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Which Survey to Choose When Buying a House

Updated: May 15, 2023

Which survey to choose when buying a house

When you buy a home, having it surveyed before you complete the sale will help you ensure that you know everything there is to know about your investment, including any issues that need attention. A home survey is carried out to find any structural issues or other problems with the property that might make it unsafe or cause a reduction in value, so it is worth getting for your peace of mind.

Types of Home Surveys

When buying a house, there are three main types of home surveys to choose from. These include a condition report, a homebuyer’s report, and a structural survey. A condition report is usually recommended for relatively new homes and is quite basic. A homebuyers’ survey is more in-depth and will provide you with further information on any defects found, maintenance and repairs advice, and cost estimates for any work that needs to be done. Finally, a structural survey is recommended for older properties or properties where you want to do a lot of renovation work. They leave no stone unturned and provide more in-depth information and advice than a homebuyer’s report.


The cost of getting a house surveyed can vary depending on the type of survey you get, the size and condition of the property, the property location, and more. It is a good idea to get a few quotes as surveyors are usually self-employed and may have different rates for the same service. On average, you can expect to pay around £600 for a condition report, £700 for a homebuyer’s survey, and £900 for a structural survey.

Do I Really Need a House Survey?

You might be wondering if a house survey is necessary when buying a home since you’re already going to be spending a lot of money. However, homebuyers who have a survey carried out tend to report saving more money in the future since it gives them a better idea of anything that might be wrong at the property and which issues will worsen over time if they are not addressed. Often, structural issues and problems like damp proof course issues, wet and dry rot, and even mould might be hidden away, so the best way to ensure that you’re aware of them before you commit to buying a house is to get a survey carried out.

How Long Does a House Survey Take?

How long you can expect the survey to take depends on the house size and condition and which survey you opt for. A condition report is the shortest of the surveys, and this will usually be completed in no more than an hour. A homebuyer’s survey takes a little longer but should take around two to four hours to complete. Finally, as it is the most in-depth survey, a structural survey will take the longest amount of time – typically a whole day.

How to Find a Surveyor

You can find surveyors who work independently or book your survey through a large company. Regardless of which type you go for, the main thing to ensure is that your surveyor is registered with an association like RICS or Sava. You can find surveyors through local listings or by entering your information into comparison sites. You may also want to consider asking in your social circle if anybody you know could recommend a surveyor that they have used and were satisfied with when buying a house.

Whether you’re buying your first property or your tenth, a house survey can help you ensure you don’t get any nasty surprises once the keys change hands.

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