What to expect from a HomeBuyers Survey

When you buy a new home, your checklist might seem endless and it can be hard to know what to do next. We hope this Q&A can help you understand the process a little better.

What does a HomeBuyers Survey include?

A HomeBuyers Survey is a detailed inspection of the property together with a written report that can only be carried out by a qualified Chartered Surveyor.

It includes an inspection of all visible areas of the property including external elements such as chimneys, roofs, rainwater goods, walls, windows, doors, porches and conservatories and internally, an inspection of the roof space, ceilings, walls, partitions, floors, fireplaces, woodwork and bathroom fittings.

We will also inspect and provide comment on services such as the electrical installation, heating and plumbing etc.

Outbuildings are also inspected including the garage as well as the grounds and gardens.

What will a HomeBuyers Survey tell me?

A HomeBuyers Survey will tell you the condition of each part of the property that has been inspected.

We use a traffic light rating system and each element is given either a 1, 2 or 3 Rating.

A Condition Rating 1 means no repair is currently needed.  The property must be maintained in the normal way.

A Condition Rating 2 means that there are defects that need to be repaired or replaced but they are not considered to be serious or urgent.

A Condition Rating 3 means that there are defects to that element which are serious and need to be repaired, replaced or investigated urgently.

We also tell you what we think the property is worth and provide you with a reinstatement figure for insurance purposes.

We also make comments on Health and Safety issues and there is a section of comment which we recommend you show your solicitors.

How long does a HomeBuyers Survey take, to carry out and to receive the report?

This depends very much on the size of the property but for a small modern two bedroom house for example, our inspection would normally take somewhere in the region of 2 hours.

Your HomeBuyers Survey Report will normally be emailed to you within 7 working days.  If required, we can send a hardcopy in the post.

Will a HomeBuyers Survey pick up subsidence & damp?

Subsidence and damp are fundamental to our inspections.  We will be looking for cracking, movement and signs of subsidence and settlement.  In respect of dampness, we will be making a visual inspection as well as checking with handheld moisture meter.

When to do a HomeBuyers Survey?

We recommend that your HomeBuyers Survey is carried out as soon as possible.  If you are applying for a mortgage, then immediately after you have received your mortgage offer at the latest.

Leaving the HomeBuyers Survey until the last minute can lead to complications, particularly if we identify repairs that cause you to change your mind and you will then have to start looking for a new property elsewhere.

Why have a HomeBuyers Survey?

Our HomeBuyers Survey will provide you with a concise overview as to the condition of the property so that you can plan for repair and maintenance.

It means that you can go ahead and purchase the property fully aware of what will need to be done and will not encounter any costly surprises.

The RICS has published information which suggests that many purchasers who commission a HomeBuyers Survey are able to recover the cost of the survey through negotiation when defect that neither they or the vendor were aware of are brought to light.

No house survey is a false economy, says RICS

What sort of property is suitable for a HomeBuyers Survey?

Most modern buildings are suitable for a HomeBuyers Survey and many more straightforward older properties are also quite suitable.

At DowlingDodd Chartered Surveyors, over the years we have carried out thousands of surveys on modern houses and bungalows as well as older terraced cottages and Victorian houses. 

Who will carry out my HomeBuyers Survey?

Your HomeBuyers Survey will be carried out by either Julian Crosby, Paul Davison, Richard Eccleshall or Nathan Bennett-Glew who have many years experience of surveying and valuing residential properties throughout Cornwall.

What should I do next?

Call the team on 01872 260555 and we will be more than happy to discuss any particular concerns you may have about the property you are purchasing.

What do I do after I have received my HomeBuyers Survey?

Our surveyors are always on hand after you have received the survey to discuss any aspects which may be causing you concern and to help you through the purchase process.


Published 21 June 2018