Nigel Evans
PO Box 14356
B45 5BT

Tel: 01527 65974

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

Independent Surveyors Association

Surveyors and Valuers Accreditation



Choosing between the three survey types.

Basic Report and Valuation

The Homebuyer Survey and Valuation (HSV)

Building Survey

Basic Report and Valuation

A Valuation is NOT a Survey. It is a limited report on the property based on a cursory inspection along the lines required by Mortgage Lenders.

This type of report is unlikely to cover items of detail, which would be picked up in a Survey.

Nigel Evans advises that you consider a proper Survey, namely the Homebuyer Survey and Valuation or the more detailed Building Survey (sometimes known as a full Structural Survey).

The Homebuyer Survey and Valuation (HSV)

This is a true Survey, some nine pages in length in a standard format copyrighted by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. It is designed as an economy service intended for most conventional properties built within the last 150 years if they are in a reasonable condition.

The HSV does not detail every aspect of the property but focuses on essentials, i.e. defects and problems, which are urgent or significant and therefore have a material effect on value.

The Surveyor’s purpose is to help you make an informed judgement on whether or not you should buy, including whether the property is a reasonable purchase at the agreed price and to set out what actions you need to take before you commit yourself to purchase.

The report covers the building inside and out, the services and the site. It concentrates on the general condition of the property focusing on defects which the Surveyor feels are urgent or significant but it also covers – a) the general condition and particular features of the property; b) points which need advice from your Legal Advisors and any Specialist advice needed; c) other relevant issues such as safety, location and environmental; d) the value of the property on the open market and also an estimation of the cost of rebuilding the property for buildings insurance purposes.

Matters considered less urgent or less significant are not included but the Surveyor will mention those matters he considers helpful and constructive.

If you have particular worries or concerns the Surveyor will keep these in mind during the inspection. As a specific addition to the service (perhaps involving additional fees) certain aspects can be included by agreement.

Building Survey

This is a bespoke survey based on a comprehensive inspection of a property, probably taking several hours.

Building surveys are suitable for all property types but particularly, more individual, older properties (maybe including features such as thatched roofs, private drainage etc.), buildings constructed in an unusual way, properties you intend to alter, extend or renovate and properties that have had extensive alterations or extensions in the past.

The survey is custom made to your individual needs. It will include photographs and can include specific reference to any areas that particularly concern you, or any areas where the Surveyor feels that emphasis is needed.

The Building Survey will provide you with a detailed assessment of the properties’ condition, together with advice on problems where further Specialist reports/estimates are required. The Surveyor, if needed, will discuss Specialist reports with you as well as their relation to the agreed purchase price and any effect on future saleability.

The inspection time involved in many cases can be double to three times the time taken to undertake the Homebuyers Survey and Valuation. The time taken to produce such a report is therefore a little longer.

A Building Survey does not include a valuation but your Surveyor can provide this separately if needed.