Full structural survey - any advice?

(15 Posts)
mistlethrush Mon 05-Aug-13 22:38:25

Of course, on a 1.5m house there are going to be more things to look at - and potentially larger things to claim on.

I would be asking the surveyor to give an indication as to the age of the electrics - and if over 10 yrs, I would be getting a separate survey that covered this, asking what was necessary to bring it up to current standards.

Re local problems - perhaps see if there are any larger planning appicadtions nearby where a certain issue is brought up as being a problem?

Mandy21 Mon 05-Aug-13 22:37:04

It depends - we went through the initial stages of a 1900s property that was a do-er upper and were advised that a full structural survey would be a waste of money - it would simply identify that specialist reports were required for damp / electrics / structural engineer. We therefore got a basic valuation, and spent money on the specialist reports so we knew exactly what costs we'd have to pay out.

Mandy21 Mon 05-Aug-13 22:36:37

It depends - we went through the initial stages of a 1900s property that was a do-er upper and were advised that a full structural survey would be a waste of money - it would simply identify that specialist reports were required for damp / electrics / structural engineer. We therefore got a basic valuation, and spent money on the specialist reports so we knew exactly what costs we'd have to pay out.

Poosnu Mon 05-Aug-13 22:08:39

Terrys - that's a good point about insurance. I will ask about the level of cover offered.

I assumed that the cost was partly tied to value from a risk perspective - conveyancing costs are often charged on a scale fee based on value due to the risk incurred by the firm if mistakes are made.

TerrysNo2 Mon 05-Aug-13 21:57:35

Maybe if your house is 3 times as big as ours (for that price I hope so grin) then that could justify the price but I wonder if its a case of, "if you can afford £1.5m on a house then you can afford £2k on a survey" which is just wrong.

Alternatively it could be because they need an increased level of PI cover - I would make sure the level they offer is higher than the value of the house, otherwise its not going to cover any serious mistakes

Misty9 Mon 05-Aug-13 21:52:10

Yep, all surveyors will report level 3 (most serious) on the heating and electrics simply because they're not qualified to comment. In our case, it was rewired and new boiler not long ago, so we'll get checks when we move in for our own purposes. If it looks like really old wiring and/or the boiler is ancient and not regularly serviced, I'd either build this into your offer or request to go halves on checks with the vendor. Some will.

Poosnu Mon 05-Aug-13 21:48:29

Mistlethrush - thanks for this list, which is really useful. Do you know where we could start with this type of research?

The surveyor doesn't cover heating or electric systems and advised that this is standard with RICS surveyors - they are not qualified to advise on this. Is this accurate?

Poosnu Mon 05-Aug-13 21:41:40

Thanks Misty. I have had a quick look at that website and it is helpful. We are fairly realistic (I hope) in accepting that an older property might well need some work.

That's a useful tip from your friend - I'll mention this to the surveyor, so he'll hopefully comment on when we might need to look at doing work on various aspects of the property. We wouldn't really know where to start with that.

mistlethrush Mon 05-Aug-13 21:39:10

I would do a bit of research on what might be the issues in the area for properties of a similar age... what are foundations, given the ground conditions; Make sure you require information on dry rot, wet rot, insect infestations / damage, damp, subsidence, electrics, state of the sash windows... Ask him to list a set of advised works at the end of the report.

Misty9 Mon 05-Aug-13 21:33:28

Actually I remember our surveyor asked the cost of our house before quoting - so that will be why yours is more then (envious, moi?!)

It came back with quite a lot of stuff highlighted, but nothing major. I'd decide in advance what your 'red flags' are (for renegotiation purposes) but don't be too put off by it. As my friend put it, it's a useful guide as to what you might do to the house once you've bought it!

Poosnu Mon 05-Aug-13 21:28:55

We got two separate quotes from recommended surveyors and both came out the same. We are happy that the price is reasonable based on the value (upwards of £1.5m in the south east) and size of the house.

Aside from the cost, is there anything that we should be aware of?

Terrys, Misty - I am of the same opinion in terms of peace of mind (although I had to convince DH who is more relaxed). I'll look at that website - thanks.

Karron - we have a RICS registered surveyor. Do you think it would be better to have a structural engineer?

karron Mon 05-Aug-13 21:00:21

Is it by a structural engineer rather than a surveyor? Otherwise it seems a lot, even if it is a structural engineer it seems a bit steep

Misty9 Mon 05-Aug-13 20:46:43

£2k!!! We paid £480 incl vat for ours, in Norwich (property worth £258k). We're glad we got full survey done, for peace of mind more than anything else.

Did you get three quotes? Best to do that IMO. The website reallymoving dotcom was helpful as a starting point we found.

TerrysNo2 Mon 05-Aug-13 20:38:51

£2k is ridiculous, we had one done recently and it cost £625 including VAT. Have you had a few quotes?

I think if you are buying such an old house you'd be crazy not to get a full structural. But thats just my opinion.

Poosnu Mon 05-Aug-13 20:36:00

I'm just wondering if anyone can share their experiences of obtaining a full structural survey?

We are buying a period house (c1900 Queen Anne style) for a fairly substantial sum and are having an independent survey done next week.

Has anyone had a full structural survey done but regretted it due to the number of caveats? Is there anything specific we need to ask the surveyor to comment on?

We just obtained a homebuyers survey for our last property. However, neither of us are at all practical or know anything about buildings so we feel in this case we should get a comprehensive report.

The surveyor has quoted £2k plus VAT for the structural survey, which I assume is partly based on the value of the property.

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