Basic valuation vs Homebuyers report vs full structural survey?(16 Posts)
We have had an offer accepted on a house and have an agreement in principle for a mortgage from Nationwide. The house is about 15 years old and is detached.
Nationwide are asking if we want a basic valuation (cost £385), a homebuyer report (cost £695) or a full structural survey (no cost given). We were planning to ask an independent surveyor for a 'full survey' but looking at his website this seems to be a homebuyer report.
Not sure what to do. Are Homebuyer reports organised by the mortgage company usually OK or is it just an attempt to get money from us? We need to pay the £385 valuation regardless even if we get an independent survey. Not sure what to do as we have no clue hoe all this works....
Most people tend to go for the Homebuyers report. Full structural is usually only recommended for much older properties.
£695 sounds expensive though. We commissioned a Homebuyers report recently, and I'm pretty sure we paid around half as much.
Agree, get quotes and organise your own if you want a homebuyers survey.
We've only ever bothered with the basic valuation that's needed for mortgage approval. This obviously depends on your attitude to risk, but we felt the sample surveys we saw were so vague and hedged their bets so much, that it wasn't information worth paying for.
agree it seems expensive.
we went for just a valuation with the house we just bought. dd is risk averse but it was new - 25yr old - so relative and looked sound. since we've been here we've had gas and electric checks done ourselves.
Thanks for the advice. I've clarified with mortgage broker and the £695 includes the mandatory £385 valuation fee. Quotes I'm getting from independent surveyors around £400 (plus £80 VAT) with the £385 on top of that. So bizarrely looking like Nationwide is cheaper
We paid about £436 for a Homebuyers Report (including valuation survey) through our mortgage lender (RBS) so yours does sound expensive. Not sure how to get around that though sorry!
If we hadn't got a homebuyers survey, we wouldn't have realised that there was no planning permission/building regs in place for an extension that had been put up.
Long story how we got that from the survey, and arguably the solicitor should have found out through other means ... But it saved us from buying a house that was potentially dangerous.
Current house is 12 years old... We still got the Homebuyers. We'd never buy without it.
Think we paid about £600 for homebuyers inc valuation. Depends on size of house.
We have just had a homebuyers on the property we are buying but it is quite old although I would still get one regardless as for the sake of a few hundred pounds it could save you potentially thousands in the future. Ours came back that everything was ok but still worth it for piece of mind and to be made aware of less serious things that need to be dealt with in due course to prevent them getting any worse.
Our mortgage came with an incentive of a free valuation so we only paid an extra £270 for the Homebuyers so on that basis yours seems about right.
In the process of buying a ground floor flat in London, however there is a communal drying line right outside the bedroom window which appears to be used and compounds the light into the flat. Any suggestions on how to get this removed and what constitutes my rights. I am looking to do a boundary survey would this be sufficient.
Personally I wouldn't bother with anything but a bog standard mortgage val on a 15 year old house but I have an idea of what I'm looking for with regard to defects.
With regard to building regs for conservatories, etc these are things your conveyance should be asking anyway.
What did you end up doing? We are also with Nationwide and they charged us £300 to apply for the mortgage which apparently 'includes the valuation'. Wondering if that means they will write up a report which we then get a copy of, or if that is simply an administration cost (ie a rip-off!), and therefore do we bother with another survey that will be around £500 (can't really afford that). The house has been rented for the last 6 or 7 yrs at least so we know it will have had regular gas/electricity/carbon monoxide checks and possibly drains (anybody know what checks landlords have to have done yearly?). It's a very similar age house to the one we're moving out of so we know the possible issues (condensation, lack of ventilation, bit of damp on north-facing walls), and tbh they haven't given us that much grief in the 8 yrs we've been here.
It just seems like a licence to print money to me, esp as lots of people seem to think they don't tell you anything concrete.
I would not recommend a homebuyers report from your valuers. The ones I've seen are not clear or easy to read. And why would they be? The work comes to the surveyor via their panel appointment with the Nationwide and they have no need for word of mouth recommendations from you. I see a lot of these as part of my day job.
I do think a survey is important. I like a full survey myself when I buy a house but I am super risk averse. I suggest you ask around people who have moved recently for recommendations, or ask your solicitors.
I would go for the bog standard mortgage valuation first and then commission my own more detailed survey if necessary. That way you will not complicate any mortgage offer.
Homebuyers reports generally ask for an electrical inspection a heating engineers report and a damp and timber report.
You should ensure any extensions or alterations have planning permissions and relevant building regs certs in place. Building control at the council are always helpful and your can ask to see the planning file at the council.
Estate agents work on the basis that the more money you spend the less likely you are to pull out.
One of the unlucky few who got a bog standard valuation (was not warned) just told what each product did, missold I would say. Turns out the house was a lemon with so many issues, ruined my family and we dud not have the 15-20k to fix it up rewire. Boiler. Timbers rotten, wet rot, condensation, mould, freezing cold and glazing was shot. ...major life lesson learned
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