RICS Level 2 Surveys (Homebuyer Survey)

A RICS Level 2 Homebuyer’s Survey is designed to help you make a well-informed decision about purchasing a property and helps to minimise the risk of unexpected issues and costs arising in the future. It is a detailed inspection and report designed by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) to provide prospective home buyers with important information regarding the condition of a property they are thinking of purchasing.

The written survey report is produced in user-friendly and jargon-free English, making it a valuable document accessible to everyone. Its aim is to help you:

  • Make an informed decision on your property purchase
  • Discover and budget for any urgent or major repairs to the building
  • Consider if any other advice should be sought prior to exchanging contracts
  • Gain peace of mind in knowing all important facts about the property
  • Use the survey findings as a basis for renegotiating the purchase price

As a Level 2 mid-range survey, the RICS HomeBuyer Survey is not as comprehensive as the Level 3 RICS Building Survey. The report is compiled on the basis of a non-intrusive building inspection, meaning we won’t be able to look under floor coverings or other concealed areas, drill holes or conduct any other invasive methods of investigation.

Is an RICS Level 2 Survey right for my property?

The RICS HomeBuyer Survey is the most popular report requested by property buyers. It is aimed at conventional properties that are in a reasonable state of repair and includes:

  • Modern buildings and standard-construction older homes built within the last 80 years
  • Where the property hasn't been significantly altered or extended
  • You don't want to make significant structural alterations to the property
  • Properties of conventional design
  • Homes built with traditional construction methods
  • Buildings that are in good overall condition

If the property you are planning to buy is a period home or listed building, has undergone major alterations or extensions in the past, or you are planning to carry out extensive refurbishments and alterations, a HomeBuyer Survey is unlikely to be the right survey. We would strongly advise you to consider a Building Survey instead.

What is covered by an RICS Level 2 Survey?

The purpose of a RICS HomeBuyer Survey is to provide advice on any defects that may affect the value of the property in question, along with our professional recommendations for repairs and ongoing maintenance. Specifically, the features of the HomeBuyer Survey include:

  • Any serious defects and urgent repairs such as structural movement, damp and timber defects
  • Clear and concise colour-coded condition ratings for each part of the building, including outbuildings and services, making the report easy to understand
  • Any further investigation the surveyor considers necessary
  • Any issues which need to be referred to your legal advisor
  • Highlights of decisions and actions to be taken before contracts are exchanged

RICS Level 3 Building Surveys

Buying a property is a stressful process, but buying a property without knowing its condition can have dramatic and costly consequences in the future.

The RICS Building Survey is ideal for peace of mind on any property, especially a property that needs a lot of work or for one where you intend to make major alterations. An RICS Level 3 Building Survey provides the detailed assessment and technical advice you need to assist you in your buying decision. Formerly known as a Full Structural Survey, an RICS Level 3 Building Survey is an in-depth property investigation. The most comprehensive survey available for residential buildings, the report provides a detailed evaluation of the condition and construction of the property in question.

In addition to what is provided within a Level 2 Survey, a Level 3 Building Survey Report will give a description of the condition of each element of the property, identifying the building’s defects along with likely causes, recommendations for urgent repairs, maintenance issues and cost implications of repairs. It will contain:

  • A detailed appraisal of the method and materials used in the construction
  • A technical assessment of significant defects found, and advice on appropriate further actions
  • Identification of less significant defects, general disrepair and shortcomings in physical condition, maintenance and design

Is an RICS Level 3 Building Survey right for my property?

Building Surveys can be carried out for all properties but they are particularly suitable for older, large or non-standard properties with complex surveying issues, such as:

  • Properties over 80 years old
  • Historic and Listed Buildings
  • Buildings of any age that are constructed with non-standard methods or materials
  • Properties that have been significantly altered or extended
  • Buildings where major alterations or refurbishments are proposed

What is covered by an RICS Level 3 Building Survey?

An RICS Building Survey is a detailed assessment of the structure and the construction methods used in a property. Beginning with a visual inspection and delving deeper into any potential issues, the RICS Building Survey Report will identify any serious defects or problems with the property, and will give you technical advice on how these problems should be solved.

The Survey also advises on future maintenance issues, so that you can plan ahead, and highlights any potential legal issues that you might want your solicitor to investigate.

After discussions with you, our Chartered Surveyor will inspect the property and the report will be tailored to your specific requirements and follows best practice guidelines from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. An RICS Level 3 Building Survey comprises a detailed inspection of all visible and accessible parts of the property. This includes roofs and chimneys, walls and floors, windows and doors, cellars, garages and outbuildings.

Since our Chartered Surveyors have a legal responsibility to discover and inform you of any major problems found, they will be actively searching for building defects and potential problems including:

  • Evidence of damp, conditions of existing damp proofing and isolation, drainage issues
  • Evidence of subsidence, and the presence of large trees close to the building
  • Damage to brickwork and roof
  • Damage to timbers including woodworm, dry rot, wet rot
  • Information regarding construction materials used and any technical information
  • Structural issues including alterations to supporting walls
  • Presence of asbestos and other hazardous materials
  • Renovations undertaken without planning permission

RICS Valuations

As RICS Registered Valuers, we are able to provide formal valuations for the home you are buying or even the home you already own.

We can also provide valuations if you have a Help-To-Buy loan managed by Target HCA where you wish to sell or re-mortgage your property and an independent RICS Valuation by a firm of RICS Registered Chartered Surveyors & Valuers is required.

If you are thinking of staircasing or selling your shared ownership property, you will be required to provide an independent RICS Valuation and this is something we can help you with.

We are also able to provide an independent RICS Valuation in respect of matrimonial, probate and inheritance tax purposes.

Specific Defects Diagnosis

For homeowners and business owners, we provide a full defects diagnosis service to identify and establish causes of property defects such as leaking roofs, damp issues, condensation and mould growth, building movement and recommend remedies. We only use the latest surveying equipment and technology to ensure that we can identify the cause of the problem.

We  and can also prepare Schedules of Works and oversee the remedial works if so required. 

Reinstatement Cost Assessments

A Reinstatement Cost Assessment (RCA) provides an accurate valuation of your property. It is important to have an accurate property value to ensure that you are being correctly insured.  Under insuring your property can leave you not fully covered and over insuring can mean you are paying unnecessarily high insurance premiums.

The only way to get an adequate level of cover is via a RCA that accurately assesses the value of the property. If you ever need to claim, the RCA will be used to guide the pay-out given.

A RCA is the estimated cost of rebuilding a property in the event of the total loss or substantial damage to a property that requires demolition and rebuilding.

Like all our property surveys, our reinstatement cost assessments are conducted by RICS registered and chartered surveyors and provide an independent and impartial reinstatement value of your property.

We can provide an assessment for both private and commercial properties.

We need your consent to load the translations

We use a third-party service to translate the website content that may collect data about your activity. Please review the details and accept the service to view the translations.