• Building Surveys (formerly known as structural surveys)
  • Development Appraisals
  • RICS Home Surveys
  • Insurance Valuations
  • Specific Defects Analysis
  • Valuations for all purposes
  • Vendor Surveys
  • Snagging Lists
  • Home Condition Reports
  • Portfolio Valuations
  • Probate Valuations
  • Retrospective Valuations
  • Expert Witness Reports
  • Matrimonial Valuations
  • Help To Buy Valuations
  • Capital Gains Tax Valuations
  • Housing Association & Shared Ownership Valuations


  • Building Surveys (formerly known as structural surveys)
  • Compensation
  • Development Appraisals
  • Expert Witness Reports
  • Insurance Valuations
  • Leasehold Enfranchisement Advice
  • Negotiations
  • Valuations for all purposes


  • Boundary Disputes
  • Compulsory Purchase & Compensation
  • Defects Analysis
  • e-commerce Applications
  • Expert Witness Reports
  • Lectures & Presentations
  • Party Wall Matters & Disputes
  • Planning Applications & Appeals
  • Portfolio Valuations
  • Preparation of Plans
  • Project Management
  • Schedules of Dilapidations
  • Specifications & Tender Documentation


Why should I have a survey?

Buying a home is a very important investment decision. The only safe way of reaching an informed decision is to have a professional survey and valuation. Before you commit yourself, legally, to the purchase you can minimise any risk by asking Nichols Surveying to answer these questions for you:

• Is the agreed price reasonable and does it reflect the condition of the property?
• Are there problems/defects/drawbacks that I don't know about?
• If so, what do I need to do about them?
• Should I even buy the property?

Having your own survey is the simple and economical way to avoid unpleasant (and perhaps costly) surprises after you move in. In some cases the surveyor's report may help you to renegotiate the price.

But I already have a mortgage valuation

You have your mortgage offer and probably also a copy of the report prepared for the lender following a brief inspection by the valuer. It is still advisable and prudent to arrange your own survey, by your own surveyor. The Consumers' Association, Which magazine and The Council of Mortgage Lenders all give this advice. Also most lenders incorporate a warning notice at the bottom of the Mortgage Valuation Report urging borrowers to obtain their own detailed survey report before committing themselves to the purchase.

The reason is simple - the mortgage valuation is for the benefit of your lender - not for you, the borrower. It answers only the lender's questions relating to the security of the property for loan purposes. You cannot rely upon it to answer the questions that concern your personal interests. It also may not disclose significant defects.

What choice of surveys do I have?

Nichols Surveying offers four types of surveys and valuations, at competitive prices, which are always undertaken by a Chartered Surveyor and are specifically designed to help home buyers and existing property owners. These are: MARKET VALUATIONS and RICS HOME SURVEYS: LEVEL 1 (previously or otherwise referred to as The RICS Condition Report), LEVEL 2 (previously or otherwise referred to as The RICS Homebuyer Report) and LEVEL 3 (previously or otherwise referred to as a Building Survey or Structural Survey) as explained below....


Essentially, a valuation report is a limited document which is designed to give a valuation opinion with only an overall comment on the condition of the property which may include the identification of essential repairs that need to be carried out in order to preserve value.

This is a form of report that is typically provided to mortgage lenders following only a brief inspection by the valuer. Prospective purchasers should be aware of its limitations in that it is not a building survey or a schedule of disrepair and therefore should not be totally relied upon. It is still advisable and prudent to arrange your own survey, by your own independent surveyor.


(previously or otherwise referred to as The RICS Homebuyer Report)

This is in a standard format and is designed specifically as an economy service. There are 2 options – with or without a valuation.

The Survey Level 2 differs materially from the Survey Level 3 in several respects:

It is intended for particular types of properties only e.g., houses, flats and bungalows that are:

It identifies what the surveyor considers to be the most important issues. By applying condition ratings to elements of the building, services and permanent outbuildings, the surveyor will tell you whether defects are serious or urgent. It may also include an opinion of market value and reinstatement cost (valuation option only). It focuses on matters that, in the surveyor’s opinion, may affect the value of the property if they are not dealt with. The report also includes other valuable information.

What else should I know about the SURVEY LEVEL 2?

The service - the inspection, report and valuation - are all explained, in detail, in The Description of the Survey Level 2 Service.

The main features are:

It is an economy package. Owing to the practical limits of the type of property and the scope of its coverage, the Survey Level 2 is priced economically - more expensive than the lender's mortgage valuation, but less than the Survey Level 3.

The surveyor's main objectives are to assist the client:

The concise report covers the inside and outside of the building, the services and the site and includes:

Any defects that the surveyor considers do not need repairing or replacing, or any minor matters that do not affect the value of the property, are generally not included in the report.


(previously or otherwise referred to as The RICS Condition Report)


(previously or otherwise referred to as a Building Survey or Structural Survey)

The purpose of the Survey Level 3 is to give a professional opinion on the structure and condition of a property. As such, it is a much more detailed document in comparison to the Survey Level 2.

The Survey Level 3 is suitable for all types, size and age of residential properties and provides a full picture of the construction and condition.

It can be designed to suit your own specific needs and is likely to be needed if the property is unusual, dilapidated or has been altered extensively or if you are planning alterations yourself.

The report will often include technical information and photographs and will detail both major and minor defects.


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