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bungle

Original Poster:

632 posts

123 months

[news] 
Saturday 13th October 2012 quote quote all
It's been 10 years since i bought a house, and then it was a 3-yr old house with a NHBC guarantee (for what it's worth).

Now I'm buying a c.40 yr old house, it's had a 2-storey extension (10 yrs ago), and given its (high (to me)) price, I'm thinking I want a decent survey done.

Trouble is, everyone seems to be saying on here don't bother wasting your money on a survey, they'll just say "you should get an electrical /damp / gas survey done as well, you can't sue us, blah de blah", and I'm just shelling out a lot of money for nothing.

I'm thinking of a full structural survey (so they should actually lift the carpets if necessary...rolleyes ), but is the collective view that this is a waste of time? I am risk averse by nature, and see this as a comfort blanket (if you get my drift), but if the norm is so many caveats/ get-out clauses etc these days, are they really worth it? Thanks.

EDIT TO ADD: there's also some huge trees in the back garden. Would a structural survey consider if the roots had any possible (in the future, or now) impact on the house? Or (and this is pushing it) the possibility of them affecting neighbours' houses?

Edited by bungle on Saturday 13th October 19:56

randlemarcus

9,430 posts

114 months

[news] 
Saturday 13th October 2012 quote quote all
Last time I bought, I had a mortgage drive-by, and when that came back OK, had a proper survey done by a surveyor. Which cost not a lot more than the drive-by, but was a lot more informative.

N Dentressangle

2,930 posts

105 months

[news] 
Saturday 13th October 2012 quote quote all
Get a proper survey done.

You know that's the right answer, really, don't you? wink

In a year's time you'll have forgotten the few hundred quid it cost you. The people who bought my last house didn't get a survey. I suspect they are now regretting that decision.

bungle

Original Poster:

632 posts

123 months

[news] 
Saturday 13th October 2012 quote quote all
N Dentressangle said:
Get a proper survey done.

You know that's the right answer, really, don't you? wink
Probably. But interested in everyone's thoughts, as I have no experience of buying a property in over 10 years!

I guess I should also ask for surveyor recommendations as well. Near Coventry.

N Dentressangle said:
The people who bought my last house didn't get a survey. I suspect they are now regretting that decision.
Oh dear. What did they inherit that a survey would have shown up? rolleyes

TorqueVR

1,125 posts

82 months

[news] 
Saturday 13th October 2012 quote quote all
Hi Bungle - I've PM'd you
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DoctorX

1,791 posts

50 months

[news] 
Saturday 13th October 2012 quote quote all
I've just sold a house and the buyers clearly went for the basic survey. The guy was in and out in 5 minutes and hardly looked at anything. Don't do it - spend a few quid for the piece of mind.

surveyor

7,210 posts

67 months

[news] 
Saturday 13th October 2012 quote quote all
bungle said:
It's been 10 years since i bought a house, and then it was a 3-yr old house with a NHBC guarantee (for what it's worth).

Now I'm buying a c.40 yr old house, it's had a 2-storey extension (10 yrs ago), and given its (high (to me)) price, I'm thinking I want a decent survey done.

Trouble is, everyone seems to be saying on here don't bother wasting your money on a survey, they'll just say "you should get an electrical /damp / gas survey done as well, you can't sue us, blah de blah", and I'm just shelling out a lot of money for nothing.

I'm thinking of a full structural survey (so they should actually lift the carpets if necessary...rolleyes ), but is the collective view that this is a waste of time? I am risk averse by nature, and see this as a comfort blanket (if you get my drift), but if the norm is so many caveats/ get-out clauses etc these days, are they really worth it? Thanks.

EDIT TO ADD: there's also some huge trees in the back garden. Would a structural survey consider if the roots had any possible (in the future, or now) impact on the house? Or (and this is pushing it) the possibility of them affecting neighbours' houses?

Edited by bungle on Saturday 13th October 19:56
A surveyor will only ask for electrical / damp / gas survey where he has found defects which indicate problems. We don't ask for them for fun.

I don't think any survey will see a Surveyor lifting fitted carpets.

Even a basic mortgage survey will usually ask for some detail of tree's (well the inspection form the Surveyor is working from will). If it's an issue it should be mentioned.

If the roots are having an impact now, there should be indications.

Muncher

9,465 posts

132 months

[news] 
Saturday 13th October 2012 quote quote all
Personally I wouldn't get a survey at all, from what I have seen there are too many exclusions and many are not thorough enough.

A bit of common sense will alert you to most issues and then you can get a specialist opinion where necessary. That said I then found they still just state the obvious and you end up people who resolve the issue day in day out.

bungle

Original Poster:

632 posts

123 months

[news] 
Sunday 14th October 2012 quote quote all
Thanks surveyor.

surveyor said:
A surveyor will only ask for electrical / damp / gas survey where he has found defects which indicate problems. We don't ask for them for fun.
I was just quoting what others on here have said about surveys, I have no direct experience (for years).

surveyor said:
I don't think any survey will see a Surveyor lifting fitted carpets.
Sorry, probably bad example. I just hear stories (on here, and elsewhere) of people saying "there was a potential problem with abc, but as they wouldn't / weren't allowed to lift/move xyz, they didn't investigate further".

surveyor said:
Even a basic mortgage survey will usually ask for some detail of tree's (well the inspection form the Surveyor is working from will). If it's an issue it should be mentioned.

If the roots are having an impact now, there should be indications.
Thanks.

N Dentressangle

2,930 posts

105 months

[news] 
Sunday 14th October 2012 quote quote all
bungle said:
Oh dear. What did they inherit that a survey would have shown up? rolleyes
Nothing other than the issues which most sensible people would expect with a 100 odd year old house.

However, they overestimated their knowledge of building. They were unduly worried about relatively minor issues which would cost a few hundred £ to remedy, and they overlooked more important issues which would require much greater long term expense. I suspect surveying a building might fall into the 'I could do that' trap: a tendency to forget the years of knowledge and experience that a professional has, and overestimate one's own ability in a specialist area.

A proper survey gives you a detailed, objective, expert opinion. I think that's invaluable in determining whether you're paying the right price for a house, as well as giving you a good agenda to start from in arranging your own repairs.

I'm not a surveyor btw. I just think that when you're spending hundreds of thousands of pounds, stinting on spending on a survey is false economy.

Joyrider1

1,001 posts

54 months

[news] 
Sunday 14th October 2012 quote quote all
We are due to move into a new place next Friday (well, new to us - it's about 45 years old) and I have only ever had new-builds so never had full surveys before.

We did have one on this place though as I wanted to know if there were any major issues that weren't immediately apparent that might need attention. Granted, there were a lot of arse covering aspects to it, but out of the 50 page report that we got back I still think it was definitely worth the money, if only for some peace of mind.

fido

10,546 posts

138 months

[news] 
Tuesday 16th October 2012 quote quote all
My tuppence worth - from the Vendor's point of view. I accepted an offer of £X on the basis that was the final price - this was made very clear to them by the EA - as the property was priced to sell. Just after the solicitors had sent over details, they decided to carry out a survey and then attempted to reduce the price - even though the sum total of all the little points was the same as the amount they had taken offer prior to the Offer. Told them to get stuffed. They came back a few days later and accepted the price. I was quite tempted to up the price, as they needed to move somewhere quite quickly.

ND_007

154 posts

142 months

[news] 
Tuesday 16th October 2012 quote quote all
I think the key is not always which is the right survey but finding the right surveyor. Mine was recommended to me locally so had local knowledge. (Properties in the village are generally 100+ yrs old) I met him at the property after he was completed so we could talk through the findings and he was able to help me understand the work needed and the potential costs involved. He then sent me a detailed report which had I read in isolation, would have terrified me!

I had no plans to change my offer after the survey as I had budgeted for some upgrade costs in the offer - It has helped us on where to spend money, 8 months on and it's still a work in progress.

NerveAgent

383 posts

103 months

[news] 
Tuesday 16th October 2012 quote quote all
surveyor said:
A surveyor will only ask for electrical / damp / gas survey where he has found defects which indicate problems. We don't ask for them for fun.

You may not, the ones we've had did. Always along the lines of "xyz might be ok, but we couldn't actually test any of it/look at it so we recommend a specialist xyz survey", Rinse and repeat. (This is a full structural)

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