Re: Survey advice



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Hi Dave,
The best, but most expensive, is the full structure report, but this is best left for properties that you really have your heart set on. So I'd say a homebuyers report would suffice if your still just in the process of looking.
The standard valuation is just a report of decorative condition and minor faults that can be seen on the surface.
I think, but am not totally sure, the Home Buyers report is a bit more in-depth than the valuation, and includes a more detailed survey of the property itself and the area in which the property sits.
The Full Structural Report really speaks for itself and includes lifting of the corners of carpets and a lot of tapping on walls and such like. A good survey to have done, if the property is what you want to live in for a good few years, as it will also provide for a report on the future life expectancy of the structure.
All surveys will include a report of major works done to the property over the years, but you can obtain an extract copy of the forms from the local council planning department yourself, so any property you have looked at so far can be looked at through this method.
Get a good lawyer who works for you, not the ones who desperately want your business, and they'll do all the donkey work for you in these matters. Just tell them what you want and they'll do it from there. You pay for it all in the end any way, so why worry.
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BigWallop

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At the risk of being somewhat trite:
- the standard valuation is for your building society / bank to work out how much they're prepared to lend you
- the housebuyers' report is to give you ammunition to beat the seller's price down (potentially saving you money on the purchase)
- the full survey is the only one that will actually reveal structural or other significant defects with the property (potentially saving you from buying a problematic house that's going to cost a lot of to put right after you've bought).
The last of these will tell you what's wrong with the property and what you'll need to do to fix it. The homebuyers' report will only tell some of the things that *might* be wrong with the property, and some suggestions as to what you *might* do to find out what the real problem is. Before deciding which to go for, you should take a good look at the property, inside and out, looking for signs of problems (and for signs of recent repairs). If you're lucky enough to know a good builder, ask him/her to come and have a look at the property with you. If the house is in a development with other similar houses, look at them for signs of problems/recent repairs that might also be found in the one you're interested in.
BTW, your lender *should* have explained these options to you, but I guess that these days they jusy give you a bunch of leaflets to peruse and forms to fill in :-(
HTH Julian
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Julian Fowler
julian (at) bellevue-barn (dot) org (dot) uk
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We got a full survey when we bought our house in 99; it is a 1932 red brick semi. I had is good and bad points, guy said he didn't check the drains because he couldn't locate a man hole; it's in the middle of the frelling drive! When we tried to get buildings insurance a lot of companies refused us because we live in an area with subsidence, supposedly, I live in York so it's not like we are over an old mine or something. Anyway Tesco were the only ones to take us on and we had to send a copy of the survey as is said there was signs of settlement but no signs of subsidence so for a house of this age it was normal.
From what other posters have said surveyors are in a "auto cover arse mode" and will say things to protect themselves from legal action so like any service you pay for, price and quality can be anything. A friend of mine has just had a survey done on a house, a full one, very good and thorough listing about 15K of work that will require doing in the next year. Mine said get a new roof within the next 10 years and that was about it but on the whole I though my surveyor poor quality for the 600 I shelled out.
Cheers
Jonathan
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mode"
Think longer term. A full survey is in fact a kind of insurance policy for the future without recurring premiums. If a surveyor has found that much work then you should be able to negotiate a substantial reduction in the asking price. At least the suggested costs plus 50% as a minimum. This is because the work will inevitably cost more and you will have all the aggravation of getting quotes and putting up with all the mess. In my case the reduction was 40K and the costs were 25K. Well worth while as I got the work done by tradesman I knew and had it done in my choice of materials.
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Jonathan@Home wrote:

Totally OT, but Farscape fan by any chance? :-)
Lee
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To reply use lee.blaver and NTL world com


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1950's
best
of
good
good
Also, from what I've seen of the Full Structural Reports definitions given by surveyors is that it doesn't include a valuation - so you may find you'll still need to pay your 150 or whatever to get them to do the required valuation for the lender. Bizarre I think - but that's what I've found in my experience. The Homebuyer Report does include a valuation in the price though.
D
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I wouldn't go for any survey until you really have your heart set on a property, and I wouldn't plan on doing more than one.

I had a Full Structural Report done on a 1900 house I bought, and a Home Buyers report done on a 10 year old house I bought.
My Full Structural Report didn't include anything which would damage existing furnishings. An example was that "it was not possible to inspect the living room floor because of the fitted carpets, but there is inadiquate sub-floor ventilation". When I did rip up the carpet (which looked fine when I looked round the house, but not when I saw it later with the room empty), I found the floor was rotten and I had to replace the 1/3rd of it which hadn't already been replaced. However, surveyor had covered himself.

I got the building society to suggest a surveyor for a full structural (which wasn't a requirement of the building society), and then the surveyor included a valuation for the BS and there was no additional charge.
For the 10 year old house, the building society got the valuation done without even asking me. When I started arranging for a Home Buyers report, I discovered they already did the valuation, and were surprised anyone would want anything more for a 10 year old property.
--
Andrew Gabriel

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In addition to other comments, it might be worth seeing if you can accompany the surveyor as he does his work. You're paying after all.
We recently had a homebuyers' on a 3 bed 1950s semi and I spent three hours there with the surveyor who turned out to be a really helpful guy. The final paper report is pretty insubstantial, so it was very useful to get some insight into his reasoning and all his off-the-record remarks. I almost feel like I got value for money 8^)
In contrast, the surveyor acting for the buyer of our property was in and out in no time, and appeared pretty cavalier.
Even if you don't go along on the day, take the opportunity to talk with the surveyor by phone after you get the report. You'll find that things in there that look serious and scary are often just simple matters of the surveyor covering himself.
Ben
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Ben Edgington <><
Note that email to snipped-for-privacy@edginet.org is discarded. However,
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For peace of mind you really want the most expensive. However it's money thrown down the drain if the sale doesn't go through.
Several years ago we went to have a chat with the surveyor who was going to do the job for us. We agreed the following which he was very happy to undertake.
Basically we said full survey, and we'd cover the costs of the work. Wasn't terribly expensive. But he wasn't to produce the paperwork until the point in time where we'd exchanged contracts (just enough to satisfy the solicitors at that point in time). And the instruction was that if he found anything serious then he shouldn't proceed without referring to us first.
It's the production of the report that costs the rubles, because basically the surveyor is sticking his neck on the line to say "yep, I checked all this and it has my name against it". You can sue him if he missed something obvious.
With this surveyor our first house fell through due to the usual chain difficulties, but we used him on the next one. In the end we paid for only one "real" survey.
So my advice would be to go and chat with your surveyor and see if you can work out a deal.
Andrew
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Our sols recommended a homebuyers survey on a 130 year old house, as the area is fairly well known. Surveyor noted pointing needing done, leaning chimney etc, and pointed out things which warrants would be required for (source of another thread...)
Leigh

1950's
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