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  • FIRST POST
    • ultimatedingbat
    • By ultimatedingbat 8th Oct 16, 10:28 PM
    • 737Posts
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    ultimatedingbat
    Homebuyers Report / Survey
    • #1
    • 8th Oct 16, 10:28 PM
    Homebuyers Report / Survey 8th Oct 16 at 10:28 PM
    Are they worth having done? We've been quotes £430 for it but we;re not quite sure what it is tbh.
Page 1
    • G_M
    • By G_M 9th Oct 16, 12:32 AM
    • 37,068 Posts
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    G_M
    • #2
    • 9th Oct 16, 12:32 AM
    • #2
    • 9th Oct 16, 12:32 AM
    http://www.rics.org/uk/knowledge/consumer-guides/home-surveys/
    • NicNicP
    • By NicNicP 9th Oct 16, 1:01 AM
    • 157 Posts
    • 81 Thanks
    NicNicP
    • #3
    • 9th Oct 16, 1:01 AM
    • #3
    • 9th Oct 16, 1:01 AM
    Definitely have it done. It may seem like a waste of money (and the results may also make you feel like you've wasted your money) but the surveyor could potentially notice something that could cost you much more than the price of your survey. I'm not sure what your purchase price is but the survey cost will no doubt be a low percentage and worth the money in the long run.
    • ultimatedingbat
    • By ultimatedingbat 9th Oct 16, 9:50 AM
    • 737 Posts
    • 202 Thanks
    ultimatedingbat
    • #4
    • 9th Oct 16, 9:50 AM
    • #4
    • 9th Oct 16, 9:50 AM
    Thanks that link was really helpful.
    We were trying to work out what problems a survey could highlight overall.
    • amateur house
    • By amateur house 9th Oct 16, 10:08 AM
    • 77 Posts
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    amateur house
    • #5
    • 9th Oct 16, 10:08 AM
    • #5
    • 9th Oct 16, 10:08 AM
    I got my mortgage from HSBC and they included a basic valuation free, with the option of paying extra to have either a homebuyers report or full survey done at the same time. I went for the homebuyers report. I received both reports and the valuation was just 2 pages long with 2 paragraphs stating the work that needed doing before they would release a retention, and what they thought the property was worth.

    The homebuyers report was several pages, and reported on the condition of all areas of the house - roof, walls, floors etc, and used a traffic light system to indicate where things were good (green) or needed immediate repairs or investigation (red). I thought it was worth the extra £162, but the cost varies according to the price of the house you are buying so might cost more (or less) for your house.
    • ultimatedingbat
    • By ultimatedingbat 9th Oct 16, 10:12 AM
    • 737 Posts
    • 202 Thanks
    ultimatedingbat
    • #6
    • 9th Oct 16, 10:12 AM
    • #6
    • 9th Oct 16, 10:12 AM
    We can't add it onto our mortgage unfortunately. They did the basic valuation but that's all they'll do. The home buyers would be paid for seperatley
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 9th Oct 16, 10:26 AM
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    Davesnave
    • #7
    • 9th Oct 16, 10:26 AM
    • #7
    • 9th Oct 16, 10:26 AM
    Those who ask this question are probably best having a survey of that type, provided that the house is relatively modern: i.e. post war.

    The next step is then not panicking when the report comes back.....
    'Only the mediocre are always at their best.' Jean Giraudoux
    • ultimatedingbat
    • By ultimatedingbat 9th Oct 16, 10:27 AM
    • 737 Posts
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    ultimatedingbat
    • #8
    • 9th Oct 16, 10:27 AM
    • #8
    • 9th Oct 16, 10:27 AM
    It's a victorian terrace we're buying
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 9th Oct 16, 10:48 AM
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    Davesnave
    • #9
    • 9th Oct 16, 10:48 AM
    • #9
    • 9th Oct 16, 10:48 AM
    It's a victorian terrace we're buying
    Originally posted by ultimatedingbat
    Then I'd say the full survey might be more appropriate, bearing in mind that it will still be limited to what the surveyor can see and how thorough he/she is.

    My daughter had one done on hers two years ago, as I didn't feel competent to judge in the light of the house having some 'previous.' I was impressed with the level of detail, but apparently they're not all as good as that.
    'Only the mediocre are always at their best.' Jean Giraudoux
    • Hoploz
    • By Hoploz 9th Oct 16, 11:03 AM
    • 3,056 Posts
    • 2,705 Thanks
    Hoploz
    If you have a little knowledge about common issues and solutions then it's possible to survey the property yourself and make a judgement.

    However, if you know diddly squat then a survey might be useful in flagging things up. But bear in mind that surveyors often fill their reports with a good deal of generalised statements such as stating that the electrics do not meet current standards (no house except a new build would, as standards change frequently) and stating that there may be evidence of damp so a specialist damp and timber report is recommended. There are many comments which are designed to cover the surveyor's behind. For example, they will say that they could not inspect the floor joists due to carpet, and they won't move furniture (e.g. nice big sideboard hiding damp wall) I've even heard of them saying they couldn't inspect the roof void as the loft hatch was inaccessible, or they couldn't access the back garden as the door was locked, so therefore they couldn't see the crack in the back wall or the big hole in roof tiles!

    It's a matter of judging what is serious and what isn't, based on what he has reported. It can be useful to speak to them after they've been, so they can say over the phone what they really think without all the waffle.

    In my view a full building survey is the one which is useful. A homebuyers survey is a tick box system and less informative. But do shop around for a good price as they can vary a great deal. For example, my friend got a quote from a surveyor recommended by the estate agent of £2000. Then she had another quote of about £500. There is an online portal where you can get quotes instantly and choose from a list who to instruct.
    • DaftyDuck
    • By DaftyDuck 9th Oct 16, 11:07 AM
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    DaftyDuck
    If you shop around widely, you'll often find there is little price difference between a homebuyers a d structural. It's also worth talking to surveyors in person, as one who knows those houses in that area would be invaluable. If he's found rotten roof trusses in one, and failed lintels in another, he's going to be on the lookout for those specific failings.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 9th Oct 16, 1:24 PM
    • 10,892 Posts
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    I had no choice but to do a Homebuyers Survey on my first house. I did have the choice for my current house - but chose to have one (and not just because I'd accurately summed up what the vendor was like...).

    It's worth it imo. My surveyor of first house was useless in the event (though that was in the 1980s - and things may have moved on since then). But my 2nd surveyor did clarify that the house was worth what I had agreed to pay for it and made a useful point of something I needed to get sorted out by the vendor before I went ahead with purchasing it.

    Right at this moment - there is a thread on this page by someone that bought a house recently without a survey and come to realise since that the vendors lied by omission to him - as the house has turned out to be non-standard construction. Agh on two counts - one of them being that he overpaid in the region of £10k-£20k for it (as he paid the same as he would have paid for a "standard" one - because he thought it was a standard one). I expect a surveyor would have spotted that fact - I know mine commented on current property having cavity wall insulation (ie one of the signs that it is standard construction).

    I know it's money "wasted" in effect - but you might land up wasting a good bit more if the house turned out to have had particularly major defects hidden by the vendor.
    The unexamined life is not worth living.
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 9th Oct 16, 2:05 PM
    • 942 Posts
    • 1,138 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    If you are buying an older house you need to have a survey to show up what might need repairing in the near future. If you are having trouble affording to pay for a survey then house ownership is not something you should be considering as you do not have enough savings for any emergency repairs that might be needed. Owning a home is expensive. Older homes tend to need more repairs than newer ones.

    I am always surprised when people are prepare to spend many £1000s buying something they they don't really know anything about. Surveys show up things that many people would not notice or think to look for. It is always a good idea to know what you are buying.
    • phoebe1989seb
    • By phoebe1989seb 9th Oct 16, 2:28 PM
    • 2,924 Posts
    • 6,079 Thanks
    phoebe1989seb
    We haven't bothered to have a survey on the last three houses we've purchased, but - even though these were older (Tudor, Georgian & Victorian) - we consider ourselves relatively able to identify issues having renovated a few period properties with our own fair hands

    However, if I were a FTB or someone inexperienced/one that doesn't know what to look out for, I would definitely be getting one done.

    Imho - and I speak from personal experience - I don't think Homebuyer's Reports are worth the paper they are printed on and as such I'd go for a Building Survey, especially on a Victorian house.

    Previous buyers of ours had a Homebuyer's Report on the Tudor house we had restored. The surveyor actually made copious errors, not least stating that the house dated from the 1930s
    Paid off mortgage early - mortgage-free since age 40 (2007)

    Over £40,000 mis-sold PPI reclaimed
    • dsdhall
    • By dsdhall 9th Oct 16, 3:12 PM
    • 59 Posts
    • 52 Thanks
    dsdhall
    you get what you pay for with a survey. I chose a 'cheap' surveyor for my current property based on his online reviews rather than going with the more expensive FRICS surveyor (who'd been in the business 40 years) we'd use previously. I suspect the reviews were mostly from people who had no idea what to expect and were just delighted to get a big thick report back.

    The fact that he incorrectly assumed that the house had no cavity wall did make me rather wonder what else he'd got wrong. That he also said at least one of the manhole covers was too covered with undergrowth to remove was also a surprise given that I'd lifted them all up a week previously on a visit to the property.

    He did catch the subsidence, but even I had noticed that. The other thing that should have set off alarm bells is that I specifically asked him to address a number of points which he failed to do so in his report.

    Despite all that, I'd never buy an older property without some sort of survey, but I would certainly choose a surveyor who has more experience over one that has less. As someone else said, anyone with good local knowledge is ideal.

    Finally, if watching Sarah Beeny's 'Help! my house is falling down' has taught me nothing else, it's that once you get a survey make sure you read it and action anything urgent that it says needs attention!
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 9th Oct 16, 3:17 PM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    I've often wondered if there is a book out there on the market of a laypersons guide to surveying a house. A sort of Readers Digest type book of things to look out for, followed by list of things that might mean and a rough figure as to how much time/money would need to be spent to put things right.

    I certainly looked for one come the time I bought current house and couldnt find one for love nor money.

    Someone somewhere must have written one surely? Or are surveyors and the like such a "closed shop" that they soon have their colleagues doing their darndest to make sure they don't write one like it?

    It would be very helpful to many of us to do our own personal survey and would ensure we don't pay to send in surveyors for things the book could have told us (ie because we changed our mind about buying the house for instance). Thus we'd be much less likely to send in surveyors for a house we could have spotted wasnt worth buying anyway imo.
    The unexamined life is not worth living.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 9th Oct 16, 5:19 PM
    • 3,872 Posts
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    davidmcn
    Surveyors have told me that a full building survey is over the top for most cases - it's still going to be caveated with all the things they couldn't see (assuming sellers generally aren't willing to move furniture / carpets / allow holes to be made in floors/walls etc) and only useful if you need to know more about the structure (e.g. because you're planning major alterations). And will still give you a list of other specialists they recommend you get in to check the electrics/gas/timber/roof etc.
    • Ithaca
    • By Ithaca 9th Oct 16, 5:38 PM
    • 126 Posts
    • 113 Thanks
    Ithaca
    Our surveyor offered us a homebuyers to start with, on the basis that he'd seen 100s of similar houses so knew what he was likely to find. But he said that if he found something that raised a greater concern than normal we could "upgrade" to a full structural survey and only pay the difference in price, even if it needed another visit.

    Bear in mind also that a survey can be a useful objective benchmark against which to negotiate the price... i.e. if there is work needed on the roof or the electrics some sellers may be more willing to agree a price reduction if it's backed up by an "independent" report (even though you're the one paying for it).
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 9th Oct 16, 7:24 PM
    • 20,823 Posts
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    Davesnave
    I've often wondered if there is a book out there on the market of a laypersons guide to surveying a house....
    Someone somewhere must have written one surely? Or are surveyors and the like such a "closed shop" that they soon have their colleagues doing their darndest to make sure they don't write one like it?.
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    Yes, someone has had a go at writing a self-survey book, but it only has one review omn Amazon, and that's not exactly glowing with praise.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Self-Survey-Secrets-Dennis-Coote-ebook/dp/B006OLO02S

    There is nothing very complex about the construction of most houses, so an experienced builder will often be as good as anyone to give a house a careful going-over. I use trades people in the family as back-up.
    'Only the mediocre are always at their best.' Jean Giraudoux
    • ultimatedingbat
    • By ultimatedingbat 9th Oct 16, 8:52 PM
    • 737 Posts
    • 202 Thanks
    ultimatedingbat
    Can't really afford a full survey - It's £850
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