Types of Survey
A valuation isn't a survey. It is a limited check on the property that your mortgage lender carries out to ensure it's worth the money they are lending you, although they will probably ask you to pay for it. Many lenders provide you with a copy but it is unlikely to cover items of detail which would be picked up in a survey. There may be structural or other potential problems with the property that could cost a huge amount to put right, and they will not always appear in a valuation report.
The RICS condition report is very similar to the HomeBuyer Report but the report excludes some elements relating to environmental matters and does not provide an opinion on value or on assessment of the Building Insurance reinstatement figure.
HomeBuyer Report & Valuation
HomeBuyer Report is a survey done to a standard format set out by RICS, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. It is most suitable for conventional properties built within the last 150 years, which are in reasonable condition. It does not detail every aspect of the property, and only focuses on urgent matters needing attention. It is not usually suitable for properties in need of renovation, or if you're planning major alterations.
A building survey (sometimes called a structural survey) is a comprehensive visual inspection of a property and provides a detailed written report. This type of survey is suitable for all property types, especially, Listed Buildings, Older properties, Buildings constructed in an unusual way, you plan to renovate or alter in any way, or properties that have had extensive alterations. It examines all accessible and visible parts of the property and includes information on the method of construction, materials used, details of faults, potential problem areas, environmental considerations, the location / surrounding areas. Recommendations for repairs or improvements will be given where possible or further specialist inspection or investigation recommended. The contents of the report will be dependent on the property age, type and can be tailored to your specific requirements, to enable any particular concerns you may have to be covered.