The home you purchase is probably the single most expensive investment you will make. Whether you are looking to buy a detached, semi-detached or terraced house, a townhouse or a bungalow, a converted or purpose-built flat, a flat above a shop or a maisonette, we at David Cooper Associates Chartered Surveyors can assist. Whatever the style, size, or age of the property, we can offer a Building Survey report or the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Homebuyer Report.
A Building Survey report (formally known as a Structural Survey report) is a comprehensive, specialised and individually prepared report which is suitable for all residential property. It provides detailed information in respect of the construction, condition and both minor and major repairs together with a commentary on locational, environmental and other relevant aspects.
It is advisable to have a Building Survey if the property you are considering buying is relatively large or of unusual construction, has perhaps been extended or altered or where an extension, alteration or renovation is planned. It would also be appropriate for properties which are old, or are dated, or require modernisation or in an obviously poor or dilapidated condition. That said, even if the property is in good condition and of a relatively conventional style and size or is relatively new a building survey report may well prove to be an invaluable document for both your immediate use and future reference.
For the above reasons a Building Survey report is generally priced higher than a Homebuyer Report (please see below). A Building Survey report does not include a valuation but a valuation is available upon request as an additional service.
A Homebuyer Report (previously known as The RICS Homebuyer Survey & Valuation) is a standardised and concise document devised by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) which concentrates on significant defects that may affect the value of a property. It is designed as an economic alternative to a Building Survey.
In order to reach a decision on whether to proceed with the purchase of a residential property, it is advisable to commission a survey to provide at least some information and advice in respect of the physical condition of the property. It may be that you are having a Mortgage Valuation carried out, but this is prepared only for the lender, and therefore should not be relied upon by any purchaser. A Mortgage Valuation only deals with general aspects of the property in relation to its security for your lender; it will not provide any detailed information on material defects that may exist, or major repairs that may be required to the property.
The Homebuyer Report (2009) is in standardised format as set out by the RICS, and is intended for houses and flats which appear to be in reasonable condition and are conventional in terms of construction, size and other aspects. It provides a focus on essential repairs that are urgent or significant or which may have a material effect on the value of the property. The report is generally priced lower than a Building Survey.