Homebuyers Report vs Building Survey

Homebuyers Report vs Building Survey – Which one is better?

So which is better the Homebuyers Report vs Building Survey?

House inspections can be an additional expense for real estate investors and so some buyers might simply decide to do away with them. However, experts advise that it is better to invest an additional couple of hundred pounds now rather than suffer thousands of pounds worth of consequences. Also, even if you already did an inspection yourself, remember that there is a big tendency for you to develop some biased feelings towards certain properties that catch your fancy, and this can affect the way you assess its real condition. You could come up with thoughts like it’s okay if the wiring is all wrong, because this flat has the exact view that I want. Thus, having a survey done by a third party can provide you with a more objective view if the house is really worth its price and if it is really your ideal home.

Before you determine which survey is better, Homebuyers Report vs Building Survey, lets have a quick refresher about surveys first.  

What is a survey?

It is a detailed inspection of the condition of a property. By conducting a survey, the surveyor will be able to tell you if there are major repairs or alterations required, such as rewiring, or repairs for roofs, chimneys, and chutes. It can also give you information on structural problems, like unstable posts, poorly constructed walls, and subsidence. You can also get a more detailed description of the property, such as materials used for surfaces, the type of glazing, etcetera.

Who does the survey?

It must be done by a qualified surveyor who is a certified member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). These individuals have professional indemnity insurance, which is quite helpful if a surveyor failed to identify a defect which the buyer later discovers. You can go to the RICS website to look for potential candidates. There is also the Independent Surveyors Association (ISA), a body of chartered independent surveyors who have small practices in areas around the United Kingdom.

You can ask your mortgage broker, estate agent, solicitor, and the people you know for recommendations. A great tip is to find someone local because that person will be more familiar with the area and common problems of properties in the locality. When you meet with potential surveyors, ask about their experience and if they have inspected properties similar to the one you are planning to buy.   

What are other reasons I need a survey?

Aside from knowing the real condition of the house you plan to buy, you can also use the information to negotiate for a lower price. If you find out that the necessary repairs will amount to ₤10,000, then it would be right to ask for a ₤10,000 deduction from the original price. Or the owner should shoulder the expenses for the repairs. Also, a survey can help you avoid the situation where you already bought the property and realised too late that it has a lot problems. And since you don’t have the money to spend on fixing it up, you have to live in a house that you may not want to live in any longer, but you can’t sell it to regain your losses. A survey can also give you better peace of mind, a reassurance that the property you invested in is safe.     

What kind of survey should I get?

Two of the most reliable surveys you can get are the Homebuyer Report and the Building Survey. Deciding which of these two you should use will depend on several factors, like the type of estate you are buying, how old the building is, and how willing you are to invest in repairs.  So lets take a look at both, the Homebuyers Report or the Building Survey and see how they match up.


  1. Homebuyer Report

What it includes:

– It will point out anything that doesn’t meet the current building regulations.

– It will include surface-level problems, like damp, rot, and subsidence. It is a non-intrusive survey so the surveyor will not look under floorboards or under furniture.

– It will give recommendations on necessary repairs and ongoing maintenance advice, but it doesn’t give an estimate of costs for repairs.

– It will identify defects that can affect the value of the property, but it will not give much detail about those defects.

– It will include an insurance reinstatement value so you would know how much you would receive if the house would burn down.  

When to use it:

– For most modern properties

– For older properties that are still in reasonable condition

– When you have some concerns about the property

– When you want to know how much any problems can affect the value of the house and how much problems might cost to repair eventually.

– This is not a good option if you are planning major alterations or renovations.

Estimated cost:

From around ₤250 to ₤1000, depending on the value, location, type, and size of property.


  1. Building Survey

What it includes:

– It will include a comprehensive breakdown of the condition and structure of the property. This will be the most detailed survey you can get.

– It will include a list of defects and advise on maintenance and repairs, and will detail what will happen if you do not do the repairs. The surveyor will be more thorough when doing the inspection, checking behind walls, looking in the attic, etcetera.

– If requested by the buyer, it can also include a report on projected costs and timings for the necessary repairs.

When to use it:

– For very old or large properties

– For unusual properties, like a lighthouse, castle, etcetera

– For houses made with a thatched roof or timber frame

– For houses that have been extensively altered

– For dilapidated properties

– When you want to do major renovations or conversions

– When you have major concerns about the estate

Estimated cost:

From around under ₤600 to ₤2000, depending on the value, location, type, and size of property.


Additional Tips

Some surveyors might ask for different rates, so it would be better to ask for a quote before you hire anyone. Also, if you are investing quite a large sum to buy a house, it would be more worth it to spend a few additional hundreds of pounds for a more thorough and reliable survey rather than suffer from major losses after purchasing the estate. 

So as you can see when looking at which is better Homebuyers Report vs Building Survey reports, it depends very much on the circumstances.  In all cases the more comprehensive the investigation the more information you’ll have.  However if budget is a main concern its important to get the basics and the report with the biggest overview for the cost making the Homebuyers report being the more popular choice.

If you are still unsure which is better Homebuyers Report vs Building Survey contact Zevizo Properties for some more advice on what to do.