Why should you have a Home Survey completed when buying a house?

20 December 2022

If you are in the process of buying a property you may be considering whether or not you should have a survey done and if so, which one is the most suitable.

Surveys can seem like an unnecessary expense to add to an already mounting bill so why should you add additional costs when you don’t have to?  The truth is that you do not need to have a survey done if you don’t want to.

However, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) buyers who didn’t get a survey faced on average £5,750 worth of repairs when they moved in and 17% of these ended up paying more than £12,000 on average to make their homes habitable.  When you are asking yourself if you can afford the price of the survey, you should also consider if can you afford the expensive cost of repairs when you move into the property.

If, you have decided to go ahead with the survey and the surveyor has identified that there are defects at the property and expensive repairs will be required, you have a number of options available to you.  It is unlikely that you were aware of the defects when you made the original offer to buy the property and it is also unlikely that you had made any allowances for the necessary repair works.  It is therefore reasonable to use the survey to either ask the sellers to have the works completed before the exchange of contracts or you can renegotiate the price of the property to cover the cost of the works.  By renegotiating the price of the property, you will have the funds available to get the work carried out yourself.  If the seller is not open to any of these options you may wish to reconsider your position entirely and find a different property.

So, which survey should you have and what is the difference between a Level 2 Home Survey (Homebuyer Report) and a Level 3 Home Survey (Building Survey)?

As a rule, if you’re buying a modern property (1940s or newer) a Level 2 Home Survey is a mid-range survey that provides a comprehensive report with detailed information about the condition of the property. It will flag any defects that you will need to be aware of as well as recommendations on how to remedy those defects.

The Level 3 Home Survey provides you with everything that the Level 2 Home Survey provides you with, and more. It provides you with a more detailed report that is typically for larger, older or more complicated buildings.

The report will give you professional advice to help you make a reasoned and informed decision when purchasing the property or when planning for repairs, maintenance or upgrading the property.  It will provide detailed advice on the condition of the property internally and externally and will describe the identifiable risk of potential or hidden defects and also propose the most probable cause(s) of the defects.

If you are not sure whether the Level 2 Home Survey or the Level 3 Home Survey will be the most appropriate for your property, please call us on 01223 813129 for a chat with one of our team and they will be happy to advise you.

Paul O’Leary BSc (Hons) MRICS
December 2022

What our clients say

“Just wanted to thank you for this survey – we’ve been told that the RICS 3 surveys are detailed, but this is just exceptional work in comparison to some of the samples we’ve seen (even our broker was surprised, and he’s seen a lot!) and it gives us really good insights into how we want to approach the buying process from here. The level of “nitpicking” (in a good way!) is remarkable and I really appreciate that Manor Surveyors seem to put quality first.”

Simon Skrabanek

“Absolutely amazing service. Laura was helpful and efficient and then once our survey had been completed Paul was happy to call me and explain everything. Could not fault them at all. Original house purchase fell through and we were more than happy to use Manor again for our second purchase as they were so helpful and efficient. Thanks so much xxx”

Katrina Khalifa

“I have used them twice and received a very professional and efficient service from both Paul and Laura. Paul has provided us on both occasions with very in-depth Home Reports which were excellent value for money. I highly recommend them and wouldn’t use anyone else!”

Mick John