Getting a mortgage agreed and having your offer accepted on your dream home in the South of France is very exciting indeed. However, before you sign anything, it’s imperative that you a commission a property survey from an experienced and qualified professional.


Indeed, getting a building survey is one of the most important things you can do when preparing to buy a property. The question, however, is which type of house survey do you need?


In this post, we’ll explain everything you need to know about the different types of house survey, so you can decide which one is best for you.

House Surveys in the South of France – 3 Types to Choose Between

There are three main types of building survey to choose from. Each is best suited to a different kind of property. As you’ll see there are three levels, which signify the depth and amount of detail the property surveyor will go into during the inspection.


So, let’s look at the different types of house survey available to you.


Level 1 – Condition Report


The Level 1 Condition Report is the most basic survey out of the three. It is most suitable for a new build or modern house with no visible signs of disrepair.


As its name suggests, the Condition Report will provide you with a report on the property’s condition. The surveyor will inspect both the inside and outside of the property, looking for visible signs of defects, such as damp and other damage. What the surveyor won’t do, however, is move any furniture or look under floorboards.


The surveyor will then go away and write up the report, using a traffic light system to grade the different aspects of the property on the basis of whether or not they need attention, and how urgent that attention needs to be. However, what you won’t be able to do with a Condition Report is go back to the surveyor and ask for advice on any defects that have been uncovered.


Level 2 – Homebuyer Report


The Level 2 Homebuyer Report provides a more detailed building survey report than the Level 1. It is best suited to homes over 5 years old that appear to be in a reasonable condition.


Usually, there are two types of Homebuyer Report you can commission. The first is the survey-only Homebuyer Report, which includes the inspection, the written-up report, and any advice you may need that arises from the report.


The second type is the survey + valuation Homebuyer Report. This usually costs extra, because, along with everything above, the surveyor also provides a valuation of the property.


In both cases, the Homebuyer Report is a level up from the Condition Report, and so provides more detail. As well as defects, the surveyor will look for signs of potential subsidence issues. It includes the most common property problems like damp and rot, but, again, the surveyor will not look behind large pieces of furniture or go under floorboards.


Level 3 – Full Building Survey


The Level 3 Full Building Survey is the most detailed type of survey on offer. It’s best suited to old properties, rural properties, and properties that are in visible need of repair.


Also known as a Full Structural Survey, the Full Building Survey comprises of a fully comprehensive inspection of the property from top to bottom, including roofs, attics, cellars, outbuildings, behind furniture and under floorboards.


In addition, the surveyor will look for issues that may compromise the structural integrity of the building. The written-up report will not only list all defects uncovered, but provide recommendations for repair works and estimates for what these repairs are likely to cost.

Charles Mackintosh – South of France RICS Chartered Surveyor

If you’re looking for a professional surveyor to inspect your South of France property before purchase, Charles Mackintosh is at your service. With over 30 years’ experience, Charles provides highly regarded English language house surveys and advice for overseas buyers. Get in touch today for more information.