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House Surveys Question.

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by stevegreen, May 19, 2005.

  1. stevegreen

    stevegreen
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    I'm currently in the process of buying a new house. The mortgage has been approved and they offer a 'free valuation'.

    Is this the same as a survey in which they will check the general building condition of the house, roof etc? or is this simply a 'valuation' report to make sure that they are not 'over-lending' on the property? I assume that the mortgage company will make sure that the house is in good order before lending on it.

    Does anyone have any experience of home buyer surveys, are they actually worth paying for?
     
  2. Squiffy

    Squiffy
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    The free valuation is simply the minimum that the mortgage lender needs to ensure that the property is worth lending money against.

    A home buyers report will be more detailed, but isn't really to be relied on if you have areas of concern. It might[/b] pick up things like damp, subsidence, etc. Usually it probably will. But there are plenty of caveats in the report as the surveyor will always make clear that they are performing a superficial surface inspection.

    The full monty is a structural survey which will look in detail at the structure of the house. If you are buying a house over a certain age, or in an area that may be subject to subsidence this is well worth it.

    You pays your money, you takes your chance.
     
  3. stevegreen

    stevegreen
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    Cheers Squiffy, I thought that might be the case.

    I can't really see the point of a structural survey on a 20 year old house, i'm sure if there was extensive mining in the area or something similar then the surveys that the solicitor carries out will show up any possible problems.
     
  4. Solomon Grundy

    Solomon Grundy
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    The basic report for valuation purposes will find anything major if the surveyor is doing his job correctly when he goes to look at the house. I would personally not bother unless you really, really want peace of mind.
     
  5. Squiffy

    Squiffy
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    Yes, a good surveyor will pick up major faults in even a basic survey.

    The problem is that if they don't pick up those faults, then you have no comeback.

    As a house is the most expensive thing you will ever buy, it is worth thinking carefully about this.

    Also a quick tip. Surveys will exclude things like central heating systems. If the system looks old it is well worth getting an independent inspection done. At a previous place we bought we didn't get the heating inspected. Subsequently it was condemned - the engineer couldn't believe it hadn't blown up - and we had a £2k bill to replace it. We won't make that mistake again. :lesson:
     
  6. stevegreen

    stevegreen
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    Luckily we have managed to find a house that has been extremely well looked after, virtually brand new DG all through and a new boiler :smashin: It seems as though the couple selling were working through the house doing it all out and then decided to split up, one room is just floorboards and no decoration (apart from what was left by previous owners)

    We don't even have a fire in the lounge as they were looking to re-do that too, anyway, all that bit will be coming out..........pass me the hammer!!! :D
     
  7. Beobloke

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    The home buyers report is a complete and utter waste of money.

    We're in the process of buying a house built in 1901, which has a cesspit rather than mains drainage, proper wooden floorboards and gas central heating powered from cylinders.

    Now naturally, we wanted all of these checked out so paid extra for the home buyers report rather than the basic survey and what did we get?

    1) No report on the floorboards as they "aren't allowed to lift the carpet"
    2) No report on the gas installation as they "aren't allowed to try out the heating system"
    3) No report on the cesspit and drainage as "they were unable to lift the drain covers in the garden"
    4) No report on the guttering etc. as they "aren't allowed to use a ladder"
    5) And to top it all, a comment that they "couldn't find the water tank but could hear it filling somewhere on the top floor"!! (no loft as it's been converted to a bedroom)

    My view - pay for the most basic survey you are offered and if you want anything else specific checked out they get a specialist to do it.

    As a guide, we paid £600 for the Home Buyers' Report.

    Basic survey would have been £250-ish. Local gas company quoted £50 to inspect and test the heating system and gas bottle installation, a flooring company quoted £80 for a full woodworm/floorboard inspection and report and the cesspit inspection would have been £50 from the local waste disposal company.

    You live and learn................ :mad:
     
  8. Astaroth

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    There are 3 levels of survey possible:

    1) Valuation - is what the mortgage lender will want - only gives the value of the property in its current state - a decent company will tell you of any major finds which have effected the valuation but arent under obligation to do so

    2) Home Buyers survey - a report including valuation - the report will contain any issues which can be identified by walking arround the property on foot without the use of ladders or specialist equipment - should note anything which should be investigated further - this is the normal survey to have done on a property less than 100 years old

    3) Full Building survey - is a more indepth version of a homebuyers and varies significantly in what is and isnt included between companies - does include visual inspection of areas like lofts, roof and guttering which is excluded from a homebuyers one. The often will also use some specialist equipment like meters for testing the moisture content of walls where there appears to have been damp etc. - this is generally recommended on properties over 100 years

    For your own piece of mind I would get a homebuyers survey done as whilst it isnt the most indepth investigation in the world it does give you some recourse should you find the building has major subsidence or such shortly after.
     
  9. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Beo: You were gven poor advice by whoever suggested you have a homebuyers done. The homebuyers report is a question and answer type of thing where specific questions are asked and specific answers are given. It is limited in it's scope and I'd have expected this would have been explained to you. I'm sure you can get copies of the thing to read before actually specifying you want it done.

    A "free" valuation report is probably worth exactly what you pay for it....as is most "free" stuff. In the dim and distant past...ie 1987-1991 I trained to be a surveyor. I doubt the law on the following has changed but at that time a valuation report was conducted on behalf of The Lender. They want to make sure they can sell it and get the dosh back if you can't pay. Of course, you pay for THEIR report. They, kindly, let you see it. If the surveyor ****s it up then YOU have no comeback as the report was not for you it was on behalf of the lender. Of course if the surveyor really really ****s it up then the lendor may be slightly aggrieved...but that's between them and the surveyor. I suspect your free survey is basically that you don't get charged for their survey.

    I'd agree with fellow posters that it's Structural survey or cheapest and get some professionals in myself. My own home is just over 20 years old and if I were buying someething like that again I wouldn't be having a structural survey done. It should be pretty obvious that what's needing done on a normal valution report for the lendor. IMHO. The litigous surveys that the company I worked with were inolved with were all pre-war or just after the war stuff. ie

    If you want to have some comeback though you need to comission a report on your own behalf. I seem to remember that where I worked we would do valuation reports on behalf of private clients then we would do copies of them on the lendors own forms for a much reduced additional fee. I'm sure this must still be done (although it might have been a Scottish thing as our law is different). The trick then is to make sure you use a surveyor who is on the approved panel for your proposed lendor.

    Hope this is of use......probably all out of date now.....think I'll get back to answering the video questions as I know alot more about that these days.....

    Gordon
     

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