Homebuyer Surveys

Our Homebuyer Surveys are similar in basic approach to the RICS Homebuyer Survey - but we have modified it to not be a 'tick box' exercise.  We take more care, spend more time, and have available a range of technical equipment to help diagnose any issues found. The RICS Homebuyer format is not suitable for Old, or Historic homes - those built before 1919, or solid walled, breathable structures. For these homes, we recommend a full structural building survey.

The most suitable format is RICS Level 3 survey format or better. Our surveys of old buildings are broadly equivalent to RICS Level 3 - but much better and more detailed. The Level 3 format is a very basic layout intended to ensure a RICS surveyor doesnt miss any major points. The equipment checklist even includes a damp meter. This does not work with older houses, and far more attention to detail is needed to survey older buildings.

RICS constantly proves that it is Not Fit For Purpose. The entire professional standards board recently resigned en-masse over the incredibly poor standards being promoted by rics. Part of the reason for this is the lemming like insistence of large survey organisations working for mortgage companies, that surveys are simple tick box format. Boxes in the survey are pre-populated with standard phrases. You can fill entire pages with detailed (and incorrect) explanations of 'what is damp', or 'your loft needs more insulation'. Most of them end up with the 'Get a PCA damp and timber report' paragraph. This is an admission by the surveyor that they know nothing about the single biggest cause of deterioration of building fabric - you guessed it - moisture.

The homebuyer survey report was originally developed as a cheap, standard format of building survey.  It includes the homebuyer survey checklist. This is inadequate for old buildings, which need a much greater level of detail and attention. It is still a cheap, nasty format and in Pete's opinion is not suitable for surveying a rabbit hutch. 

Most Chartered Surveyors do NOT understand the physical, chemical and structural differences between old, solid walled buildings, and a modern Wimpey.  It is crucial that you understand this - we have seen homebuyer surveys being done for around £200 in an hour.  You CANNOT survey the biggest investment someone is ever going to make in an hour!  If you do go for a cheap survey - ask how the surveyor is going to measure damp.  If they say they'll use a 'damp meter' - you know they haven't a clue what they are doing. 

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