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Property Surveys

Providing you with the information you need to make an informed decision on the purchase of your next property.

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Why do I need a Survey?

Be Informed Get A Survey

According to research conducted by ComRes on behalf of the RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) 1 in 5 homebuyers who did not have a property survey done before a house purchase found faults and defects after moving in. The research involving more than 1,000 buyers found that remedial work to rectify unplanned building works cost £5,750 on average & that 17% of new owners ended up paying more than £12,000 to make their homes habitable after rectifying major unplanned works.

This could be easily avoided prior to sale by having a professional property survey carried out such as a Home Condition Survey. A HCS can identify issues relating to the condition of the property such as structural defects or potential safety hazards and if there are problems identified it can be used to put you in a powerful bargaining position for negotiating on the asking price set by the seller of the property.

The reason the majority of homebuyers do not commission a property survey is that they mistakenly think the lenders Mortgage Valuation is a property inspection on the condition of the house – WHICH IT IS NOT. The sole purpose of a mortgage valuation survey is to satisfy the lender that your desired property is worth the price you’re paying – or at least the amount it is lending you – before they approve your mortgage. So a Mortgage Valuation survey is just that – it won’t point out major repairs or structural problems that you will have to pay to fix….. OUT OF YOUR OWN POCKET!

Buying a home is probably the most expensive purchase you will ever make in your lifetime. For this reason, it really does make sense to find out about the actual condition of a property before buying.

Investing in a Home Condition Survey, therefore, will help you to understand the pros and cons of your potential purchase and most importantly could save you thousands of pounds later down the line.

Take a look at what our clients have said after having a property survey carried out by NM Home Surveys.

Testimonials Property Surveys EPCS

Sample Home Condition Surveys

Sample Report 1 Sample Report 2

What is a Home Condition Survey?

Chalkboard ImageA Home Condition Survey (HCS) is a concise survey report giving an overview of the actual condition of the property, complementing a Mortgage Valuation (see below). The HCS is easy to follow and is written in plain English using jargon-free terminology.

The HCS provides information about the construction & condition of the main external & internal elements of the property using a simple 1-2-3 colour coded CONDITION RATINGS system so you can easily see any issues which need urgent attention or are likely to present future problems. It will also highlight any general maintenance considerations or more costly future repair costs that you will have to take into account.

Essentially, the HCS can provide you with reliable & accurate information to renegotiate on the asking price or persuade the seller to attend to the issues identified themselves before you commit to purchase.

A HCS can also equally help homeowners (sellers) prepare to sell their home by identifying any problems that could delay the sale or cause reductions on the asking price.

For peace of mind & to potentially save you costly repair bills after moving in, it really does makes sense to have a Home Condition Survey carried out.

I am also paying for a Mortgage Valuation Survey…. isn’t that sufficient?

A Mortgage Valuation Survey IS NOT the same level & detail as the Home Condition Survey.

The sole purpose of a mortgage valuation is to satisfy the lender (i.e. Bank/Building Society) that the property you are about to purchase is worth the price you are paying for it, or at least the amount of money it is lending you before they approve your mortgage.

The Mortgage Valuation survey is therefore solely for the benefit of the lender. Importantly it will not contain all the information you need such as any necessary structural repair costs in order to make an informed decision about your house purchase.

Both Which? and the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) advise that all buyers should commission an independent survey and report on the condition of a property before buying.

Which? found that for those people who did not get a survey, on average one in four had to spend over £2,500 to put serious defects right which would have been identified in a condition report. For one in ten people it was over £10,000.

Importantly, those that did obtain an independent survey report were able to negotiate a reduction in the asking price of the property that averaged £2,000!

For peace of mind & to potentially save you costly repair bills after moving in, it really does makes sense to have a Home Condition Survey carried out.

Take a look at what our clients have said after having a property survey carried out by NM Home Surveys.

Testimonials Property Surveys EPCS

Sample Home Condition Surveys

Sample Report 1 Sample Report 2

What sort of information is in a Home Condition Survey?

The Home Condition Survey will tell you all you need to know about the property in a simple, concise & easily understood report, free of technical jargon.

The HCS will:

  • Identify any major problems with the home you are buying following a non-invasive survey
  • Highlight any hidden areas of possible concern that need further investigation
  • Give you a simple 1,2,3 condition rating of all key elements of the property
  • Include photographs so you can see the issues raised in the report

The HCS will cover:

  • The building’s general condition and associated property defects/faults
  • Any structural movement
  • Damp, rot, and woodworm
  • Heating, drains, and electrical services
  • Alterations and additions
  • Environmental issues
  • Legal Issues & Risks to the property & people
  • Re-instatement costs - for buildings’ insurance purposes

Benefits of the Home Condition Survey

  • A comprehensive and jargon-free report
  • Carried out by accredited and comprehensively insured surveyors
  • Helps you to plan for future expenditure
  • Gives you peace of mind
  • Easy to understand

What areas of the property are covered in the Home Condition Survey?

External elements include:

  • Chimneys / Roof Coverings / Rainwater Pipes & Gutters
  • Main Walls
  • Windows / Doors
  • Outside Decoration
  • Conservatories / Porches

Internal elements include:

  • Roof structure
  • Ceilings / Internal Walls & Partitions
  • Floors / Fireplaces & Chimney Breasts
  • Built-in fittings (kitchen units / wardrobes)
  • Bathroom fittings
  • Internal woodwork (doors / staircase)

A visual inspection of the building services elements/installations include:

  • Electrical system
  • Gas supply
  • Heating & Hot Water system
  • Cold water mains supply
  • Drainage

The HCS also includes a visual inspection of the general Grounds including:

  • Garages / Permanent Outbuildings
  • Paved Areas
  • Boundary / Retaining walls

How are defects listed in the Home Condition Survey?

A condition rating (CR) is used to indicate the presence of any defects in a property and also the severity of these defects.

Each element is rated with a simple 1, 2, 3 condition score and is presented in a table format for easy reference.

During an inspection, as each aspect of the property is considered, the surveyor will apply a condition rating of 1, 2 or 3, giving you an insight into any future work you might need to carry out.

Condition Rating Definition

The definition of each Condition Rating are further explained below:

Condition Rating 1

No repair is currently needed. Normal maintenance must be carried out.

Condition Rating 2

Repairs or replacements are needed but the surveyor does not consider these to be serious or urgent.

Condition Rating 3

Defects are present which are either serious and/or in urgent need of repair or replacement, or the surveyor feels that further investigation is required (e.g. if they suspect the presence of asbestos). When a condition rating 3 is applied, you may wish to obtain quotes for additional work prior to the exchange of contracts.

Who is SAVA?

NM Home Surveys delivers the Home Condition Survey through membership of the SAVA Scheme using the ‘NES One’ report software application operated by National Energy Services Ltd.

SAVA stands for Surveyors and Valuers Accreditation.

SAVA ensures its members are subject to rigorous quality assurance procedures and have in place clear complaints procedures to protect the public.

SAVA is part of National Energy Services (NES), a long-standing company in the energy efficiency field & are the UK’s home for independent energy assessors, surveyors and low carbon professionals.

Being a member of the SAVA Scheme means NM Home Surveys has passed an assessment of skills whose professional competency has been approved by SAVA.

In addition, being a member of the SAVA Scheme requires to:

  • Have insurance that provides cover if the surveyor is negligent
  • Follow the Scheme and Product Rules required by SAVA
  • Lodge the report on the SAVA register for regular monitoring of competence
  • Have a complaints procedure which includes an escalation route to SAVA
  • Have had a criminal records check undertaken

The SAVA Code-of-Conduct / Terms & Conditions:

The surveyor must follow the inspection standards and code of conduct set by SAVA.

The Home Condition Survey is in a standard format and is based on standard terms which set out what to expect of both the surveyor and the Home Condition Survey.

Neither the client nor the surveyor can amend these terms for the survey to be covered by the SAVA scheme.

An ‘Instructions to Proceed’ form will need to be signed by the client prior to the survey which agrees to the terms & conditions of the Home Condition Survey service and the survey fee.

The completed HCS is delivered to the client electronically in PDF format on receipt of payment from the client.



More Information & Useful Links


With over 25 years of experience within the building industry


Licensed Domestic Energy Assessor
MBEng Building Surveyor, Member of RICS


A quality service at an affordable price. Professional, independent & impartial

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Would you like to know more about what we do at NM Home Surveys?
If so, please get in touch with us. We can be reached via Email or Phone.

Call 07902 287 988

or 01772 748367

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