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Level 2 vs. Level 3 House Surveys: Which One Do You Need?

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Understanding Level 2 and Level 3 House Surveys: A Comprehensive Guide

Choosing the right type of house survey can be a game-changer when buying or selling a property. Level 2 and Level 3 house surveys provide unique perspectives. They offer deep insights tailored to different property types and cater to diverse buyer needs. Knowing their differences and benefits is crucial for informed decisions and solid investments. This guide delves into these surveys in detail, aiming to help you determine the best fit for your property aspirations.

What is a Level 2 Survey?

The Level 2 HomeBuyer’s Survey, often called just “HomeBuyer’s Survey,” is a favoured UK property survey. It gives deeper insights than the basic Level 1 Condition Report. However, it’s less thorough than the Level 3 Building Survey. Let’s provide a quick overview:

  • Purpose: The Level 2 HomeBuyer’s Survey is designed to provide potential homebuyers with information about the condition of the property they’re considering purchasing. It helps them make an informed decision and potentially negotiate the property price based on the findings.
  • Scope: The survey involves a visual inspection of the property, identifying any visible major problems like damp, subsidence, or issues with the roof. It doesn’t involve looking behind furniture or lifting up floorboards, but it does offer a more in-depth examination than the Level 1 Condition Report.
  • Report: The surveyor will provide a report that categorises issues using a traffic light system: –Red (Condition Rating 3): Defects that need urgent attention or repair. –Amber (Condition Rating 2): Issues that don’t require immediate fixing but will need attention in the future. –Green (Condition Rating 1): No immediate action or repair needed.
  • Additional Information: The report might also provide advice on necessary repairs and ongoing maintenance recommendations.
  • When to Choose: A Level 2 HomeBuyer’s Survey is suitable for properties that appear to be in reasonable condition and are of standard construction types. For older properties, those in disrepair, or those of non-standard construction, a more detailed Level 3 Building Survey might be recommended.

It’s always advisable for potential homebuyers to discuss with their surveyor about which type of survey is most appropriate for their specific circumstances.

What is a Level 3 Survey?

A Level 3 Building Survey, often referred to as a “Full Structural Survey” or simply “Building Survey,” is the most comprehensive type of property survey available in the UK. It provides a thorough and detailed examination of a property’s structure and condition. Here’s an overview:

  • Purpose: The Level 3 Building Survey is designed for those who want a detailed and exhaustive analysis of a property. It’s especially valuable for potential buyers considering older homes, properties of non-standard construction, homes that have undergone extensive alterations, or properties that are in obvious disrepair.
  • Scope: This survey delves into the nitty-gritty of a property. It includes a thorough inspection of both the interior and exterior, including accessible roof spaces, basements, and all visible parts of the property.
  • Report: The resultant report is comprehensive, providing: -Detailed findings about the structure, construction, and condition of the property. -Information on defects, their apparent cause, and recommendations for repair or further investigations. -An assessment of dampness, drainage, insulation, and any potential issues not immediately visible. -Technical information about the property’s construction and materials used. -Recommendations for future maintenance.
  • Invasiveness: Unlike the Level 2 HomeBuyer’s Survey, a Level 3 Building Survey can be more invasive. Depending on permissions, it might involve lifting floorboards, inspecting behind walls, or other more intrusive investigations.
  • No Valuation: Typically, a Level 3 Building Survey does not include a valuation or insurance reinstatement value, but this can often be provided at an additional cost if required.
  • When to Choose: It’s particularly advisable to opt for a Level 3 Building Survey if: -The property is over 50 years old. -The property is large or spread over multiple levels. -You’re considering major renovations. -The property is of non-standard construction. -The property has visible structural issues or has been significantly altered.


The costs of Level 2 HomeBuyer’s Surveys and Level 3 Building Surveys can vary widely based on various factors, including the location of the property, its size, age, type, and the specific surveying firm or chartered surveyor conducting the assessment. Typically a level 2 survey is between £399 and £1,250 and a level 3 survey is between £620 and £1,733.

Main Differences Summed Up

Depth of Examination:
  • Level 2: Focuses on evident issues that might affect a property’s value, providing a concise overview.
  • Level 3: Offers a detailed, in-depth analysis of both superficial and structural aspects of the property, delving into potential hidden issues.
Property Type Suitability:
  • Level 2: Best for modern homes, standard constructions, and properties in reasonably good condition.
  • Level 3: Ideal for older homes, non-standard constructions, homes with evident structural issues, or those with extensive modifications.
Report Detail:
  • Level 2: Summarised findings, highlighting issues that may affect purchase decisions or property value.
  • Level 3: Comprehensive report detailing defects, their causes, repair recommendations, and advice for future maintenance.
  • Level 2: Non-intrusive, visual inspection without moving furniture or lifting floorboards.
  • Level 3: Potentially invasive, going beyond mere visual checks where necessary, to understand the full extent and cause of any defects.
  • Level 2: Offers assurance on a property’s apparent condition and whether it’s a sound investment.
  • Level 3: Provides complete peace of mind regarding a property’s condition, hidden issues, and future maintenance needs.

In essence, while both surveys offer valuable insights, the Level 2 HomeBuyer’s Survey is more cursory and suitable for standard, modern homes, whereas the Level 3 Building Survey is exhaustive and best for unique or older properties where deeper insights are essential.

Use Homemove

At Homemove, we understand the intricacies and challenges of property surveys. That’s why we’ve streamlined the process to offer a hassle-free, comprehensive solution for your surveying needs. If you would like to book your level 2 survey you can here. Alternatively, if you are needing a level 3 you can do that here. When you choose Homemove, you’re not just opting for a survey – you’re securing peace of mind. We handle all the intricacies, from booking the right surveyor to ensuring timely completion. Our dedicated team ensures that every aspect is meticulously managed, saving you time and eliminating any guesswork. With our expertise and commitment to service excellence, you can trust Homemove to make your property survey experience smooth, efficient, and stress-free.