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Full structural survey or homebuyers report?

(22 Posts)
miggles33 Thu 24-Nov-16 14:27:32

I am buying a mid terrace Victorian house. I have no experience of buying houses or any building/ damp knowledge or know anyone in the trade. Would you advise a full structural survey or homebuyers report? Just to say we are unable to negotiate on price so this report will be for information only. What is your experience of surveys when buying a house?

flownthecoopkiwi Thu 24-Nov-16 14:36:17

Went for no survey in house we are about to move from, full survey on house we wanted to buy and no survey on place we are buying.

The house we got the survey on was a complete disaster but it didn't show up in the survey report.

We spotted an issue with current house and got an expert in to give us a diagnosis and quote.

You need to be honest with yourself about your ability to spot issues or pay for repairs if issues arise.

flownthecoopkiwi Thu 24-Nov-16 14:37:04

In short in your case, go full structural!!

readingrainbow Thu 24-Nov-16 14:47:12

We went for the full report - cost about £400 I think - but he was very thorough and pointed out issues we needed to sort before winter hit. It was worth it, considering this was the biggest purchase of our lives!

miggles33 Thu 24-Nov-16 14:49:04

We don't have any ability to spot issues other then if it was really obvious I.e. damp or a leak. We also don't have funds to repair other than very minor work.

readingrainbow Thu 24-Nov-16 14:54:00

But you at least need to know about it, surely? Even if you couldn't handle it until next year for instance - you could get a couple of quotes and start saving in the meantime, whilst putting interim measures in place that are cheaper but short-term.

miggles33 Thu 24-Nov-16 15:10:12

Yes that was what I was thinking. That we need a survey even if it's just to know what were taking on and can make plans. But im not sure whether a structural survey is necessary or is a building survey enough detail for a mid terrace?

anotherBadAvatar Thu 24-Nov-16 15:14:04

Our surveyor recommended full structural for anything older than what we were buying (1930s/1940s) or anything with multiple extensions of different ages.

Why won't you be able to negotiate?

What if it shows subsidence or major structural issues? Would you pull out of the sale?

YelloDraw Thu 24-Nov-16 15:16:19

Full structural + electric

flownthecoopkiwi Thu 24-Nov-16 16:05:34

Surveys won't include an electrics survey or a heating system check so either pay for those independently or try to get the vendor to organize and pay for them!

StillSmallVoice Thu 24-Nov-16 16:11:44

We got the slightly more detailed one (not the full structural) for our 1860s semi, and really regretted it. It didn't spot a serious damp problem and ended up costing £80K to manage. If we had known we'd have walked away from the house.

badaboom Thu 24-Nov-16 16:26:32

Full structural survey. After booking your appointment, you can request to be present during the survey. The one my friend use allows the prospective home owner to be present but to give the surveyor an hour to do his work in peace/quiet. Afterwards, he'll do a quick run through and if you have any concerns during your viewing you can ask questions. But this was an empty home so I'm unsure if it's possible if the home owner/tenant is still living there. Double check if there's cavity wall ties. They had to put in air bricks too.

They also went for an independent damp/timber:

In my friend's case apart from modernizing the Victorian house, immediate money to be spend was on cavity wall ties, gutter repair, air bricks, chimney stack pointing and changing some downpipes. This already costs them about £5k. The roofing work could have been cheaper but they couldn't get anyone round to quote so most likely they had paid more than it should have been they think. Then there's lime re-pointing to be done on all exterior of the house which they aren't looking forward too.

miggles33 Fri 25-Nov-16 20:12:48

So I have had a few quotes from surveyors. One seemed very competent. Another was cheaper. I asked if the competent one could match the price. He agreed and said that I could pay in cash for the survey and therefore not pay vat. He said the survey woukd be the same. Bad idea or fine and save the money?

TerriB84 Fri 25-Nov-16 20:26:51

Definitely full structural based on the age of the property. We had a full survey done on our 1920s semi which picked up that the roof required replacing. Luckily we managed to renegotiate price but if we hadn't we would have had to walk away as we wouldn't have the money to do the work.

PancakesAndMapleSyrup Wed 30-Nov-16 09:36:22

NOOOO, im a ftb (well soon) but i can forsee problems if you dont have a proper invoice etc. He may do the report properly but what comeback would you have if there is a major problem they hadnt spotted? And you have no proof you paid etc

whatsthecomingoverthehill Wed 30-Nov-16 09:54:58

Bad idea in terms of traceability and also bad idea as he has basically asking for your help to defraud the taxman. Some people may argue that it's up to the person you're paying but he's said exactly what he's doing.

glittercat Wed 30-Nov-16 12:23:35

I'd get hold of a decent builder that you can trust, get them to have a look and get a homebuyers. Also an electrician. We recently bought our first house and the builder had already told me everything on the report so I think I would be reluctant to go for a more expensive survey again.

miggles33 Wed 30-Nov-16 16:00:30

Okay I'm getting a hone buyers report and now paying cost +vat so all official. He said that he spends the same time looking at the house for homebuyers and the main difference is the report is less detailed and no photos. He is also looking at electrics and plumbing as much as is possible as a surveyor

miggles33 Wed 30-Nov-16 16:02:11

The house is a Victorian terrace so an older property but there has been no extensions and is the same size and structure as others in the street. So nothing unusual about it and no walls have been taken down since built - so just old!

c3pu Wed 30-Nov-16 16:14:11

Go for the structural one! They'll (hopefully) be better placed to spot any modernisation that has been bodged (damp coursing, rotten joists/wood, badly fitted windows, electrics and plumbing etc).

joystir59 Wed 30-Nov-16 17:51:33

we are buying mid terrace house built 1880s and went for a home buyers survey. It provided lots of useful information on work that needs to be done. We insisted that the surveyor went into the roof for example and he really did investigate everything- the report is very detailed and really helpful. It cost £450. We are moving to North Yorks.

thenewaveragebear1983 Wed 30-Nov-16 19:33:35

We paid for a full homebuyers survey before we bought this house- moved in three weeks ago on Friday. Since we moved in, we've paid out 6k in essential work that wasn't picked up or mentioned on the survey. Electrics (survey highlighted and we had an electrician do a safety check, found upstairs lighting not earthed so have had full lighting rewire in upstairs); chimney/log burner not lined, so are paying out for chimney to be lined, new front door and back door as they are basically hanging off the hinges and letting drafts through/can see light through!) and in the torrential rain last week our flat roof, which survey did say was showing signs of age, Sprung a leak and water was dripping through because it was sealed to the house with plumbing foam. So, survey was informative, but didn't really show us much and we still incurred costs we hadn't planned for. I don't know whether I would recommend a survey or not- I'm glad we had ours, but it wasn't fail safe. There are other surveys you can have done such as timber and damp, or structural, which might be more benefit to you. Why not ring a surveyor and ask their advice and see what they recommend? After all they will know the local properties and will have seen similar to know what would best suit your requirements.

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