A Detailed Look at House Survey Costs

The cost of buying a new home can be considerable with yearly price increases outpacing wage growth several times over.

Add in the cost of legal fees, estate agents charges, stamp duty etc. and it’s no surprise that many people chose to skimp and save when it comes to paying for a house survey.

A recent survey by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors revealed that the average cost to repair hidden problems is a whopping £5750.00.

Young first-time buyers are those most at risk, the very same people who take an average of 6 years to save money for the deposit, according to Hamptons International.

On this page, we’ll explain the five different types of survey and also how much each one costs.

The 5 Different Types of Survey Explained

Below you’ll find the five different types of survey available.

Keep reading to see how much each one typically costs.

Valuation Report

A valuation report is the most basic type of survey and is also referred to by many in the trade (quite inaccurately) as a “drive-by” or “desktop” survey.

The purpose of a valuation report is to inform your lender of the home’s current market value. This protects them from lending you an amount that’s greater than the value of the asset.

While this report will highlight any obvious serious issues that would affect the value of the home, it doesn’t go into any detail whatsoever and relying on it could leave you at significant risk.

New-Build Snagging Report

While many newly built homes in the UK are constructed to a high standard, it’s not uncommon to see some of questionable quality.

A new build snagging list survey is an affordable way to get your hands on a formal document that details all the issues within the property.

We recommend a snagging report to anyone that’s about to buy a newly built home, even if the property appears to be in good condition.

Condition Report

A condition report will list all the important parts of the home such as roof, chimney, walls, electrics etc. and uses a traffic light system next to each item. Red meaning an urgent repair is needed and green meaning it’s in good condition.

A condition report is fairly basic and non-intrusive, the surveyor won’t be lifting carpets or moving items to gain access to parts of the home.

It should highlight any observable issues.

Condition reports will not include any advice beyond observations.

RICS released a condition report template in 2016; you can download a copy from here and see exactly what’s included in the survey.

Homebuyer’s Survey

This is the most popular type of survey and is often used by buyers of modern homes or older properties that are in good or reasonable condition.

While the report won’t provide a detailed description of the construction of the building, it will list any defects and provide a suggested solution.

It won’t provide a price guide for any repairs or any in-depth advice on the cause of the defects.

Building Survey

A building survey, also known as a structural survey, is the most detailed report you can buy and will describe the condition of every aspect of the property.

The surveyor will be more intrusive where needed, and it’s not uncommon for carpets and drain covers to be lifted, or furniture moved out of the way.

We’ve seen one case where the surveyor used a drone with a camera so he could take photos of an area of the roof that would otherwise need a scaffold to access.

The report will also diagnose the cause of any defects, suggest a course of action and may even provide a price estimate for the repairs (this is often sold as an extra option).

Building surveys can include a valuation upon request and can be used to negotiate a reduction of the sale price if any defects are discovered.

Full building surveys are often chosen by buyers of older homes and properties that require renovation.

How Much Do You Think a Building Survey Will Cost?

Below you’ll find our guide to house survey prices, but first, we would like to know how much you think a building survey to a three bed house will cost?

The question below is optional, you can skip it if you wish:

House Survey Cost – Updated For 2018

The prices below are based on a sample of twelve surveyor’s prices published on their websites in early 2018.

We’ve calculated an average price for a three-bedroom house in the south-east of the UK:

Project:Price:
Condition Report 3 Bed House£300 inc VAT
Snagging Survey 3 Bed Home£375 inc VAT
Homebuyer Report 3 Bed House£650 inc VAT
Building Survey 3 Bed House£850 inc VAT

Our Recommendations

Mortgage Valuation Report – we don’t recommend these for anything more than a rough guide to the value of the property.

New Build Snagging Survey – These are perfect for those purchasing a newly constructed home, the surveyor will know exactly what to look for and which issues are most likely to appear in newly built homes.

Condition Report Vs Homebuyers Survey – The price difference between these two is often negligible so we recommend the Homebuyer Survey which is more detailed.

Building Surveys – These surveys are conducted by chartered surveyors and are usually very detailed; the surveyor will also be more intrusive where needed. This is perfect for older homes or properties that require renovation. A typical home constructed within the last 30 years and in generally good condition probably won’t need a full building survey unless it is showing signs of rising damp or another serious issue.

Best Place to Find a Chartered Surveyor

Not all surveyors are created equal, but The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors is the best place to find a qualified surveyor.

Check the RICS database here

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