Would you have a survey done on a dilapidated old house?

(31 Posts)
Popsy321 Mon 11-Jan-21 21:54:24

I'm buying a derelict cottage. It's a project. Needs everything doing. New roof etc. Alternatively, it has planning for a replacement dwelling. Risk of flooding etc is all documented in the plannjng docs. Is there actually any point in having one done? Just looking for a bit of guidance.

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Aquamarine1029 Mon 11-Jan-21 21:56:12

I think I would have one done to know the full extent as to what I'm in for.

FTEngineerM Mon 11-Jan-21 21:57:43

I think generally the surveys are for someone qualified, not invested in the property to evaluate it for you and maybe highlight things you’ve missed.

If it’s a bomb site there’ll be not much point. IMO.

BoffinMum Mon 11-Jan-21 21:58:52

I've done up a few wrecks and surveys helped me save money as less needed doing than I thought.

titchy Mon 11-Jan-21 21:59:19

Surely it depends if you're going to refurb or demolish. If you're not sure then a survey might make the decision clearer.

AnathemaPulsifer Mon 11-Jan-21 22:00:08

No point if you’re planning on a replacement dwelling, but if you’re in it for the refurb best to check the walls are sound.

Bluntness100 Mon 11-Jan-21 22:02:47

If you’re doing it uo then get it done, if you’re knocking it down don’t.

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MyGazeboisLeaking Mon 11-Jan-21 22:03:05

I would.

Structural defects, check foundations, proximity of utilities, presence of asbestos, etc.

Always important to know exactly what you're getting into.

Almostslimjim Mon 11-Jan-21 22:26:33

No. If it's truly a wreck then you'll need to redo everything a survey will look at any way.

If you intend to renovated rather than demolish, I'd have a structural engineer or very good builder look at the foundations but beyond that I wouldn't see the point.

Mackerelpizza Mon 11-Jan-21 22:29:38

How are you going to decide whether to refurbish or demolish?

Elouera Mon 11-Jan-21 22:37:22

We've recently bought a derelict property and didn't get a survey. In a previous property, there were so many clauses, that it seemed pointless. Things like 'unable to access the loft', 'unable to access side of house due to overgrown brambles', 'unable to access or view ......' We did have our experienced builder look over everything though. We knew we'd be doing everything- from new roof, complete rewire, new plumbing, heating etc etc . Maybe if you dont have a trusted builder, a survey might be useful.

As a side note, was the house empty over 2yrs? If in the Uk, there is an empty homes scheme to help bring back derelict homes. Contact the council once purchased and they will check their records of how long it was empty. They give you a letter you can provide to contractors and for supplies when doing the house up. Empty over 10yrs, you pay 0% VAT on such goods. If empty over 2yrs, but less than 10, you pay 5% VAT on goods. So far, we have used it to get the 5% VAT on asbestos removal, drains, electrics etc, but it covers all manner of things and it all adds up.

pissoffwhydontyou Mon 11-Jan-21 22:54:23

I buy wrecks and do them up , don't usually have a survey as everything will be examined and worked on or rebuilt as we go, working with a structural engineer for much of it serves just as good - probably better as he will know the work intentions
I do have through searches though as per usual

Honeyroar Mon 11-Jan-21 22:56:48

Do you need one for a mortgage (I doubt it!). If you know it needs practically everything done and it’s old I’d not bother. Just realise that it will be a money pit, but hopefully worth it.

Almostslimjim Mon 11-Jan-21 23:13:09

Honeyroar the bank will require a valuation survey but will do that themselves.

Popsy321 Mon 11-Jan-21 23:27:42

Honeyroar

Do you need one for a mortgage (I doubt it!). If you know it needs practically everything done and it’s old I’d not bother. Just realise that it will be a money pit, but hopefully worth it.

No, no mortgage.

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Popsy321 Mon 11-Jan-21 23:29:01

FTEngineerM

I think generally the surveys are for someone qualified, not invested in the property to evaluate it for you and maybe highlight things you’ve missed.

If it’s a bomb site there’ll be not much point. IMO.

It is a bombsite. It's 4 walls and a roof basically and nothing else.

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Popsy321 Mon 11-Jan-21 23:32:35

Mackerelpizza

How are you going to decide whether to refurbish or demolish?

Finances basically! For a period of time, I need to decide whether to get rid of the rats, make it vaguely secure and camp out in it or......get a caravan on site and just demolish it straight away. I have very little money once I've bought It, so I haven't got the luxury of getting started straight away.

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Popsy321 Mon 11-Jan-21 23:33:52

pissoffwhydontyou

I buy wrecks and do them up , don't usually have a survey as everything will be examined and worked on or rebuilt as we go, working with a structural engineer for much of it serves just as good - probably better as he will know the work intentions
I do have through searches though as per usual

It has planning permission in place, so lots of assessments already done, for things like flood risks etc.

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SarahAndQuack Mon 11-Jan-21 23:46:43

No, no point if you have planning permission and plan to rebuild. Why would you?

We had a survey done on a house we want to buy recently. It's not derelict, but in bad repair. The sorts of things that come up are that the bricks are eroded past the point of replacement on one wall (so you need a new wall), or the chimney has started leaking damp down into the main structure so it's causing damage. Or there are more minor things, like rotting floorboards/windows that are still good for a while, but which you'd need to know about because they will eventually give out.

There would be no point knowing all of that if you're just going to knock it down - it's really a document about the state of the house as is. And the details that don't relate to the building they're looking at (eg., them talking about flood risk) are all publicly accessible.

Popsy321 Tue 12-Jan-21 08:44:33

Does everyone/anyone think I'm utterly barking mad? I'm throwing away the most comfortable of lives and a beautiful home to go and live in a derelict wreck with no power/kitchen/bathroom that I can't afford to do up. However, it's in the most stunning of locations and where I want to be for the next 20 years off my life and its exciting, rather than safe and predictable. My relationship is hanging on by a thread anyway and I have friends where I'm moving to. I have this naive view that I can set up camp there using camping type equipment but the reality is probably going to be fairly grim. People live like that all over the world though and survive perfectly well. 😑

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SarahAndQuack Tue 12-Jan-21 09:00:05

No, I think it sounds really exciting!

I hope you've got deep pockets/ contingency plans, though. We're contemplating buying a house that's clearly in much better nick than yours, and it's still scaring me ... but, like you, I remind myself that the pay-off would be great if we managed.

I know a few people who've done what you're describing. One family who did end up camping in the garden for much longer than they'd wanted, one who does this as a business thing so is used to it, and also a friend who's currently in the middle of admitting she probably did bite off more than she could chew.

Popsy321 Tue 12-Jan-21 09:12:26

I have no contingency 😑 I am however fit and healthy and a reasonable diy-er, used to manual labour. I'm not bothered about the tv or other creature comforts (apart from my phone 😁). I can wash clothes at the laundrette, shower at the gym and I don't get cold or like hot food!! The location is simply heavenly too.

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harknesswitch Tue 12-Jan-21 09:18:51

I'd have a full survey done, there's a big difference in ££'s between replacing a roof, windows, damp, electrics, plumbing etc to there being something structural or subsidence etc.

harknesswitch Tue 12-Jan-21 09:26:13

Just to give you an idea, I've been looking at a similar house, the chap who lived in it hasn't done anything to it for at least 50 years. The house itself is about 150 yrs old

I worked out I'd need about 70k to spend on it, and that's before I've put a lick of paint on it.

I'd be replacing
Roof - just batons, felt and a few tiles
Windows
Heating
Electrics
Kitchen
Bathroom
Fitting an en-suite
Damp course

I'd probably also need to replace some of the upstairs ceilings, due to roof leakage, and some of the plaster downstairs as it's got rising damp.

If it needed structural work then it would run to 100s of 1000s

lastqueenofscotland Tue 12-Jan-21 09:36:32

I wouldn’t bother with a home buyers on a wreck. But I would get a structural.

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