What is a Home Condition Survey?
In short, a surveyor who provides a Condition Report Service aims to provide professional advice about the construction and condition of the property on the date of inspection, any defects that need urgent attention, highlight any issues which need further investigation to prevent serious damage to the building fabric or that may be hazardous to safety.
A Home Condition Survey is considered the most basic type of property inspection offering an overview of the building’s condition and any potential issues or risks it may contain.
RICS Condition Report was developed by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors with the aim to provide homeowners with a basic understanding of their property’s overall condition. It is the cheapest survey, but is the least detailed survey you can have.
A property condition survey will use a traffic light rating to highlight any defects or serious damage to the building. This short, surface-level inspection will not include any advice or recommendations or the cost of carrying out any repairs. It also does not include a valuation of the residential property which is really important if you want to become a home buyer.
We would recommend hiring a residential property surveyor to carry a HomeBuyer Report instead of a Condition Survey Report because you will receive a more thorough and useful report – including a valuation also. (subject to t&c of what you and your surveyor established).
A Condition Report can be recommended when you are looking for a conventional property that is less than 5 years old, in a good condition with an easily accessible maintenance history.
In most cases, a buyer will opt for a more comprehensive survey preferring to pay a little bit more now and getting as much information on property condition as possible, instead of having a potential higher bill later on.
According to RICS, getting a survey carried out can help you avoid the average £5,750 repair bill that home buyers face once they have moved into their new home.
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s we mentioned before, a RICS Condition Report was developed by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors as a Level 1 survey, the most basic inspection available which was intended to be used by a seller to understand his property’s overall condition and any possible defects or risks involved.
The surveyor inspects the inside and outside of the main building but does not force or open up the fabric. This means that the surveyor does not take up carpets, floor coverings or floorboards, move furniture, remove the contents of any cupboard, roof spaces, remove panels and/or hatches, etc. The inspection will be the less invasive inspection compared to the other levels of surveys.
A RICS Condition Report will cover some of the common issues found during the inspection, as well as any obvious superficial issues. It will also advise on any legal issues that need to be addressed. It provides the homeowner with information on local surroundings, location and the recorded energy efficiency rating.
We would recommend getting at least a RICS HomeBuyer Survey, especially if the building is older than 5 years old and if you want to carry any alterations or modifications to the standard construction we would suggest getting the highest level of survey available – a Building Survey considered as RICS Level 3 survey.
Like any other surveys, the Condition Report uses a “traffic light” system, to highlight the defect found throughout the property. It is an easy to understand rating that provides a basic explanation of what defect or issue needs attention.
The condition ratings are described as follows:
- Condition rating 3 (Red) – defects that are serious and/or need to be repaired, replaced or investigated urgently;
- Condition rating 2 (Amber) – defects that need repairing or replacing but are not considered to be either serious or urgent. The property must be maintained in the normal way.
- Condition rating 1 (Green) – no repair is currently needed. The property must be maintained in the normal way.
In comparison to the other levels of surveys, the Condition Survey does not provide advice or recommendations for any potential remedial action.
If you are interested in a survey that will offer you a thorough and detailed report of the property’s condition which will help you make an informed decision when purchasing your dream home, then the best option would be a HomeBuyer Survey (Level 2).
However, if the building is in a fair condition, is older than 50 years, is built using non traditional materials or methods (such a thatched house or a listing building) then is better to opt for a Building Survey (Level 3).
Both these types of inspection will provide recommendations and advice regarding any potential problems uncovered during the survey. Having a detailed view of property’s condition can be proved very important, especially if it becomes available early in the buying process, because it can save you a lot of time and money.
Our partners are highly experienced and qualified professionals which will share their local knowledge and advice with you by conducting a thorough investigation through either a HomeBuyer or Building Survey.