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A survey on surveys

(13 Posts)
AMinorBird Thu 30-Oct-14 10:01:36

When buying your last home (assuming yours is neither a new build nor a flat), did you get your own survey and was it a homebuyers or full building survey or just a valuation report?

bilbodog Thu 30-Oct-14 10:19:56

we had a home buyers report done on our current house as we knew it needed a lot doing to it and this report helped us see what needed doing. I did have a full structural report done on one house a number of years ago but decided this was a waste of time as they dont even look under fitted carpet and just recommend you getting builders, plumbers, damp experts in etc. and you can do that anyway without incurring costs. If its not an old house a valuation report is probably good enough.

AMinorBird Thu 30-Oct-14 10:26:18

Yes, I feel that a full structural survey will probably be so full of caveats as to be useless (and terrifying).

Cantremembermyid Thu 30-Oct-14 14:41:00

victorian terrace
had full structural done
total and utter waste of money.

I could have done it better than them and would have made a nice 1000£ to the side.

it basically said that the house was still standing and for all the other stuff they referred to tradesmen (electrician, gas engineer etc)

HortenMarket Thu 30-Oct-14 15:24:52

Homebuyers for a Victorian house. Full structural a waste of time and money IMHO.

As a thought, we had an abortive sale on the house we were selling, so 2 sets of full building surveys were done. They both came out with wildly different results. One found a significant problem with the roof and damp and the other didn't. House, by the way, was perfectly fine and no damp (but don't get me started on that nugget)!

NotCitrus Thu 30-Oct-14 15:30:29

Full structural on a Victorian house that needed it. Chap spent over 7 hours in the house and gave us a really useful document (check this feature for X every September - if you see any XYZ, contact someone registered with this trade association). We discussed it with him and were told the two points to get checked - everything else was "will cost in the future but not critical now".
We did claim on the damp-proofing guarantee.

TooMuchRain Thu 30-Oct-14 16:11:38

We had a full structural but it's not actually as thorough as we thought. The guy took ages and it was very detailed but they are not allowed to do essential stuff like drilling holes so probably wouldn't bother next time. Think we would just go for a specialist survey if we had doubts about any specific aspect.

CheeseBadger Thu 30-Oct-14 16:41:44

We had an HBR on our Victorian terrace. Do try to avoid eSurv if at all possible. They passed information to our lender that the lender should not have had access to. It all turned very stressful, including the (quite expensive) treat of having to get a very confused chartered structural engineer to explain to the original surveyor that he was obviously hallucinating. As a PP said, I could have done a much better job myself.

eSurv ended up refusing any contact with us on the grounds that they "worked for the lender", despite the fact that it was us who'd instructed and paid them. Steer clear of them if you can, and good luck!

AMinorBird Thu 30-Oct-14 20:31:03

This is all great, thanks, and confirms my suspicions about the usefulness of a full structural, particularly in our case where it's a Victorian terrace which appears, to my untrained eye, in good condition.

Greencheese Thu 30-Oct-14 20:36:01

Victorian terrace, full structural, flagged up a few things, managed to negotiate 10k off. Worth every penny. Don't trust your untrained eye, for the sake of £250 on such a huge purchase I wouldn't risk it personally.

Chapeausalesman Sun 02-Nov-14 17:08:50

Sorry to hijack the thread slightly, but I'm thinking of putting in an offer on a victorian end of terrace that needs A LOT of work - what sort of survey should I go for do you think? There are obvious issues on first viewing, damp around ceiling, a lot of cracks at joins of ceiling/walls, no central heating etc. I don't mind paying for a full structural survey, but not if it's not going to tell me much, as some posters seem to feel. I've only ever bought properties in reasonably good nick before, never done a renovation and really don't want to be buying a money pit!

wonkylegs Sun 02-Nov-14 17:14:49

We had a homebuyers mainly to reiterate what I'd already seen and to use as a bargaining tool with the vendors. I'm an architect so had picked up everything the survey had when we looked round but it's hard to use my observations to bargain with it's better to have an 'independent' opinion.
Since we have completely renovated the house we have found a few minor surprises but nothing too unexpected.

wonkylegs Sun 02-Nov-14 17:24:39

I'm always sceptical of full surveys after my parents experience. They bought a house, got a full structural survey that said that the house was in great nick apart from a few cosmetic issues and that it would need a new roof.
A few months after my parents moved in it became clear this was not the case. Upon investigation it was found the house had serious subsidence (turned out to have no foundations so was sliding down the hill) and the only thing in the house that didn't have a problem was the roof (he'd recommended replacement because he'd never seen a cedar shingle roof before!).
The surveyors (big national firm) fought my parents tooth and nail and refused to accept their survey was wrong. In the end my parents took it to court and only won because a junior on the surveyors legal team cocked up and sent an internal memo saying they were at fault but must stick to the company line and not accept any liability. It cost my parents a lot of money to take them to court and they only got partial costs back (my parents local solicitor was no match for the surveyors big London firm) - the whole thing took many many years to resolve and even though the house is now fixed my parents resent the place for how much stress it caused the family.

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