What type of property survey do I need?

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A survey is an inspection of a property’s condition conducted by experts. The experts – surveyors – inspect the property and tell you if there are any issues to do with the condition of the property from minor to significant structural problems.

Having a house survey carried out on a property you’re buying can be invaluable, but it can be a challenge to understand which survey is the best one for you.

Here’s a list of the different survey types available and when you should consider them.

Condition Report

A condition report is the most basic level survey and provides a high-level description of the condition of the property. It will highlight risks, defects and potential legal issues, but gives no advice on how to deal with them.

This survey is suitable for most conventional types of property and is the cheapest type of survey available.

Homebuyer Report

This survey will help a buyer identify significant structural issues such as subsidence, as well as any major defects with the interior or exterior, although it won’t go into detail. This survey won’t inspect behind walls or under floorboards for example.

A Homebuyer Report is suitable for most properties in reasonable condition.

Full Structural or Building Survey

This survey goes into much more detail on defects, including any potentially ‘hidden’ defects or areas that may require attention in the future. It will also provide detailed advice on the repairs required.

This survey is ideal for older properties, particularly listed, or properties that seemingly require work. It’s the most expensive, but is a good investment.

New Build Snagging Survey

This survey provides a professional and independent inspection of a new build property and highlights any issues that the developer needs to rectify before you complete on your purchase.

Whichever survey you choose, it’s sensible to have it carried out as close to your mortgage valuation (where applicable) as possible. Getting your survey as early on in the process as possible gives you the opportunity to talk through any issues that are revealed with your estate agent and provides you with peace of mind.

Sims Williams are an estate agent with over 40 years experience in the Chichester, Bognor Regis, Arundel and Six Villages property markets. We can provide advice and recommendations on surveyors and mortgage advisors. Contact your local Sims Williams branch.

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