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Your guide to choosing the best property survey

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Buying a home is likely to be the biggest financial commitment you will ever make. To ensure that you’re protecting your investment, it is highly recommended that you have a professional home survey carried out to help you find out as much as possible about the condition of the property, before you sign on the dotted line. After all, you don’t want to uncover any nasty surprises when you move in.

By instructing an experienced surveyor such a Cosey Homes Chartered Surveyors to carry out a ‘health check’ on the property before you exchange contracts, you will be in a much better position to decide whether and how to proceed with the purchase. Getting a survey is not a legal requirement, but it’s a sensible decision that can potentially save you thousands of pounds in unexpected repair costs. If problems are uncovered, you can ask the seller to fix them as a condition of sale or renegotiate the sale price to account for the cost of repairs. And if the survey flags up any major problems, you do have the option of pulling out of the purchase and simply walking away.

There are three main types of survey endorsed by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), and the right choice of survey will depend on the specifics of the property in question and your plans for it. If you’re not sure which is the best survey for your needs, our experienced team will be only too happy to advise. You can contact us here or call one of our regional offices for guidance and a quote.

RICS Level 1 Condition Report

If your new home is a brand new or nearly new property of conventional construction, then all you may need is a basic survey. Our Condition Report will give you a brief overview of the property’s state of repair on the date of inspection, based on a site visit carried out by one of our RICS accredited surveyors. They will inspect the visible interior and exterior of the building along with any permanent outbuildings and boundary structures. You will receive a brief report describing the property’s condition and details about its construction. Should any serious defects be found, these will be highlighted by way of an easy-to-follow ‘traffic light’ system, so you can address them with the seller or a specialist contractor.

RICS Level 2 HomeBuyer Report

Our mid-range Homebuyers Survey is the most popular type of survey carried out. It is a standard survey suitable for most properties that are less than 80 years old and in reasonable condition, with no alterations. One of our team will carry out a visual inspection of all accessible building elements to assess the property’s overall condition and state of repair. A ‘traffic light’ condition rating system is used to indicate the severity of any issues found, highlighting any urgent repair issues and future maintenance requirements. We also visually appraise services (but cannot legally inspect them) such as gas/oil heating, electricity, water and drainage. At Cosey Homes, our HomeBuyer Reports come with a free market valuation worth over £360.

RICS Level 3 Building Survey

The third and most detailed type of survey is the best choice for larger properties or buildings that are more than 80 years old. Formerly known as a Full Structural Survey, you should also choose our Building Survey if the property in question has a history of alterations of renovations or is in need of refurbishment. Our surveyors will carry out a lengthy visual inspection, recording details of all major faults and defects including structural problems and subsidence, damp issues and timber decay, and hidden defects where possible. The survey report also includes technical details for building construction and materials and makes informed recommendations for repair options as well future maintenance requirements, including cost estimates.


Our friendly and helpful team are happy to talk you through your options. Contact us by phone at 01744 412 700 and e-mail at

Find Out Which Survey

Choose a RICS qualified surveyor

Think of a building surveyor as the equivalent of a GP for your new home. It is the responsibility of a Chartered Surveyor to check and diagnose problems in buildings and let you know if everything is OK or whether you need more information from a specialist. If further investigations are required, you may need further advice from a damp expert, drains or timber specialist to help pinpoint the exact nature of the problem.

It should go without saying that your surveyor should be fully RICS qualified and experienced in residential surveys. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors is the industry’s highest standing professional body, ensuring and continually monitoring quality standards among their members for your total peace of mind. Cosey Homes is RICS accredited, and our surveyors are experts in the built environment. We are also members of the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE) and the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)

For expert surveying advice, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Cosey Homes team or get an instant online quote.

UK Wide Chartered Surveyors
UK Wide Chartered Surveyors
Cosey Homes offer the full range RICS home surveys from Level 1 - 3 with national coverage provided by our experienced local property surveying team.
DISCLAIMER: This article is for general information only and not intended as advice. Each property has its own set of unique circumstances, all potential issues should be investigated by a surveyor on a case by case basis before making any decision.