Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a Home Survey Level 2 Report and a Building Survey?
The RICS Home Survey Level 2 Report is defined as a Level 2 survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) whereas the Building Survey is defined as a Level 3 survey. There are different levels of inspection and reporting expected for each survey i.e. for an RICS Home Survey Level 2 Report you may be expected to check a window on each elevation whereas for Building Survey it will be as many windows as possible. The description and advice will be more in depth in a Building Survey. Both survey types have their place depending on the type of building they are being used for. You may not necessarily gain additional benefit from having a Building Survey where a RICS Home Survey Level 2 Report will suffice. Please see 'Which Survey do I need?' for more information.
What is the process of booking a Survey?
Please contact us and advise us of the address of the property you are looking to purchase and would like a survey of. We will review the estate agent particulars online and e-mail you with a quotation. If you have considered this and are happy to proceed, sign the Client Acceptance section of the Conditions and Terms of Engagement document and e-mail them back to us (we can forward hardcopies if preferred). We would then contact the estate agent and book an appointment to inspect the property, collecting keys from them if required. We will issue you with an invoice once the survey has been booked in. We require you to settle the invoice before we release the report or discuss it with you, however we can inspect the property prior to payment being received.
Why don't you charge VAT?
This is possible because I am a Chartered Surveyor with low overheads and do not have to charge Value Added Tax (VAT) as I have not met the earnings threshold which at the time of writing is £85,000 in a 12 month period.
Do I need a home survey as well as a mortgage valuation?
A mortgage valuation is a brief inspection of a property to ascertain the value of it and if there are any serious defects that would affect the value. It does not provide any detail of repairs and maintenance needed or identify certain risks. It is for the benefit of the mortgage lender not the purchaser. You may buy the property without being properly informed and find issues at a later date which you hadn't planned for. A survey should better inform you about the property so you can enter the transaction with 'open eyes' and renegotiate the purchase price if it differs from your initial opinion about the property.
Do you do a Structural Survey?
A 'structural survey' is what the 'Building Survey' used to be called. The name changed because it could be confused with a survey carried out by a structural engineer. The Building Survey also provides an overview of the property as a whole rather than just the structural elements.