Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

    • bigstevex
    • By bigstevex 6th Aug 18, 2:16 AM
    • 837Posts
    • 380Thanks
    To House Survey Or Not To House Survey
    • #1
    • 6th Aug 18, 2:16 AM
    To House Survey Or Not To House Survey 6th Aug 18 at 2:16 AM
    We're buying a house that was built in approx 1996 (4 bed detached). Since then it's had a loft conversion with all building regs sign off/certs available. All the windows were replaced 10 years ago with cert available. All electrics were updated 12 months ago, new consumer unit and lighting throughout the house with cert. New boiler ten years ago again with cert. All bathrooms and kitchen were replaced within last 5-10 years. Given the useless nature of a homebuyer report for any comeback and the fact a full building one is excessive for the age of the property, we're tempted to just go with the mortgage valuation survey..... Are we crazy?
    Last edited by bigstevex; 06-08-2018 at 2:18 AM.
Page 1
    • G_M
    • By G_M 6th Aug 18, 4:59 AM
    • 46,972 Posts
    • 57,111 Thanks
    • #2
    • 6th Aug 18, 4:59 AM
    • #2
    • 6th Aug 18, 4:59 AM
    No, not crazy.

    In your position I'd do a 'survey' myself. Chances are anything serious you'd spot. Take a checklist.

    Start outside at the top (with binoculars to inspect roof-ridge, tiles, any flashing, gutters etc) and work down.

    Then same thing inside (start in attic and work down), ticking off each item.

    On the other hand, if you may still be wise to have a basic Home-buyer's done if

    * you feel incapable of adequately inspecting
    * you are a risk-averse type of person
    * you want the reassurance of a profesionally-backed report
    • fezster
    • By fezster 6th Aug 18, 7:39 AM
    • 301 Posts
    • 183 Thanks
    • #3
    • 6th Aug 18, 7:39 AM
    • #3
    • 6th Aug 18, 7:39 AM
    IME, homebuyer surveys are full of so many caveats (saying things like - instruct a "proper" engineer to look at x, y and z, because we've only had a cursory look ourselves), to make it almost useless. They usually won't even move furniture to look at things properly.

    They would (probably) pick up the most serious of structural issues. If you are confident of spotting these yourself, or have a trusted builder to do this for you, I'd choose that over one.

    The mortgage valuation survey could also pick these up. However, in some cases, these surveys are done as drive-by's, where the surveyor does not even enter the property. Maybe worth asking the mortgage company what kind of surveyor they will instruct, as this may be sufficient for you.
    • Margot123
    • By Margot123 6th Aug 18, 8:38 AM
    • 1,089 Posts
    • 1,125 Thanks
    • #4
    • 6th Aug 18, 8:38 AM
    • #4
    • 6th Aug 18, 8:38 AM
    Most surveys I've seen tend to use the words 'unable to access' and 'assumed' rather too frequently.
    • bigstevex
    • By bigstevex 6th Aug 18, 10:54 AM
    • 837 Posts
    • 380 Thanks
    • #5
    • 6th Aug 18, 10:54 AM
    • #5
    • 6th Aug 18, 10:54 AM
    This is my concern that the report is so full of caveats that it almost becomes useless and would just forewarn us of any future bills which we'd rather just put the 500 towards instead of the report. We spent ~90 minutes there on our last visit and went round everything, it's not been recently decorated so no suspicious cracks etc have been painted over internally either. My day job is rail construction/engineering so I'd like to think I would have spotted anything seriously wrong having an engineering mind.

    We'll see what the mortgage co comes up with and go from there I guess.
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 6th Aug 18, 11:50 AM
    • 5,526 Posts
    • 8,469 Thanks
    • #6
    • 6th Aug 18, 11:50 AM
    • #6
    • 6th Aug 18, 11:50 AM
    We bought a house built around 13 years before and had a structural survey just to check that nothing serious had moved.
    • 3card
    • By 3card 6th Aug 18, 12:17 PM
    • 192 Posts
    • 86 Thanks
    • #7
    • 6th Aug 18, 12:17 PM
    • #7
    • 6th Aug 18, 12:17 PM
    Just over 12 months ago we were looking to buy an older house and for peice of mind i decided to pay for an indepth survey.

    When I got the results it pointed out a few obvious things i had already noticed and then went on to say that the electric & gas should be checked out by a competent person.

    After trying to renegotiate we walked away from this purchase.

    I then found another property and this time i did my own 'survey' and proceeded to purchase the property

    Whether or not to have a survey must be something you feel happy with
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

2,853Posts Today

6,546Users online

Martin's Twitter