Don’t worry: you won’t be the first (or last) to ask. The range of surveys can seem confusing but they actually have very clear parameters and provide different levels of information and, as a consequence, reassurance.
The most common are a Building Survey, Homebuyer Survey or a Standard Valuation Report.
It details technical information on materials and construction, as well as details of any defects be it significant or insignificant found to be present at the property and will advise on what measures/actions or specialist assistance that will be required to put right.
This type of survey would be ideal for houses, bungalows and flats that are of a traditional type and construction; and are considered to be in a reasonable condition. It identifies what the surveyor considers to be the most important issues. By applying condition ratings to elements of the building, the services and any garages and permanent outbuildings, the surveyor will tell you whether defects are serious or urgent.
It also includes the surveyor’s opinion of the market value and reinstatement cost (which you will need for insurance purposes). It focuses on matters that in the surveyor’s opinion, may affect the value of the property if they are not dealt with.
A more detailed description of this service is available on the RICS website www.RICS.org
This type of report would also be useful for someone wishing to obtain an accurate valuation of their property assets for example, updating their own personal financial accounts or property portfolios.