Buying a home

House surveys

What is a house survey?

A house survey is an inspection of a property by an expert to help identify potential problems for a prospective buyer.

A 'surveyor' visits the property, completes an inspection and prepares a report on what they've found.

Surveys are generally carried out at a cost to the prospective buyer, but can help uncover any issues with the property that could be costly to fix.

How much is a house survey?

House survey costs will vary depending on the level of survey requested and the value of the property.

According to Which.co.uk, you can expect costs to range between £400 - £1,500.

Are house surveys and mortgage valuations the same?

No. Mortgage valuations are a more basic evaluation of a property. Mortgage lenders have these carried out to provide assurance that a property is a suitable security for the mortgage you’ve applied for.

House surveys are more detailed assessments, designed to provide further insight for prospective buyers, rather than mortgage lenders.

Who organises a house survey?

Generally, the prospective buyer will choose to arrange a house survey once they have had an offer accepted. Solicitors or estate agents may recommend surveyors, but usually won't be the ones to arrange the survey.

Types of house survey

Condition report (level one)

An overview of the property's condition, including risks, potential legal issues and urgent defects. The approximate cost for a property valued between £200,000 and £300,000 is £380*.

Homebuyer report (level two)

The same features as a condition report, plus coverage of less urgent defects and advice on potential maintenance or repairs. Costs may start from around £400, and increase depending on the property value*.

Building survey (level three)

A more in-depth review of the property's condition, with a detailed assessment and reporting on defects, potential repairs and what will be required to maintain the property. A level three survey may start from around £600*.

Who carries out a house survey?

House surveys are completed by qualified surveyors.

Most are members of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). This means they abide by certain standards, such as having professional indemnity insurance.

When choosing a surveyor, finding one locally may be beneficial, as they could have better knowledge of the local housing market.

If you're buying a property that is for some reason unusual, it may be a good idea to seek a surveyor with specific experience assessing similar properties.

Other common house survey questions

Anything else we can help you with?