Investing in a new home is a major purchase, so it is very important that you commission a survey of the property before committing to buy. The right survey could reveal hidden structural issues and ensure that you know the likely cost of any necessary repairs.

Whilst a mortgage valuation report may tell you what the property is worth, an actual survey could prevent you from making an expensive error when buying your home.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) accredits more than 130,00 firms and individuals, and you should ensure that your surveyor belongs to this organisation, which offers the following different types of survey for home buyers.

Read on to decide which survey is right for you.

RICS Condition Report

This type of survey is relatively inexpensive and is suitable for conventional properties that are obviously in good condition and for new-builds. It will simply highlight any defects and outlines any urgent risks or possible legal issues affecting the property.

RICS HomeBuyer Report

This limited survey will cost from around £400 and may be suitable for conventional properties of less than 150 years old. Most major issues will be revealed by the survey, but the surveyor will not lift flooring or explore behind furniture. If you need a home buyers survey London companies such as will be able to advise whether you should opt for this report. It will normally include assessments of damp-proofing and drainage, condition of the timbers, any urgent problems and details of any faults found in easy to access areas. An assessment of the location and an estimate of rebuilding costs are also included, but there may be caveats which limit the surveyor’s liability.

RICS Building Survey

This is the most comprehensive survey and is consequently more expensive, but it provides a full external and internal assessment of the property and was formerly known as a full structural survey. This is the best survey to choose for older properties and will provide information about structural integrity and defects, damp, woodworm and dry rot, electrical installation and any invasive weeds present. It covers details of the materials used in the construction of the property, estimated costs of rebuilding and recommendations for any further investigations that should be carried out. The RICS Building Survey is often an excellent investment.