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RICS Home Survey Level 1 Guide (Condition Report)

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    The purchase of a property can be an enormously costly commitment, so understanding its condition before making your investment decision is essential. This is where a RICS Level 1 Home Survey, also known as a Condition Report, comes into play. This professional and objective assessment provides essential insights into the property’s condition, helping buyers make informed decisions.

    RICS Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

    What is a RICS Level 1 Home Survey?

    An RICS Level 1 Home Survey, previously known as a Condition Report or RICS Condition Report, is the most basic of the three surveys offered by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

    Designed for Modern Properties

    This survey is designed for home buyers or homeowners seeking a professional and objective report on the condition of a property. This survey is best suited for conventionally built, modern properties, and not for older, complex, or neglected properties.

    The Process

    This survey involves an inspection of a property but does not involve conducting tests on the fabric or services such as electrics, plumbing or heating systems. It’s designed to give an impartial third-party perspective of its current state of repairs and maintenance needs.

    Upgrading from a Mortgage Valuation Survey

    Mortgage valuation surveys serve as basic assessments required by mortgage lenders to substantiate a property’s worth, yet fail to give an in-depth overview of its condition. This is why many people upgrade their survey to a RICS Home Survey Level 1, 2, or 3.

    Why Upgrade to an RICS Home Survey Level 1?

    An RICS Home Survey Level 1 offers an in-depth evaluation of your property, providing an overall view and flagging any serious concerns that could affect its value or require future repairs. Such surveys can prove especially helpful when discussing purchase prices as well as planning potential maintenance needs; additionally, if the surveyor conducting it has been accredited by your mortgage lender they could even act as a replacement for traditional valuation processes.

    Key Components of a RICS Condition Report

    An RICS Condition Report offers a high-level overview of the condition of a building’s structure, state of repair, maintenance issues, and any defects.

    Summary and Recommendations

    It provides a summary of the property’s defects and the possible risks involved. It also makes recommendations on any repairs that are needed and advises on anything important that needs addressing.

    Traffic Light System

    The report includes a ‘traffic light’ system to categorise the condition of the property:

    • Green (Level 1): No repair is needed.
    • Amber (Level 2): There are defects that need remedial action but aren’t inherently dangerous or urgent.
    • Red (Level 3): The defects could potentially be a risk and need immediate attention or urgent repair.

    RICS Home Survey Level 1 Example

    An RICS Home Survey Level 1, also known as a Condition Report, is a concise document that provides an overview of a property’s condition. For a practical understanding of what to expect, you can view a sample RICS Home Survey Level 1 Report. This example report will give you a clear idea of the layout, the level of detail included, and how the information is presented to assist you in making an informed property purchase decision.

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    Who Carries Out the Condition Report?

    A qualified chartered surveyor should conduct the Condition Report, as they are the most knowledgeable on a range of property-related factors.

    Importance of a Qualified Surveyor

    The more experienced the surveyor, the better the report. It’s always recommended to use a qualified option to avoid costly complications in the future.

    Importance of the Report

    By understanding the importance of this report and utilising it effectively, you can ensure a smoother and more informed property transaction. The RICS Level 1 Home Survey or Condition Report is not just a document; it’s a roadmap that guides you through the property’s current state, highlighting areas that require your attention.

    The Role of a Chartered Surveyor in a Condition Report

    A qualified chartered surveyor should conduct a Condition Report. They bring their expertise and knowledge to bear on a range of property-related factors.

    Why Choose a Qualified Surveyor?

    Selecting an experienced surveyor is paramount to producing high-quality reports that address all aspects of the property being assessed, so selecting one now could save time and money later on. Opting for qualified surveyors helps avoid costly complications that arise later.

    What Does the Surveyor Do?

    A surveyor conducts a visual inspection of your property. This inspection does not involve testing any services within it such as electrics, plumbing, or heating – instead serving to provide an impartial third-party view on repairs and maintenance needs at your location.

    Pricing for RICS Home Survey Level 1

    Understanding the cost of an RICS Home Survey Level 1 is essential when planning your property purchase. The cost can vary depending on the report type and the property’s value.

    Average Cost

    The RICS Home Survey Level 1 provides an overview of the property’s condition, highlighting significant issues, but without detailed investigation or advice. It is suitable for standard properties and new homes. The typical cost for this level of report ranges from £300 to £900.

    Cost by Property Value

    The cost of an RICS Home Survey Level 1 can also vary depending on the value of the property. Here is a breakdown of the typical costs:

    Property Value Typical Cost of RICS Home Survey Level 1
    £100K – £249K £300 – £500
    £250K – £349K £500 – £600
    £350K – £499K £600 – £700
    £500K – £1M £700 – £900

    It’s important to note that these are typical costs and the actual cost may vary depending on the surveyor and the specific details of the property. Always ensure to get a quote from your chosen surveyor before proceeding.

    The Value of a Condition Report for Buyers and Sellers

    Property owners typically request a Condition Report conducted by a Chartered Surveyor.

    For Buyers

    Buyers can utilise property reports to help make an informed choice when it comes to choosing their next property, from whether it meets their needs and safety considerations, or whether any remedial works need completing before moving in or purchasing the property.

    For Sellers

    For sellers, a Condition Report could help set a price that allows for selling the property as quickly as possible, taking into account any defects or issues. This removes any uncertainty around the sale and increases the desirability of the property.

    Conclusion: The Power of Informed Decisions

    In conclusion, a RICS Level 1 Home Survey (Condition Report) is an indispensable asset when purchasing or selling property, providing a thorough assessment of its condition to quickly identify any potential problems which could lower the value or functionality of a house or unit. By understanding its significance and using it effectively during transactions, a RICS Level 1 Home Survey or Condition Report can ensure smoother transactions that better inform you. Knowledge is power; property transactions require knowledge as you make your transaction decisions – knowledge can only ever lead to improved decisions with better decisions made with proper consideration given over time!

    FAQs About RICS Home Survey Level 1

    RICS Home Survey Level 1, also known as a Condition Report, is the most basic survey conducted by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). It provides an overview of a property's condition, highlighting significant issues, but without detailed investigation or advice.

    RICS Level 1 is a basic check on whether the property is in reasonable condition, while Level 2 (HomeBuyer Report) is more detailed, including all Level 1 features plus a property valuation and advice on defects that may affect the property's value. Level 2 is suitable for older or more complex properties.

    It's worth noting that there is also a RICS Home Survey Level 3 previously known as a full RICS building survey. This is a more detailed survey and the most comprehensive survey useful not standard construction and older properties.

    Choose Level 1 if you're buying a modern, conventional property in good condition. Opt for Level 2 if the property is older, has unusual features, or if you're planning significant changes. Level 2 also provides a market valuation and insurance rebuild cost.

    A Level 1 survey with valuation includes all the features of a standard Level 1 survey, plus a market valuation. This gives you an idea of the property's worth in the current market, which can be useful for negotiation or mortgage purposes.

    An RICS Condition Report, now called a RICS Home Survey Level 1 is a basic survey that provides an overview of a property's condition. It highlights significant issues and potential risks but doesn't offer detailed advice or a valuation. It's typically used for newer, conventional properties in apparently good condition. It uses a 'traffic light' system to categorise the severity of these issues. However, it doesn't include a detailed investigation, advice on repairs, or a property valuation.

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    Megan Stoyles (CeMAP)
    Megan Stoyles (CeMAP)

    Megan CeMAP is a dedicated Mortgage & Protection Adviser at YesCanDo Money. With her fresh and approachable style, she specialises in guiding clients through the mortgage process, whether they're first-time buyers, home movers, or interested in buy-to-let. Megan's passion for helping people find their dream homes and ensuring their financial security sets her apart.

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