Buying a home can be one of the most expensive and stressful decisions that you make. It is therefore essential that you are aware of the condition of the property and whether you are paying the right price.

Many homebuyers rely on their mortgage valuation report as an assurance that the property they are purchasing is in sound condition, when in fact, the report is not a survey and is solely carried out for the lender, who is only concerned whether the property is suitable as mortgage security.

​Despite this, many homeowners proceed to purchase without having a survey undertaken, and often regrettably so. Ensure your investment is protected by commissioning one of our comprehensive surveys below today.

RICS Home Survey Level 1
Formerly known as the Condition Report

Briefly describes the construction and condition of the building, services, grounds and any significant outbuildings, advising also on any areas which your legal advisor should investigate further e.g. guarantees for works, rights of way, planning/building control matters etc. Further advice on repairs and/or ongoing maintenance is not given. The inspection is the least extensive of the three survey types and the report is the most concise. The Condition Report is therefore priced the lowest and is aimed at conventional and newer homes in reasonable condition.

What type of property is this suitable for?

  • Properties which are of a conventional construction type
  • Properties which have not been adapted in any way
  • Properties less than ten years old

How long will it take for the report to arrive?
We aim to turn around level 1 reports between 2 and 3 working days from the date of inspection

What are the limitations of this survey?
The surveyor will not lift floorboards, floor coverings, open up wall surfaces, move heavy objects or personal effects. The surveyor will, however, utilise tools to assess cracks and measure dampness along with all human senses to identify issues and draw conclusions.

The surveyor will visually inspect services (electrical, gas, water and heating installations) but cannot perform specific tests on these. Where applicable, the surveyor may recommend testing is undertaken by an appropriate specialist for example; a heating engineer.

Additional advice such as a valuation, reinstatement figure can be given at a small additional cost but these are not included as standard

RICS Home Survey Level 2
Formerly known as the HomeBuyer Report

The level 2 report is our most popular product covering all the features of the level 1 report, however, it is a more detailed product and advises on aspects not covered by the Level 1 service. The inspection is more extensive and like the level 3 report, involves a full external and internal inspection from top to bottom. The report gives more information regarding the property’s construction and condition.

Additional advice is also given about repairs, who to approach to undertake the repairs, and areas of the property which will require ongoing maintenance.

What type of property is this suitable for?

  • Properties which are of a conventional construction type (modern timber frame, cavity brickwork/blockwork, solid brickwork, modern methods of construction (this covers most purpose-built flats).
  • Properties which are original or have been extended once
  • Properties built between 1850 and 2015
  • Properties which you intend to adapt (refurbish or some moderate adaptations such as a loft conversion are acceptable)

How does this survey differ from the level 1 (Condition report)?

  • You will receive information on the most likely cause of the defect and general advice on how to resolve the issue
  • You will receive information on who you should obtain quotations from in order to rectify the issue.
  • You will be notified of areas which require further investigation or
  • You will receive general advice on good maintenance practices and possible notorious vulnerable areas.

How long will it take for the report to arrive?
We aim to turn around level 2 reports between 2 and 4 working days from the date of inspection

What are the limitations of this survey?
The surveyor will not lift floorboards, floor coverings, open up wall surfaces, move heavy objects or personal effects. The surveyor will, however, utilise tools to assess cracks and measure dampness along with all human senses to identify issues and draw conclusions.

The surveyor will visually inspect services (electrical, gas, water and heating installations) but cannot perform specific tests on these. Where applicable, the surveyor may recommend testing is undertaken by an appropriate specialist for example; a heating engineer.

Additional advice such as a valuation, reinstatement figure can be given at a small additional cost but these are not included as standard.

How does the traffic light system work?
The traffic light system is used to convey the severity of an issue in broad terms.
Condition Rating 1 The aspect is in satisfactory condition and should be maintained in the usual way
Condition Rating 2 Some minor repairs are required in the short-medium term and these are unlikely to be at a high imminent cost
Condition Rating 3 Repairs are required urgently to prevent further imminent damage to the property. This may also denote where further investigations are requires in relation to condition or safety.

RICS Home Survey Level 3
Formerly known as the Building Survey

The level 3 survey which is formerly known as the Building Survey is a full internal and external inspection of the property from top to bottom. This is the most detailed written report available providing further advice regarding cause and remedy of defects and potential issues which could arise should they not be addressed. More minor defects which are not included in the Level 3 Survey report are covered here, and advice is also given to defects which may be present in areas hidden from view. Ultimately, the level 3 survey intends to give you the most comprehensive picture of what state the property that you intend to purchase is in.

What type of property is this suitable for?

  • Properties which are of non-conventional construction (e.g. steel frame, historic timber framed or stone built)
  • Properties that are particularly large
  • Properties which have been extensively adapted
  • Properties that have been extensively adapted/altered
  • Properties that are listed
  • Period properties (built before 1939)
  • Properties which you intend to extensively adapt (this falls outside of refurbishment)

How does this survey differ from the level two (Homebuyer report)?

  • For most components, you will receive an explanation of what a particular building element is and/or how it functions
  • You will receive specific advice on the possible causes of any defects/issues which relate to the property
  • You will receive specific advice on how to remedy a particular issue if this can be determined without further investigation

How long will it take for the report to arrive?
We aim to turn around level 3 reports between 4 and 5 working days from the date of inspection.

What are the limitations of this survey?
The surveyor will not lift floorboards, floor coverings, open up wall surfaces, move heavy objects or personal effects. The surveyor will, however, utilise tools to assess cracks and measure dampness along with all human senses to identify issues and draw conclusions.

The surveyor will visually inspect services (electrical, gas, water and heating installations) but cannot perform specific tests on these. Where applicable, the surveyor may recommend testing is undertaken by an appropriate specialist for example; a heating engineer.

Virtual Home Survey
Smart Home Surveys is implementing the latest technology in three-dimensional data capture into residential surveying. The virtual survey is our flagship product and gives you the ability to access an external and internal virtual walkthrough of the property in high resolution before committing to purchase.

Major defects are clearly annotated by one of our professional surveyors using in-built software so you can see where issues lie with your own eyes. Not only will this give you a clearer idea of any defects but you will be able to quickly navigate around the property in the walkthrough, dollhouse and floor- plan modes, removing the need to revisit the property multiple times.

You will need access to a computer, tablet or smartphone in order to benefit from this service. Prices from £900.00

Check out our sample Virtual Survey on the right or contact us to find out more.

Valuation

A market valuation gives a professional opinion of the value of an asset at a specific date in relation to the current market. The valuer will take into consideration property attributes such as size, specification and location along with market trends to form an opinion of value.

Although a desktop or drive-by valuation can be undertaken in some cases, a valuation usually requires a visit to the subject property where the valuer can obtain the appropriate information. Inspections for valuation purposes usually last between 20 and 40 minutes and will require access internally.

Smart Home Surveys provide bespoke valuations for a range of purposes. Please see our list of valuation services below:

Secured Lending valuation
If you wish to obtain lending with the property provided as collateral against the loan.

Right to Buy valuation
If you would like an opinion of value as a sitting tenant exercising your right to buy a property owned by a local authority or housing association

Shared ownership (‘staircasing’) valuation
If you are seeking to acquire an additional share of the property that you currently live in

Shared equity valuation
If you are selling a property that you purchased through a shared equity or Help to Buy Scheme

Probate valuation
If you need a valuation for a property within an estate where someone who has died

Inheritance tax valuation
If you need a valuation for a property at the current date or a specific date in the past

Non – Domicile tax valuation
If you live abroad and need an accurate valuation for your UK residential property

Capital gains tax valuation
If you need a valuation for a property at a specific date in the past

Insurance Reinstatement Appraisal

A reinstatement cost refers to the cost of reinstating a building or property if it was to be destroyed or damaged beyond repair (e.g. fire damage). The majority of homeowners are unaware of the true reinstatement cost of their home, which may mean they are considerably under or over-insured. The building sum insured is the maximum amount your insurer will pay out for any claim, therefore, it is important that this amount is adequate and accurate.

The reinstatement cost of two similar style properties of the same size can have a significant variation, with age, type of construction and quality of fittings having a major impact.

Underinsured:
In the event of a claim; if you are underinsured, payment for repair or reinstatement will not cover the total cost. Unfortunately, this is normally only discovered in the event of a claim.

Overinsured:
If you are overinsured, you are likely to be paying a higher than necessary premium, which can go unrecognised for years.
Smart Home Surveys can provide a Building Reinstatement Appraisal for your home, giving you accurate information in order to obtain the appropriate level of cover.

 

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