Difference Between a Structural and a Homebuyer Survey

If you’ve found a property that you like and are going to start the process of buying it, getting a survey carried out before the sale is completed is always a wise idea. Having a surveyor inspect the property will ensure that you are fully aware of any issues, defects or damage that could be expensive for you to repair later down the line. A building survey will make sure that you have all relevant information about anything that is wrong within the property including structural issues, wet and dry rot, dangerous materials like asbestos, damp and mould, infestations, and more.

There are different types of surveys that are available depending on the type of property that you want to purchase. A RICS condition report is the cheapest, most basic type of survey, which gives an overview of the property condition. It’s usually used for newer homes with no or few obvious issues. A homebuyer’s report is the most popular option, while a structural survey is the best choice for older homes or properties that have obvious issues and defects and may be hiding more.

Should You Get a Homebuyer’s Survey or a Structural Survey?

The type of survey that you get will depend on a number of factors including the type and age of the property that you want to buy, and any future plans that you have for it. Typically, a homebuyer’s report is the best survey option for you if you are purchasing a property that is fairly typical, in average condition, and not very old. A homebuyer’s survey is the best option if you don’t plan to do any major renovation work on the property. This type of survey goes into some detail about the condition and structure of the property. The surveyor will inspect the features, fixings, and systems both indoor and outdoor. However, the survey is non-intrusive, so areas such as underneath the floorboards, in the loft or attic, and behind large furniture will not be inspected.

READ
Home buyer survey on old properties

A structural survey, on the other hand, maybe the ideal option for you if you are considering buying an older property. This type of survey is also recommended for unusual properties, properties with obvious issues, and properties that you are planning major renovation work on such as knocking down the internal walls or construction of extensions on the property. A structural survey will be carried out to ensure that the property is able to withstand the work that you’re planning to carry out. Compared to the homebuyer’s report, the structural survey will go into much more detail regarding the property, and every area will be inspected with a more intrusive and in-depth inspection carried out by the chartered surveyor.

When Do You Need a Structural Survey?

You can arrange either a homebuyer’s survey or a structural survey on any home that you plan to purchase. A structural survey is designed to be carried out on houses rather than apartments or flats. Most of the time, buyers find that a homebuyer’s survey is an adequate option for them and the property that they are planning to purchase. A structural survey is usually recommended for older properties, properties with an unusual layout or unusual construction materials, and properties with obvious issues or damage to the structure. The structural survey is well-suited for properties that are more than fifty years old.

What’s Involved in a Structural Survey?

A structural survey will involve a thorough inspection of both the internal and external areas in the property. The chartered surveyor will inspect all areas of the property including walls, ceilings, doors, floors, cellars, windows, the roof, and more. During the survey the surveyor can be instructed to pay additional attention to certain areas, which can be useful if you have noticed defects that you would like more information on or if there are certain areas of the property you are planning to renovate in the future.

READ
Why Get a Property Valuation Survey?

Why Getting a Homebuyer’s Report or Structural Survey is Worth It

If you’ve found a property that you like and want to buy it, getting a homebuyer’s report or a structural survey carried out is worth the cost. A homebuyer’s report will provide you with information on any problems in the property that might cause issues for you in the future including the presence of dry or wet rot, damp issues, subsidence, infestations, safety hazards, and more. A structural survey will provide you with all the information that is included in a homebuyer’s report plus more, including an in-depth report detailing all areas of the property.

For buyers, getting one of these surveys carried out on the property can help them save a significant amount of money. On average, new home buyers who don’t have a survey carried out before purchasing a property tend to spend a massive £5,000 on future home repairs.

Once you have the survey report, you can save money on the home purchase by using the information to renegotiate the price with the seller, who may be willing to deduct the estimated cost of repairing any defects and other work that is recommended. Buyers will also be able to save money by being fully aware of any issues when they purchase the house, which in turn means that issues are not getting worse – and more expensive to fix – over time.

How Much Do Home Surveys Cost?

The cost of getting a survey carried out on a property will depend on whether you choose to have a homebuyer’s report or a structural survey. A homebuyer’s report will typically cost around £700 for an average property, while a structural survey on the same property will set you back around £900. The cost of each survey will also vary depending on other factors including the size of the home and any issues that are already obvious. Surveyors will also vary when it comes to the fee they charge, so it’s worth shopping around for quotes.

READ
Who to notify when you change address

When buying a home, which type of survey to get is an important question to consider. Most homes are suitable for a homebuyer’s report, but a structural survey is the best option if you want a more in-depth inspection carried out.