Buying a new home is an exciting time. And if you’ve had your offer accepted, you’ve probably started thinking about RICS home surveys and whether you need one. You may already have a mortgage lender’s valuation report. But if you want to avoid unpleasant surprises once you move in, a survey that carries the weight of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) can give you peace of mind and help you buy with confidence.

What are RICS home surveys?

During a RICS home survey, an expert surveyor will inspect the property and outline any concerns in a report. A detailed inspection can spot structural issues like subsidence and highlight significant repair work that needs to be done. In addition, the surveyor adds expert observations on the structure and glazing of the property.

RICS home surveys cover everything from property conditions to a complete building survey.

RICS Home Survey Level One

This type of survey is suitable if you’re buying a modern property in generally good condition. A traffic light system is used in the report to highlight significant issues and give you an overview of the property’s condition but doesn’t go into detail.

RICS Home Survey Level Two

This more in-depth survey is popular with homebuyers and is cost-effective when you’re buying a home in reasonable condition.

The level 2 survey lists any issues that could affect the value of your home, including subsidence and damp. In addition, the surveyor will advise you on repairs and ongoing maintenance and outline any legal problems that need to be addressed. However, this is a non-intrusive survey, so the surveyor will only inspect at surface level.

If you opt for a survey and valuation, you’ll also receive an opinion on the current market value and an insurance reinstatement figure.

RICS Home Survey Level Three

If you’re looking to buy a property that’s over fifty years old and one in run-down condition, it’s advisable to have a complete structural survey done. It’s also advisable if the building design is unusual, uses non-standard materials, or if you’re planning major renovations.

A RICS Home Survey Level three used to be called a Building Survey and prior to that a Structural Survey. It is the most in depth survey that most Chartered Surveyors offer. It gives you more detailed information on the structure of your property, listing defects and advising on repairs and maintenance. Your surveyor may also provide an estimate for recommended repair costs if requested in advance.

Why do I Need a RICS Home Survey?

When you’re buying a new home, a house survey can sometimes feel like an expense too far. That seems particularly true if you’re purchasing a modern property that’s in reasonable condition.

However, if you’re aware of any problems, you can make a more informed decision in whether you want to pursue the sale. In addition, you can accurately budget for any repair work based on the survey results. You might even be able to negotiate a reduction in the sale price. We have dealt with numerous clients who on the back of a £450 survey have saved themselves tens of thousands of pounds on a renegotiated purchase price.

For example, if the survey shows that the property needs £20,000 spending on it, you could ask the seller to reduce the purchase price or undertake the repairs before you complete the purchase.

You should definitely have a survey done if you have any doubts or worries about the property’s condition.

Trust Torus Surveyors for Your RICS Home Surveys

At Torus Chartered Surveyors, we’re a RICS registered valuer and building surveyor who can undertake your level 1, 2 or 3 RICS home surveys in Manchester. Contact us today for your help to buy house valuations and Homebuyer Reports.