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Which is the Better Option: Homebuyers Report, Structural Survey or is it a RICS Home Survey

Understanding the Difference

Buying a home is a significant financial and emotional investment. It's a decision that can affect your life for years to come, so it's crucial to make informed choices along the way. One of the decisions you'll need to make as a prospective homebuyer is whether to opt for a Homebuyers Report (now known as a RICS Home Survey Level 2) or a Full Structural Survey / Building Survey (now known as a RICS Home Survey Level 3). Our Structural Survey/Inspection focus on the key Structural Elements, such as floors, walls and roofs for structural issues like, failed lintels and subsidence. In recent years the naming of these surveys has changed and this helps explain the differences.

In this blog post, we'll delve into the differences between the two types of RICS Home Surveys to help you decide which one is right for you.

The Basics: Homebuyers Report vs. Structural Survey

Homebuyers Report and Property Valuation

RICS Home Survey Level 2 (Formerly Homebuyer's Report):


Purpose: A RICS Home Survey Level 2 is designed to provide you with a comprehensive overview of the property's condition and any potential issues that may affect your purchase decision.


Scope: It includes a visual inspection of the property's interior and exterior, but it does not involve intrusive testing or detailed investigations. The surveyor will identify visible defects and potential concerns.


Focus: This report is primarily concerned with highlighting significant defects, such as structural issues, dampness, and subsidence. It may also provide a valuation and an insurance reinstatement cost.

RICS Home Survey Level 3 (Formerly Structural Survey):


Purpose:  A RICS Home Survey Level 3 is a more extensive and detailed survey designed to give you a comprehensive understanding of the property's structure and condition.

Scope: It includes a thorough inspection of all accessible parts of the property, from the floors to the roof. This survey may involve some degree of intrusive testing or investigations to uncover hidden issues.

Focus: The Structural Survey goes beyond identifying visible defects. It delves deep into the property's construction and provides a detailed analysis of its condition, including potential future issues. It offers a comprehensive assessment of structural stability and maintenance requirements.


Choosing the Right Survey for You:


Property Type:


RICS Home Survey Level 2: This is generally suitable for conventional properties in good condition or relatively new builds. It's a good choice when you want a basic understanding of the property's condition and potential issues.

RICS Home Survey Level 2


RICS Home Survey Level 3: If you are considering an older property, a fixer-upper, or a building with a complex structure, a Structural Survey is the better choice. It provides a more in-depth assessment of the property's condition, which can be crucial for renovation projects.


RICS Home Survey Level 2: It is typically more affordable than a Structural Survey, making it a cost-effective option for many homebuyers. Level 2 surveys typically start from £325


RICS Home Survey Level 3: If you want a complete picture of the property's condition and are concerned about potential hidden issues, a Structural Survey provides a higher level of assurance. Level 3 surveys typically start from £650

Seller's Information:

If the seller provides a comprehensive set of documents and information about the property's history and maintenance, you may feel more confident in opting for a RICS Home Survey Level 2.

In Conclusion:

The choice between a RICS Home Survey Level 2 (formerly Homebuyer's Report) and a RICS Home Survey Level 3 (formerly Full Structural or Building Survey) ultimately depends on your specific circumstances and the property you intend to buy. While a Level 2 report provides valuable information for many buyers, a Level 3 survey is the safer bet when you're dealing with an older or more complex property. It's an investment that can provide peace of mind and potentially save you money in the long run by uncovering hidden issues before they become major problems. Remember, informed decisions lead to confident homeownership, so choose the survey that aligns with your needs and priorities.

RICS Home Survey Level 3

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