OT: Worth doing a survey on a newish house with NHBC?

Hi all,
We're in the middle of buying a one year old house with a 10 year NHBC guarantee.
Is it worth doing a housebuyer survey on it? I thought it may pick up problems like damp.
Any advice appreciated,
Richard.
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If it was built by WilCon or WilsonConnoly then *definitely* yes. Try and find out about the reputation of the original builders.
See http://www.wronglybuilthouse.co.uk/ for detail on why the NHBC Warranty may not be up to much. The NHBC only warrant that the house is built to their "mandatory requirements" which is pretty much just building regs. They also publish a set of "Standards of the NHBC" which builders are not obliged to follow in order to have the NHBC rubber-stamp.
Apparently the NHBC can be a bit funny with second-owners if a fault which arises could have been found if the purchasers had had a survey. The NHBC do unfortunately spend a large part of their time protecting the interests of their housebuilders, so be careful. BTW, if a fault occurs in the first two years of an NHBC warranty then the builder deals with it direct, so the reputation of the builder may be an important factor.
HTH, Al
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Hi,
Thanks for that. You've more or less convinced me it's not worth skimping on a housebuyer survey... you never know. BTW the house in question is by David Wilson Homes... hopefully more reputable than WilCon! :)
Richard.
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The NHBC warrantee means nothing. Certainly don't skimp on surveys on the basis of having one.
Chrisitan.
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Yes.
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My solicitor told me the NHBC guarantee is to be regarded as completely worthless.
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Richard,
The only person in the world who could/should suggest that you dont need a survey is you. The only responsible reply to your question is that you should definitely have a survey.
Lets say that the advice given by anyone was that you dont need a survey on a newish house, and you subsequently find that there is something wrong that cost you a fortune to fix, or devalues the property etc. - you have lost big time.
But if the advice is to have a survey and nothing is wrong, you are only out a few hundred quid.
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Richard Faulkner

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writes

Actually the estate agent of the property mocked me wanting to do a survey on the house. I was quite surprised by this but I now understand she is a manipulative and devious so-and-so who wants to avoid any situation that may throw the deal off-course. I certainly don't trust her anymore.
Richard.
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Estate agent: manipulative... devious... don't trust.
Those are qualifications for the job. BTW: They also tell fibs.
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wrote:

Why would you ever? Her costs are paid by the vendor and contingent on making a sale. Hopefully she won't tell you out and out lies, but that's about it.
Some people take the view that a valuation report on a sufficiently new property is good enough and that if anything major such as subsidence were to happen, that it is insured.
You also have the vendor's document regarding other issues like fixtures, fittings, disputes, modifications etc., and there is legal come back on that.
A full structural survey costs extra compared to the valuation survey and will give you more detail on the property condition and perhaps points that you may have missed. On a property this new, it's not very likely that there will be anything major, but if you feel that you would be more comfortable by having one done, then do so and make the vendor and especially the agent, wait. The agent's next move would be to suggest that there is competition for the property even if there is none.
Bear in mind that even a full structural survey will only reveal what the surveyor can see plus clues to underlying conditions revealed by what he can see. The report will be full of disclaimers for anything else and you may then feel that the comfort that you sought wasn't what you had hoped. That is not to say that having the survey is a bad thing, but the surveyor is not going to carry the responsibility beyond a certain point.
.andy
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writes

Presumably the point of the original question is that, if anything *does* go wrong with the house during the next 9 years, it should be covered by the NHBC 10 year guarantee - possibly rendering a survey unnecessary.
Does anyone out there have any experience of the operation of these guarantees in practice?
Roger
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We managed to get some work done under the NHBC scheme fairly easily. We were the second owners of the house, and it was about 6 years old at the time. Basically, the front of the house had an overhanging roof/sill type thing above the living room window;
| Upstairs window | \ \ Overhanging roof \ ___\ | | Downstairs Window
The thing was supported by two large, triangular wooden brackets. Anyway, we noticed that one of the brackets was coming apart at the right angle end (actually, when we thought about it, the thing had probably been put on upside down, so the triangle of forces would be pushing the joint apart rather than keeping it together - the top piece was nailed to the side of the piece against the wall, as opposed to being on top of it, if you understand what I'm saying!).
We tried the NHBC and they were fine about it, got a builder out to replace the bracket free of charge. IIRC however, they do take a deposit when you send the details off which is non-refundable in the event that the claim is subsequently not valid....
Tony.
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What does that matter? If the house is duff you will be living in it while all the legal wrangling goes on and the 10 years ticks off and the cowboys that dun you in will be doing the repair is that what you want?
You get a top class surveyor to do a first class job and if it goes pear shaped it's his problem.
You are talking about a loan it will take your lifetime to pay? As compared to what? The price of a holliday you won't need or want if things go smoothly.
My last job was working for a cowboy who wouldn't even get us the stuff to build with. He employed the roughest set of bricklayers imaginable and didn't give a stuff about the customers. He still owes me two weeks money.
Half the time the NHBC or whatever he's called man is a pillock. He doen't have to answer to you, he answers to his boss -maybe and they can snow you under. Or do you have a lot of clout?
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Roger Mills wrote

Yes A lot of noise is made about the 10-year guarantee. In fact full cover for the most common defects lasts for only 2 years. After that claims are only accepted for structural defects, and the NHBC inspectors are very clever at working out why problems are always non-structural, and therefore outside the NHBC cover.
If there is a genuine and serious structural problem, for instance settlement, sunken floors or defective roof timbers, then the NHBC will probably do a good job of sorting it out (once you've got them to agree there is a genuine claim). However, most defects you're likely to experience will be non-structural in their view. So for things like plaster falling off, roof leaks, rotten windows, leaking gutters, you name it, there's no cover at all after 2 years.
To the original question - ALWAYS have a survey done, preferably before you incur any solicitors costs. To do otherwise is risking 000's, even for new houses (brand new houses often have the most defects). The RICS Homebuyers Report is quite adequate for modern terraced houses or semis. If the house is bigger or older then go for the full survey. It is simply not worth risking it. If there are no problems then you get peace of mind - if there are, you can walk away or get the price reduced.
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Yes definitely, some newish houses are crap and NHBC cert is virtually worthless (like Guild of Master Craftsmen logos). Let a surveyor carry the can if anything goes wrong - but ask for a full survey, not just a valuation.
cheers
Jacob
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Do you mean a homebuyer survey or full structural survey? I think the latter might be a bit over the top, perhaps?
Richard
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"Richard" wrote | > Yes definitely, some newish houses are crap and NHBC cert is virtually | > worthless (like Guild of Master Craftsmen logos). Let a surveyor carry | > the can if anything goes wrong - but ask for a full survey, not just a | > valuation. | Do you mean a homebuyer survey or full structural survey? I think the latter | might be a bit over the top, perhaps?
The problem is that newish houses haven't been up long enough for the cracks to show (literally). If the builders were slipshod on the foundations the problems will show eventually.
Depends on how much of your money you're putting into this place. If it's a 50k house I might not bother with a GBP500 survey; if it's 250k then the survey price is such a small %age of the cost it's hardly noticeable.
Owain
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