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Handing Over Keys

Help & Advice.

Surveys - what are they? 

It’s something we all hear of when buying a home and can be quite daunting, but it’s nothing to fear. Read on to find out the types of surveys and whether you will need one.  

A house survey is a detailed inspection of a residential property conducted by a qualified surveyor. The purpose of a house survey is to assess the condition of the property and identify any structural or maintenance issues that may affect its value or safety.  

In the UK, there are several types of home buyer surveys that can be conducted before purchasing a property. These surveys are designed to assess the condition of the property and identify any defects or issues that may affect its value or require attention.

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The types of surveys available are: 

RICS HomeBuyer Report  

This is a commonly chosen survey that is suitable for conventional properties in reasonable condition. It provides an overview of the property's condition and highlights any significant issues, such as subsidence or damp. 

RICS Home Survey Level 2  

This survey, previously known as the RICS Homebuyer Survey, is carried out by Chartered Surveyors and is suitable for most types of properties. It provides more detailed information than the HomeBuyer Report, including potential problems that may impact the property's value. 

RICS Building Survey 

This is the most comprehensive type of survey and is recommended for older or unconventional properties. It provides a thorough examination of the property's structure, construction, and any defects or maintenance issues. 


Not all banks require a property survey for a mortgage. However, some mortgage lenders may require a survey before approving a mortgage. This is usually to verify the condition and value of the property in question, as well as uncover any defects or issues that could affect the property's value or safety. Some lenders may also require a mortgage valuation, which is different from a property survey, and is intended to give an estimate of the property's value for the purposes of lending. 

It's important to note that while not all mortgage lenders require a property survey, obtaining one can still be beneficial for the buyer. A survey can help identify any issues or defects with the property that may not be immediately apparent and allow buyers to address any concerns before completing the purchase. 

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