Brighton Office: 01273 420606
Eastbourne Office: 01323 641141
Chichester Office: 01243 769041

Why do I Need a Building Survey?

Buying a new home is an important investment and can incur a huge financial commitment. Before deciding to go ahead with your purchase, it is a good idea to have an independent, professional Building Survey or Homebuyer Report carried out by a Chartered Surveyor. This can avoid unpleasant, and often expensive, surprises after moving in.

Our building surveyors will be able to report on the general condition of the property, identify any problems or issues found and suggest what remedial action might need to be taken in order to rectify any issues identified. In the case of the Homebuyer Report we will also be able to confirm a reasonable purchase price. A survey will enable you to be fully aware of the condition of the property you are planning to purchase, and in some cases it may enable you to renegotiate a lower purchase price.

If you are looking to take out a mortgage, it is likely that you will need to pay for a Mortgage Valuation to be carried out. However, it is widely advised to have a separate survey carried out by your own surveyor, as the Mortgage Valuation is prepared on behalf of the lender and is designed to answer the lender’s queries regarding the security of your loan. It
will not necessarily answer your queries regarding the condition of the property.

Our Approach

Surveys are a key part of the work of the practice and we aim to provide a friendly, prompt service which is intended to give you a clear understanding of the property you are buying.

One of our surveyors can discuss your requirements with you before the survey and tailor the report to comment on any particular issues raised. Our surveyors are always happy to discuss the report with you once it is issued, to ensure that any issues raised in the report are clear. Most of our clients find this a particularly helpful aspect of our service.

Which Survey to choose? Building Survey or Homebuyer Report?

There are two different types of survey available which can be carried out by our Building Surveyors. These are outlined below.

Building Survey

The Building Survey used to be known as a full structural survey and provides a thorough, detailed report of the construction and condition of any residential property. All aspects of the property will be examined, and all defects found will be included in the report.

This type of survey is usually carried out if the property is an older or high value property, has an unusual construction, is dilapidated in some way, has been substantially altered or where a major conversion or renovation is intended to be undertaken.

This type of survey is also appropriate for commercial property.

Due to the detailed nature of this type of survey, it usually carries a higher fee than the Homebuyer Service.

Homebuyer Report & Valuation

This is also known as The Homebuyer Service and is a less extensive report than the Building Survey. It is prepared on a standard format provided by the RICS and focuses mainly on major or urgent defects which are likely to have an effect on the value of the property. Where any action should be taken before deciding to proceed with the purchase, this is clearly indicated within the report. The Homebuyer Service also provides a valuation of the property as well as a report on its condition.

This type of survey is usually carried out if the property has a conventional construction and is generally in reasonable condition.

Since the Homebuyer Report is less extensive than a Building Survey, it is usually the more economical option. It is not suitable for commercial property.

A comparison of the main features of these two types of survey is given below:

Homebuyer Report Building Survey
Type of Property Conventional residential properties in generally reasonable condition Any property in any condition
Service Provided Economical service produced in a standard format A thorough, detailed report in the surveyor’s own format that can be carried out to the client’s individual requirements
Objectives To identify any major or urgent defects, to calculate a reasonable price for the property and to help the client decide whether or not to proceed To carry out a detailed evaluation of the construction and condition of the property and to provide advice on problems and how to rectify them
Valuation Provided as standard Can be provided as an extra service agreed before the date of the survey

If you would like a quotation for a survey or more information on any of our services, please visit our Contact Us page.

When will I receive my report?

We aim to turn the report around within 7 days from the date of the inspection and can send the report electronically if required. If a more urgent response is needed, we will be happy to discuss this with you.

Stuart Radley Associates

If you would like a quotation for a survey or more information on any of our services, please use our contact form, or call us on:

Brighton Office:

01273 420606

Eastbourne Office:

01323 641141


01243 769041