There are two main types of survey which are recognised by The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS):

  • A HomeBuyer Survey and Valuation
  • A Building Survey

AJP Surveyors have experienced professionals who are highly qualified to undertake these surveys on behalf of clients.

HomeBuyer Survey and Valuation

This survey is most suitable for conventional properties under 200 square metres (approximately 2,000 sq ft), that are in a reasonable condition and have been built within the last 150 years.

Following a precise format set out by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, the report is a nine-page form which includes all the major sections of a property that are clearly visible to the surveyor. The aim of this survey is to provide a snapshot of the overall condition of the property and to identify which aspects are in need of further tests or more specific investigation. This format does have some limitations as to the condition of electrical wiring, drainage and gas installations which are not included in the survey, although we can offer referrals to independent experts in these fields.

The main considerations of a HomeBuyer Survey are:

  • Examining the general condition of the property and assessing its major and minor faults.
  • Assessing the repair liabilities and possible cost implications of any major reported faults.
  • Assessing the repair liabilities and possible cost implications of any major reported faults.
  • Reporting on damp in the walls and woodwork, and any woodworm infestation.
  • Assessing the condition of damp-proofing, insulation and drainage (although drainage will not be tested).
  • Providing an estimated cost for rebuilding the property for building insurance purposes.
  • Recommendations for any further surveys and investigations that may need to be performed on specialist areas before contracts should be exchanged.
  • Providing a valuation, based on the surveyor's expertise and experience, of the property on the open market.

The HomeBuyer Survey is cheaper than a Building Survey, but is unsuitable for very old or unusual properties, or if you are planning to purchase a property as a major renovation project. In these instances, we would recommend that a Building Survey is considered.

Building Survey

The Building Survey is suitable for all property ages and types, however they are far more detailed and bespoke and provide a comprehensive and thorough report on the condition of the property, examining all accessible areas.

If you have any specific concerns relating to a property, i.e. the fact that it is of an unusual construction or possibly has multiple extensions and is over 150 years old, then we would recommend this type of survey.

The cost of a Building Survey can vary, dependent on the size and condition of the property. The extent of the report is very much bespoke, and the remit and cost is to be agreed at the outset between the Surveyor and the Client.

Unlike a Homebuyers Survey, the building survey does not provide a valuation figure, but the Surveyor can include this if requested

The main details of the Building Survey will include:

  • • All major and minor faults found within the property and the implications that these will have.
  • Testing for dampness of the walls, and results for these tests.
  • Testing of all woodwork for damp and woodworm, and the results of these tests.
  • Testing of all woodwork for damp and woodworm, and the results of these tests.
  • Investigation into the condition of damp proofing, insulation and drainage, although the drains will not actually be tested.
  • Technical information about how the property was constructed and all materials which were used in the process.
  • Information about the location of the property.
  • Proposals for any further special inspections and subsequent work which may need to be done on the property.

For further information contact:

Alistair Douglas MRICS
07908 789883
a.douglas@ajpsurveyors.co.uk