Frequently Asked Questions

Whether you’re buying a new build or an older property, it’s still advisable to get an independent survey done. While many people don’t want to add to the expense of moving house, since a home is already a significant purchase, it’s definitely not worth cutting corners.

A survey is a detailed inspection of a property from top to bottom. It will tell you if there are any hidden problems such as subsidence, rot or damp and if any major repairs are needed, like a new roof. A surveyor acts solely on your behalf – and offers impartial, expert advice on a property. For example, if hairline cracks in walls or ceilings are a serious problem or not. A survey can help you make a fully informed decision about whether to go ahead with the purchase.

An Independent Surveyor is just that – independent. The surveyor will give a totally unbiased report tailored to the specific needs of the buyer, and offer independent advice upon which the buyer can base a decision, uninfluenced by any external considerations.

Mortgage valuations are not surveys. Nowadays, a growing proportion of valutions are undertaken by Automated Valuation Models or via a desktop valuation. In a growing proportion of cases, the property and its location is never visited.

Mortgage Inspections don’t take long (about 15 to 30 minutes) and involve only a brief look at the property to assess its value. The valuation report is prepared for the benefit of your lender – bank or building society – and not you, the borrower, even though you may have to pay for it.

The sole aim is to assess if a property is worth the agreed sale price before the lender approves your mortgage. The evaluation report may note obvious problems affecting the property’s value but it won’t give you a full picture of its condition.

·       Level 2

This is what used to be known as the Homebuyer report. A mid-level survey which is the standard choice for most properties in reasonable condition.

It will highlight any problems that might affect the property, and include the surveyor’s advice on repairs and ongoing maintenance. It should also highlight issues such as damp and subsidence, and point out anything that doesn’t meet current building regulations.

The inspection is non-intrusive, meaning the surveyor won’t look behind furniture or under floorboards, so they’ll only be able to identify ‘surface-level’ issues.

·       Level 3

Formerly known as the Building Survey or full structural survey.

This is the most thorough and detailed report that you can commission on the condition of a property.  It includes details of the fabric and condition of the property as well as defects, repairs and maintenance advice.

A Level 3 survey is a good option if you’re buying a property that’s over 50 years old, much altered, of unusual design, or in poor condition.

It can also be worthwhile if you’re planning to do significant work or have major concerns about a property. The surveyor will be ‘hands on’ and do things like check the attic and look under floorboards (where access is available). The report will list any defects and advise on repairs and maintenance.

We will inspect the property at least to the standard required by the RICS, and more likely beyond.

This will very much depend on the property you are looking to purchase. We will talk with you about the property before preparing a quotation for you. Our quotation will be based upon the complexity of the property and the amount of time that will be required to prepare your report.

We do not operate from a standard fee scale according to the value of the property.

Appropriate inspection for these items will be made to visible and accessible areas.

Where conditions are likely to promote the development of any of these, it is likely that Further Investigations will be recommended to enable you to gain a full insight into the property condition.

A visual inspection will be undertaken and general comments as to the condition will be made. However, these are specialist installations and, where considered necessary, recommendation for further specialist investigation will be made.

Where access can be gained without causing damage or injury, inspection covers to the drainage system will be lifted and the installation inspected. However, much of the installation will be underground and cannot be seen.

Water installations will be inspected as far as these are accessible.

This will depend upon our availability, the diary being constantly changing. We will advise you of our earliest availability at the time of our initial discussion about the property.

This will vary according to the individual property and the level of survey being produced. This could take upto 10 working days following the inspection. However, we hope to produce most reports prior.

We do not provide valuations for any purposes.

We hope that this never happens, but in accordance with RICS requirements we have a Complaints Handling Procedure. We ask that you contact us in the first instance.

RICS have 3 levels of membership – Associate, Full member and Fellow. Edward is a full member to the RICS since election in June 2004 and also has an Honours degree in Building Surveying.

Level 3 Report
Level 3 Survey
Level 3 Survey Report
Level 3 Survey Report