We are buying (well, in the process) an old house that we're aware needs a LOAD of work doing. My Dad is a builder and so we're aware of issues such as serious damp/ chimney stack etc etc.
I'm aware there are three types of survey, roughly as follows:
1- about £100 (or free) basically they just check if they could get their money back should you not pay your mortgage.
2- about £500- traffic light system flagging up areas you may want to have looked at further.
3- about £1000- detailed survey in which they are accountable for anything missed.
I'm confidant that my dad can basically give us the equivilant of survey 2 with his experience. So now, we can't decide if we should go for survey 1 or 3. Part of me thinks just go for survey 1 (and instead pay a famliy friend who works in damp proofing to give us honest assessment of works and same with electrician we know through a friend) and save ourselves the money, but the worrier in me thinks maybe because the house is so old and has so many obvious issues to pay for the more extensive survey to weed out anything we've missed?
Because we're buying a 'do-er up-er', every penny counts, so your thoughts/ experiences would be greatly appreciated.
I would be very careful about a combined survey amd mortage valuation. The valuers are under extreme pressure to get things done quickly. You should get the free valuation and then a survey from an independent building surveyor. This will be far better value for money even if slightly more expensive as the surveyor specialises in reporting the condition. Go to a small prcctice that doesn't have a large valuation service. Your solicitor will probably be able to recommend one.
We were in very similar position to you when we bought our house 7 years ago. DH knew enough for us to be happy with just his knowledge so we went for option 1 only.
Not regretted it. IMO option 2 a total con and if you did want a structural survey, I would go independent as previous poster says. However as your Dad is a builder I would expect him to have enough experience to spot most potential issues. I would only pay for an additional survey if you have v specific structural concerns.
It comes across as though you feel you should spend the money on survey 3, but are trying to convince yourself that you don't need to. imo it's a no brainer - definitely survey 3 for a really old house and for the biggest investment of your life. you've mentioned the damp & the chimney. what about roof, timber condition, subsidence etc... does relying on friends and family for this have potential to cause tension in the future if they get it wrong? have you already negotiated significantly on the price for these thing, or would the survey give the opportunity to move further?
Oops I disagree, surveys widely differ and some are not always that correct, a lot of the time they are covering their own backs and can confuse vendors. I would get a mortgage survey and good builder to come and look at the house with you.