When you choose to buy a property – when you have decided to take the step and climb up the property ladder – there are a lot of issues to take care of. One of the most important tasks on your long list will be to have a property survey accomplished. Not only does this benefit you (as a buyer) directly, chances are you’ll need to have it done to meet mortgage lender requirements.

However, there are different kinds of property surveys out there, each with their own advantages (and their own price tags, as well). So why are there so many kinds, and what are the differences, anyway? Here’s an in-depth look at the main differences between a homebuyers’ report and a building survey.

The homebuyers’ report

The homebuyer report is the simplest survey you can have done – it’s the cheapest, and tends to cost about £250. This is usually the report your mortgage lender will want to see.

The format of the report is very straightforward, with an easy to understand ‘traffic light’ rating of several areas of the property. The survey takes relatively little time as well. A surveyor will visit the property and make a visual inspection of the building. The report should include notes on the condition of the property, guidance for legal advisors, the market valuation, and some highlights in case there are areas of concern.

The building survey

The building survey is in a league of its own; it is the most comprehensive survey you can get. It is important to get this kind of survey done when you know the building is not new, or if you suspect there may be some issues not immediately visible to the naked eye.

Apart from the valuation, the building survey includes all the elements from the homebuyer report – and a whole lot more. It goes into a lot more detail when it comes to the inspection (hence, it takes more time and costs more money), after which you receive an in-depth report on the condition of the property. The report will include defects, problem areas, and suggestions for improvements.

So, which should you choose? The homebuyer report is convenient and cheaper, and is suitable if you are fairly confident that the house is in good condition (when it is new or has been built fairly recently), and is built with conventional materials. The building survey is more appropriate if you want a detailed report, if the house is fairly old, has a non-conventional design, or you are planning to do some remodelling. Both kinds of surveys have their own advantages, but if you want to be thorough, the building survey is the way to go, as confirmed by an expert building surveyor from Chekes.