Buying a property is often a mammoth task that requires an individual to navigate through multiple tasks and situations. From finding the right mortgage deal to getting the right broker to help you in your journey, there are several aspects you need to consider as you purchase a new property in the UK.
Out of these tasks, surveying is an important practice that helps you assess a property before you finalise the deal. Unless you build a property, you are likely to be unaware of the small details that are important in terms of purchasing it and moving in. While a few of these details are obvious and visible, many of them can escape your eye.
This is why homebuyers take help from RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors). It is a globally recognised team of surveyors that conducts thorough checks and extracts all necessary information homebuyers need before purchasing and shifting into specific properties. Being environmentally conscious, RICS also ensures that new homeowners move into properties that are energy efficient. It sets its standards in terms of land management, infrastructure, construction, amenities, etc., matching the properties it surveys to these standards to give precise reports. These reports are then used by homebuyers to make informed decisions.
There are three major levels of surveys conducted by RICS to help homebuyers buy their properties. If you are planning to get a property on a mortgage, you can ask your mortgage broker to help you decide the kind of survey you should go for. Seek help from an experienced Mortgage broker in the town you want to buy your property in.
Let us now have a look at the three levels of RICS surveys you can conduct with the help of surveying professionals:
Formerly known as the RICS Condition Survey, this is the most basic RICS survey you can have conducted on your property. It is ideal for homebuyers willing to obtain an objective report on their properties while seeking professional help. The level 1 survey is best suited for modern and conventionally built properties. It is not the most preferred alternative for complex, neglected, and/or old properties.
When you ask professionals to conduct this survey, they will do a thorough visual inspection of the concerned property. However, the RICS Level 1 survey does not include conducting tests like plumbing, heating, and electrics.
This survey is also called the Homebuyers report. One of the most popular surveys conducted before purchasing a property, the RICS Level 2 survey involves an in-depth analysis of the property you want to purchase.
Here, the professionals will inspect visible and non-visible defects in the property. They will also focus on concealed areas like the basement or the roof space to ensure that they are conducive for surveying. After the survey is conducted, its report will also give you suggestions about repairs and maintenance your property requires. This will help you understand what is wrong with the property and lead you in the right direction to fix it before moving in or renegotiate the price to cover the cost involve.
The report of this survey reflects the traffic light model of three colours – red, amber, and green. Depending on a specific condition’s severity, the colours represent the need for you to make necessary changes before purchasing it.
If you are dealing with a run-down, old, and/or large property, you will need a RICS Level 3 survey before purchasing it. Handling these properties is often a sensitive case and requires high precision. This is also the survey you should conduct if the property has been altered or is unusual as compared to conventional buildings. RICS Level 3 is the most extensive survey you can conduct to receive complete information about your property’s fabric and structure. It will clear all your doubts about its sustainability and give you valuable insights into its condition.
This survey includes a complete visual inspection of the property. along with the grounds and serves. This visual inspection is more detailed than the one carried out in the RICS Level 2 survey. Here, the professionals observe the services in normal operation without testing them. For example, the surveying team will switch the services on or off if the occupiers give permission for the same.
Being the most extensive and detailed report, the RICS Level 3 survey will provide you with information about the materials used and the construction form adopted to build your property. It also analyses the property’s condition inside out and provides you with the relative importance of the defects therein (if any).
Conducting this survey will help you outline remedial work and understand the non-repair consequences. The surveying team will make general recommendations regarding the property, priority, and the time scales needed for the work to be done. They will also give you the estimated costs involved in making repairs and doing the maintenance work.
Moreover, the RICS Level 3 report gives you a thorough analysis of the hidden defects and risk potential related to areas that have not been inspected yet. The professionals will also give you probable causes of such defects and recommend the best course of action.
What is the cost of the different surveys?
The final price of every survey depends on factors like the size or value of your property. However, you can expect a Level survey to cost you £300 to £400 + VAT. A Level 2 survey can cost you around £400 to £800 + VAT. Finally, a RICS Level 3 survey can cost you anywhere between £900 and £1,200 + VAT.
If you are planning to get any of these surveys done, speak to your mortgage broker about the same they will help you to find a surveyor. Alternatively, you can find one on RICS website.