HomeBuyers report or Building Survey?


Not all Building Surveys are equal – which one is right for you?

Whether you’re a first time buyer, considering extension and refurbishment works, or looking to sell up and climb the property ladder, these decisions are some of the most expensive you can make so it pays to be reassured you’re making the right one. A Building Survey can give you confidence you’re making a sound investment in each scenario but what kind of survey is right for you?

There are three types of building survey

  • Condition reports – for new and conventional builds in overall good condition.
  • Homebuyers report – for new and conventional property
  • Building survey – for every type of property, but essential for older, listed and large properties plus those with extensive alterations and prior to major works taking place.

Building surveys provide a professional report on the condition of a property at a given point in time but not all Building Surveys are equal. Choosing the right one for you will depend on the reason for the survey, the age, and condition of the property in question.

Chartered Building Surveyors are qualified to report on the structure and condition of property. They can be instructed to conduct a building survey pre-purchase, prior to tenants taking leases or before building works are carried out, and can report on condition or specific areas of concern at any time throughout the life span of a property.

The differences between the reports

Here is an overview of a condition report, homebuyers report and a building survey; the three main types of survey available for commercial and residential buildings:

1. Condition report

An objective overview of the condition of a property that highlights areas of major concern but doesn’t go into detail regarding any issues found. Shows the condition of the property, offers guidance to legal advisors and highlights any urgent defects. Typically the lowest priced of the surveys.

2. Homebuyers report

Includes all the features of the RICS Condition Report, plus a market valuation and insurance rebuild valuation. It also includes advice on defects that may affect the value of the property (RICS)

Consider this: Often cheaper than a full building survey but this can be false economy as the report doesn’t necessarily go into detail on how to remedy any defects found meaning you get a list of problems without solutions.

3. Building Survey

The most comprehensive report as described by the RICS which provides you with an in-depth analysis of the property’s condition and includes advice on defects, repairs and maintenance options. Can offer visibility into unexpected repair and maintenance costs that may exist in the not too distant future.

Consider this: Although the most expensive, the peace of mind provided from this detailed report far outweighs any savings in comparison to a homebuyers report when considering the cost of the overall investment into planned works or purchase costs.


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