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4 Types of Survey a First Time Buyer Needs to Know About


Terraced houses lined up for a RICS survey

Buying your first home can be a confusing time. There are so many considerations such as what type of home will be best for you, how to go about getting a mortgage, and what types of surveys you need to know about. To make things easier and simpler for you, here are the main types of surveys you will need to be aware of and what to consider when trying to decide on your best option.


Basic Survey

If you need to apply for a mortgage to buy your first property, then you will probably need to instruct a basic survey. All lenders insist on this so that they can make sure the property is worth the money you are paying for it and to help them assess the risk they are taking in lending money against the property.


Although you need to pay for this survey, it is done for the lender’s peace of mind rather than the borrower’s, and you have no recourse if anything goes wrong that should have been picked up on the survey. As this only covers the basics, it is very limited and won’t tell you too much.


Homebuyer’s Report

This is a more in-depth survey that is done for your peace of mind rather than the lender’s. They will carry out more checks and you do have recourse if they miss something the survey should have picked up on. You can have this carried out as well as a basic survey.


Many surveyors can provide this type of report; simply google Norfolk surveyors or surveyors in Norwich and it will bring up plenty. However, if this is the area your dream home is located in, you can learn more about property surveys in this area right here.


Full Structural Survey

A full structural survey leaves no stone unturned. A surveyor will move furniture, enter the loft, and do everything they need to so that they can produce the most extensive report. This is an expensive survey, but it is worth paying for if you are buying a property that is very old or you have concerns about anything related to the building.



As the surveyor will need to access the entire building to produce this report, it is not possible to have a full structural survey if you are buying an apartment rather than a house as you will only be able to offer them access to part of the property. To get the best survey, you should look for a RICS approved surveyor.


Specialist Surveys

Various specialist surveys can be carried out, such as ecology, damp, drainage, and asbestos. For a specialist surveyor, RICS is a good place to find one. However, many people don’t need these and it will depend on the other surveys you have to as to whether a specialist survey will be necessary.


Often, the more information you have, the better. When it comes to buying something as expensive as your first home, it is best to opt for the best type of survey you can afford as it will give you peace of mind.

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