Which survey?

Hi,
As I mentioned in another thread, we have agreed to buy this house (we're actually swapping houses!) - http://www.rightmove.co.uk/viewdetails-7794108.rsp?pa_n=1&tr_t=buy

We have just instructed our solicitors to go ahead with the conveyancing process.

I'm just trying to think ahead (first time I've personally bought a house and OH doesn't remember much from when he bought this place!) - I know we'll need a survey done, but I don't know if we'd need a homebuyers report or a full structural survey.

The owner has been there over 20 years so obviously no previous survey has been made on the property for that time.

Main points -

- The roof looks old, not sure if it's been repointed but I would be inclined to say it hasn't. However repointing has been done at the bottom of the house.
- House is at the top of an incline (you can see on the pic, and virtual tour, view the garden) - the garden slopes down, and there is a beck right at the bottom past the boundary. FWIW, the July floods only came up to the gravel at the bottom, so that doesn't worry me - and the owner says she's never claimed on house insurance (and I believe her) but is there an increased chance of subsidence/anything else due to it being near water and on a hill etc? There is a cellar in the house which, as you can see by the pics, takes advantage of the incline IYSWIM... not sure whether this poses more of a structural 'threat' or not?
- What else should I be looking at to decide between homebuyers report and full structural survey?

I don't want to skimp on money but at the same time, I don't want to pay out for something which isn't necessarily needed?

Thanks very much for any advice.
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Replies

  • NoctuNoctu Forumite
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    I know it's a boring question guys but please help a newbie out :D
  • NoctuNoctu Forumite
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    Anyone? :)
  • BiggieBiggie Forumite
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    i'll have an attempt.....

    I would fo for a homebuyers survey based on the age of the house.

    homebuyers will pick up any problems still but won't go into as much detail.

    Building surveys are more suited to older house (more then 50yrs) where the surveyor has a detailed look at damp, roof, sofits etc etc

    I could be wrong but the survor would be struggling to populate a huge detailed report for this house.

    I don't think there is a massive difference betwen the reports in terms of what they pick up it's just that building surveys will go into more details in general or if you request to go into more detail in specfic areas.
  • A lifestyle choice.

    Would you buy a £13k car without a thorough independent report?
  • KashaKasha Forumite
    64 Posts
    In your position I would pay for a full homebuyers survey. My daughter just did, it cost her £475 but it was the best £475 she ever spent. It raised lots of issues on the house she was buying , she then went on to have a timber & damp report and structural survey. She has now pulled out of the sale, shes lost over £1000 but its better than losing £122,000 on a house falling to pieces. I wish you luck...We are finding the whole buying thing a mine field when you don't know what your doing like us...but...we have learn already get every survey going and DONT TRUST ANYONE!


    GOOD LUCK
  • KellsBellsKellsBells Forumite
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    I was under the impression that it is up to your mortgage lender - surely they choose what type of report they want to satisfy them to lend the money. I thought Survey is to prove to the bank that the property provides adequate security should the borrower default and they need to repossess, and a homebuyers was purley to satisfy the buyer if they want further investigation.
    I could be wrong, but that's the way it was explained to me....
    Official DFW Nerd Club - Member no. 414.....Proud to be dealing with with my debt!
  • KellsBells wrote: »
    I was under the impression that it is up to your mortgage lender - surely they choose what type of report they want to satisfy them to lend the money. I thought Survey is to prove to the bank that the property provides adequate security should the borrower default and they need to repossess, and a homebuyers was purley to satisfy the buyer if they want further investigation.
    I could be wrong, but that's the way it was explained to me....

    It's up to the buyer, not the bank.

    The valuation is what the bank or building society need and this costs the least. All buyers have to have this, at least, if they are borrowing against the property. This simply tells them how much the property is worth and whether it provides adequate security for the loan. It says little or nothing about the condition of the house. On the last house we sold the valuer did the report without even coming inside.

    The Homebuyer's Report is a step up from this and provides a relatively basic report on the house and the structure. It should pick up any obvious faults, but isn't a detailed survey. It also provides the valuation for the bank.

    A full structural survey costs the most. As the name implies the survey goes into the house in detail and should pick up any problems and provide a reasonable estimate as to the cost of putting any problems right. This too provides a valuation for the bank.

    The full survey does cost quite a lot, but as someone said very sensibly earlier, it is only a small fraction of the purchase price in most cases, less than half a percent on the houses we have viewed recently. I guess house buying is always when we are stretched the most financially, but it is incredible that people are prepared to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on a house that they may have only seen for around an hour or so without any professional advice.

    It's money well spent, if only for piece of mind if no problems are found.
  • GamblerGambler Forumite
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    Just wondering the same myself as for the house we are currently in we only had the mortgage valuation carried ut by the lender as the house was only a few years old with the remainder of the NHBC warranty.

    We are now moving to an end terrace for £250K and am wondering which report to go for. The current vendor had a full structural survey carried out only 18 months ago and the property hasd been totally rennovated to a very high standard. It's a stone cottage so i'm guessing it's well over 100 years old.

    The local council wne tround to inspect it last week to make sure all the rennovation has taken place as per the building regulations etc. They gave it a clean bill of health with one minor detail in that the smoke detector on the ground floor had to be moved slightly.

    Any idea the difference in price between a homebuyers and a full survey? I will be telephoning for qoutes tomorrow.
  • misfiremisfire Forumite
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    Sorry just skip read the above ones - so sorry if i duplicateWe got the cheapest with the mortgage (homebuyers??) BUT THEN we instructed our own surveyor to do a top wack one... the top wack one with our mortgage was £900 and we would have had no choice who did it. Our own one was (if i remember rightly) about £400 even with the cost of the homebuyers one it worked out much cheaper. We couldnt afford not to have the full survey as we really pushed ourselves buying this place (too much so as it turns out but thats another story) so we couldnt have any unforseen events occur. We only did this on the recommendation of a friend (and no she wasnt related to our surveyor we got him independently of her recommendation). We found this a really good option.
    Debt free May 2016 (without the support of MSE forum users that would never have been possible - thank you all)
  • GamblerGambler Forumite
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    Have spoken to 2 different surveyors and they have both recommended a homebuyers report would be sufficent and that a full structural survey would not be necessary, especially with all the rennnovation that has taken place.

    Quotes were £350 + vat and £400 + vat.
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