A beginner’s guide to house surveys

If you are a first time property buyer, the amount of information can feel overwhelming. But when making such a big investment, it is important you feel confident that you are getting value for money. Arranging for a survey on your potential new property is essential, but you will also need to consider what type of survey you need.


A valuation is not the same as a survey. A valuation is linked to your mortgage deal and is required by your lender to prove to them that the property is worth what you are paying for it. However, it does not take into account the condition of the property.

A Home Condition Report

If you are buying a modern home, you will probably only require a home condition report. This will still highlight any problems, but is a basic survey and the least expensive.

HomeBuyer Report

A homebuyer report is worthwhile for modern properties or older properties which have been updated or which are in good condition. While it will highlight any areas for concern, it won’t involve checking floorboards or anything which can’t easily be seen.

A home buyers survey Oxfordshire based from companies such as https://www.samconveyancing.co.uk/Homebuyers-Survey/Home-Buyers-Survey-Oxfordshire can advise clients on what survey is best for them.

Full structural survey

This type of survey is the most expensive and also the most intensive and therefore suitable for older and larger properties. If you are buying a property with a view to doing home improvements, it is worth considering this type of report.

The Government’s Help to Buy equity loan which was aimed at helping first time buyers get on the property ladder has found that the system is being used by those who don’t necessarily need the help and has increased house prices.

New Builds

If you are buying a new build, this will come with a two-year warranty and a longer insurance policy. It is, however, worth requesting a snagging list which will highlight any cosmetic problems.


Some flats still require a survey, and in the same way a new build wouldn’t require one, a flat that is part of an older building would.


Hopefully your survey won’t highlight any serious issues; however, if it does, you should consider re-negotiating your offer to include the cost of the repairs, or insist they’re done first.