13 October 2023

Difference between Level 2 and Level 3 survey

If you're currently in the process of purchasing a property, you've probably come across the terms "Level 2 survey" and "Level 3 survey."  What exactly do these terms mean, and which one is the best option for you? In this blog post, we'll explore the differences between the two survey type, helping you make an informed decision.


Choosing the Best Option

So, how do you decide whether a home survey level 2 or level 3 a is the best option for you? The choice depends on various factors, including the age and condition of the property, your budget, and your future plans for the property.

If you're purchasing a relatively new property that appears to be in good condition, a Level 2 survey is generally sufficient. This type of survey will provide you with a detailed overview of the property's condition at a more affordable price than a Level 3 survey. However, if you're buying an older property (built before 1850), which may have been significantly altered or in disrepair, a Level 3 survey is highly recommended.

Additionally, if you're planning extensive renovations, a Level 3 survey may be the wiser choice. It will provide you with a more comprehensive understanding of the property's structure and reveal any potential issues that could affect your renovation plans.

Level 2 Survey: The Basics

A level 2 home survey , also known as a HomeBuyer Report or a RICS Home Survey Level 2, is a standard survey suitable for most properties that are relatively new and in good condition. This survey provides a detailed assessment of the property's overall condition and highlights any significant issues that may need attention. It typically covers essentials such as the roof, walls, windows, doors, and visible elements of the property.

The Level 2 survey is conducted by a qualified surveyor who will carry out a thorough inspection both inside and outside the property, where visible and easily accessible. They will assess the structural integrity, identify any visible issues that may affect the value of the property, and provide recommendations for repairs or further investigation if necessary. A Level 2 survey will give you peace of mind, knowing that there are no major hidden problems with the property.

Level 3 Survey: A More In-Depth Look

On the other hand, a Level 3 survey, also known as a Building Survey or a Structural Survey, is a more comprehensive inspection. This type of survey is suitable for older properties, those in poor condition, or properties that have undergone significant alterations. A Level 3 survey dives deep into the structure, uncovering potential defects that may not be immediately visible, although keep in mind that Level 3 surveys aren’t invasive.

During a Level 3 survey, a qualified Surveyor will thoroughly examine every aspect of the property, from the foundations to the roof. They will visually inspect and evaluate the condition of the property's structure, uncover potential issues with the plumbing and electrical systems, and assess the property for any signs of damp, rot, or infestations. This survey is particularly helpful if you're planning extensive renovations or if you suspect hidden defects in the property. A surveyor will use knowledge to highlight if they think there are hidden defects, but again the inspection is not normally invasive.

Home surveys, are they worth it?

No matter which level of survey you choose, it's crucial to understand the importance of conducting a home survey before finalizing your property purchase. A home survey ensures that you're fully aware of any existing issues or potential problems. It provides you with the opportunity to negotiate repairs or a reduction in price before committing to the purchase.

Remember, a property isn't always what it seems at first glance. A fresh coat of paint or a beautifully furnished interior can easily disguise underlying problems. A home survey is your chance to look beyond the facade and make an informed decision based on professional advice.

How to book a home survey

The ideal time to book your survey is after your offer has been accepted and before exchange of contracts. According to our research with home buyers, 46% said it took between 3-5 months for their purchase to reach completion, while 41% said it took just 1-2 months.

Our research also found that 57% said moving house was their most stressful life event, so taking steps to minimise any stressors is a good idea. Booking your survey in advance of exchange means you can identify and fix any problems quickly. It’s also worth bearing in mind surveyors may not be available immediately, particularly during busy house-buying periods.

Arrange your survey as soon as possible to avoid causing delays and stress with the purchase. If you choose to buy our Digital Home Survey, we’ll contact the seller of the property within 24 hours and arrange a date for the inspection.


Conclusion - level 2 vs. level 3 survey

In conclusion, when it comes to choosing between a Level 2 and Level 3 survey, there isn't a one-size-fits-all answer. It depends on the age, condition, and future plans for the property. A Level 2 survey is suitable for most properties, while a Level 3 survey provides a more in-depth assessment for older or problematic properties.

Regardless of the level of survey you opt for, remember that a home survey is a crucial step in the homebuying process. It allows you to uncover potential issues, negotiate repairs, and ultimately make an informed decision about the property.

If you'd like to get a quote for a survey from a qualified surveyor in your area, make sure you visit our quote engine to receive an instant quote today.