What type of home buyers survey do I need?


Different types of building surveys

  • Visual survey
  • Home buyers survey
  • Residential survey
  • Engineers report
  • Building survey
  • Pre-purchase house survey
  • Structural building engineer report
  • Condition report
  • Property survey
  • Structural survey
  • Full structural survey

Note, it is important to be aware that some “full structural survey reports” may actually contain less information then a “visual survey”. The different types of surveys as listed above, will give a potential client little indication as to the extent or thoroughness of the survey.  In advance of booking a survey you should always request  1) a sample of the home buyers survey to understand and know what will be provided to you after the building survey, and 2) full terms and conditions of the survey that is to be carried out for you.  Only by looking at a sample survey report will you better understand the extent of the survey that is to be carried out, and more importantly that this is exactly the type of report you are looking for and expecting to receive.

types of homeowner surveys

There is no standard format or list of structures and services that must be inspected in any of the above home buyer survey types. Each building surveyor has their own way of presenting their report and the extent of the report is limited by the terms and conditions within that report.

Your home owners survey is only as good as the survey report you receive, irregardless whether it’s called a full structural or visual survey.  The more detailed and thorough the survey is the better. A detailed home owners survey report can help you renegotiate with vendors or warn you off the property if serious defects are found.

What is a Mortgage or Lender’s Valuation Survey

This valuation survey is for the mortgage provider. The real estate agent will value the property to determine whether it is worth the amount you have negotiated, and whether the mortgage lender should give a mortgage on it.

The property valuer is only concerned with valuation issues that will affect the protection of the mortgage lender’s loan. The Mortgage Valuation does not inspect the building structure or services. The mortgage lender or bank simply want to know that they can get their money back on the loan, if the home owner is unable to repay his/her mortgage. There may be problems with the property but they will not appear in the valuation report.

Why is a building survey important?

Your new home is likely to be the most expensive and important purchase you will ever make, so it’s not worth leaving it to chance and not getting a detailed home owners survey to check that the house is sound. The home owners survey report and advice of a Building Surveyor could save you a huge amount of money in expensive repairs later on or possible stop you buying the property in the first place.

Cost of Home Buyers Survey

What is the cost of a homeowners survey?

There are a few important things you should consider before engaging any building surveyor to carry out a home owners survey on your new property.

Without doubt, most people would not rely on a real estate agents brochure when deciding on what property to purchase. A potential home owner would first want to see the property before making any decision. The same consideration holds when comparing between different types of home owners surveys. Only by first seeing a sample homeowners survey report will you better understand to what extent the building surveyor will be inspecting and reporting on your property.

Don’t leave your homeowners survey to chance and expect that all surveys are the same. There are significant and major differences between homeowners surveys.

For example, you will find after reviewing samples of survey’s that some surveys will not cover what you had expected. This may prove costly to you in the long run. You will also find that when you request a sample survey report that they will not be made available to you.