What kind of residential survey should I have?
It can be confusing to know which kind of residential survey to have. There are three types defined by the RICS. Each serves a different purpose. Their names have changed over the years which does not help. Below is a description of each:
Newly built properties benefit from a Condition Report (Level 1). This residential survey provides the least amount of detail. It is assumed that these properties are in fairly good condition and provided with a 10-year guarantee.
Most properties benefit from a Home Buyer Report (Level 2). This residential survey describes the property and as well as any defects that require attention in the short-medium term. It is a comprehensive non-invasive snapshot of a property. The survey includes the outside of the building which involves inspecting the roof, chimneys, guttering, walls, windows, and doors. Inside the property, the roof structure, ceilings, walls, floors, fireplaces, kitchens and bathrooms are inspected. Examining the services (i.e. gas, water, heating, and electricity) identifies any irregularities that do not comply with professional standards. A traffic light rating system highlights the severity of defects.
A Building Survey (Level 3) is appropriate for Listed buildings, those in a poor state of repair and those the have been dramatically extended. In addition to identifying defects, this residential survey describes the fabric and materials of the building. These these types of property will require more maintenance and building work than a traditional modern property. Knowing the fabric of the building is useful when undertaking this work. Just like a Home Buyer Report, an inspection is done of the inside and outside of the property. Defects are identified and a traffic light rating system is used.