What type of survey do I need?

There are 2 main types of surveys that are available and with so many different types of properties on the market you might be unsure which type best suits your property.

The main types are the Survey level 2: HomeBuyer report and the Survey level 3: Building Survey. Below, we examine a number of different properties and indicate which survey is normally suited best for them.

Firstly, as a rule of thumb, a Homebuyer report will be suitable for properties with these features: under 70 years, have had no extensions/modifications, use standard construction materials, bungalows and non-converted flats.

Building Surveys are better suited to properties that are older than 70 years old, have been extended, use non-standard construction materials, are listed properties and/or are large or run down.

Victorian House

A Building Survey for a Victorian property is normally required. This is due to the age, style and size. This type of survey will be best for identifying any defects and for figuring out what materials were used when the property was built.

Victorian Converted flat

Either the Homebuyer report or the Building Survey can be used for this type of property. However, the Building Survey would be recommended as it will give you more details. This type of survey should definitely be chosen if you spot any repairs needed when viewing the property or if it seems to look slightly run down.

Georgian House

You find a lot of these properties in places like Bath, and a Building Survey, based on the age, style and size of this property, is recommended. This survey aims to identify any defects of the property also what materials were used in the building of it.

New Build House or Flat

A Homebuyer report will be sufficient for this type of property and will focus on the quality of the build as well as anything needed to be addressed to the developer before completion.

Edwardian House

Again, due to the age, size and style of this property a Building Survey will be required. This will aim to identify any defects and what materials were used in the building of the property.


A HomeBuyer report will be most suitable for a bungalow. The only reason that a Building Survey would be required is if there had been any extensive extensions, this is because the original fabric and structure of the property would have been changed and a Building Survey would be better suited to identify any defects with the extension.

Purpose built flats

A Homebuyer report will be best for this type of flat, this is because it will only require a general assessment as it will be less than 70 years old therefore the original fabric will not have been changed.

Post-1950 standard construction house

Only a general assessment will be needed for this type of property as it will be less than 70 years old, and the original fabric of the property would not have been changed. Resulting in this type of property needing a HomeBuyer report.

Please note that this is only a guide on which type of survey suits your property. You should always get a professional opinion from a RICS qualified surveyors as to which survey is best suits the particular property you’re looking to buy.

Marcus Simpson


SAM Conveyancing