Hi, I'm buying a house, built around 1930, with brick walls and a tile roof. Overall the house is in a reasonable condition but I'd like a survey, which one is generally suitable for such properties and what does it include. Thanks.
Hi. This is always a tricky question and does depend upon the type of property you are buying, it’s age, condition, construction type, and also what information you require.
Generally speaking the RICS Homebuyer Report (RICS being the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) was specifically designed to find serious defects in properties built after say 1850, probably best to work from 1900 though, traditional constructoin (that’s say brick/stone walls, tile/slate roof and the property should be in a reasonable condition (this can include properties that are dated say, but structurally sound).
This report categorizes the defects found into a traffic light system, classifying them as either 3 (Defects that are serious and/or need to be repaired, replaced or investigated urgently.), 2 (Defects that need repairing or replacing but are not considered to be either serious or urgent. The property must be maintained in the normal way.) and 1 (No repair is currently needed. The property must be maintained in the normal way).
Serious defects can essentially be anything the Surveyor thinks requires reporting to the client, such as dampness, structural movement, roof problems, walls, etc.. Services are visually inspected, but no testing is carried out. The drains will be inspected if access is available by lifting the drain cover and viewing areas visible in the chamber.
There’s a very hand guide, produced by the RICS and available on this website at http://totallymoving.co.uk/docs/rics-home-survey-guide/ If you search the documents you can also find sample reports and other information you may find useful. Also visit http://www.rics.org where you can find more information again. Best of luck.