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Valuations & Survey costs

(26 Posts)
Honey1975 Wed 19-Apr-17 19:02:16

Halifax have informed us that the cost for a basic valuation will be £500 and a higher level 2 survey around £950.
This is higher than we'd expected so just wondered what other people had paid.

The property we're buying is a mid 60's property, solid build & in good condition so we're thinking just a normal survey will be ok. However we are plannng to do some alterations to the property which we'll need a builder for so would it be better to go for a more detailed survey?

donkey86 Wed 19-Apr-17 19:06:24

We're paying £630 for a homebuyer's report (the middle level of survey) next week. That's for a three bed Victorian terrace. We got a couple of other quotations that were slightly higher. We also had quotes for a full structural survey that came out around £800-900 which we decided was unnecessary.

If the £500 is just for a valuation and not a homebuyer's, that sounds very high.

Honey1975 Wed 19-Apr-17 19:13:48

Thanks Donkey, I thought it was high. Do we have to take the Halifax's valuation or can we arrange our own (cheaper) one? Is the homebuyers report something you arranged yourself?

Maggy74653 Wed 19-Apr-17 19:28:17

Ours was £700 for TSB to do the valuation and homebuyers report. It does seem really high what they are charging you!

Maggy74653 Wed 19-Apr-17 19:28:54

I might be wrong but I think you have to do the banks valuation in order to get the mortgage.

SusannahD Wed 19-Apr-17 19:30:40

Nationwide did a free valuation and a £200 for a homebuyers survey. Wonder if it depends on the value of the house...

Honey1975 Wed 19-Apr-17 19:31:07

Yes I think you're probably right Maggy. What is the homebuyers report? Maybe that's incuded in the Halifax price, will ask tomorrow.

Maggy74653 Wed 19-Apr-17 19:36:31

The homebuyers report is like the middle version. Where they look at things but won't go into depth. So they will look at the condition of the roof with some binoculars and recommend if they think there is anything obvious that needs doing, but they won't go up there and do a detailed check. They also won't move anything to check. So there could be a massive hole in the floor and if the seller put something over it they wouldn't move it to look.

The very basic valuation just looks at anything hugely obvious like evidence of subsidence etc. When our buyer had one done on the house we were selling the guy was there for 10 mins maximum and just briefly looked in every room.

The full structural one looks at everything in a lot more detail. That can involve drilling into walls etc.

(As far as I know the cost doesn't change depending on the value of the house. Some companies are just way more expensive than others I think.)

Maggy74653 Wed 19-Apr-17 19:37:37

If the £500 included a homebuyers report that would be very reasonable.

Honey1975 Wed 19-Apr-17 19:45:53

Hi Maggy I've just checked their website and the £500 is just for basic valuation and the level 1 which is the middle one is about £900!!

I wonder if we'll be ok with just the basic. Do most people go for this unless you're buying maybe a very old or unusual house?

sunnysouthend Wed 19-Apr-17 19:57:04

I've just had a full structural survey, including rebuild valuation for insurance, on a 4 bed mid 60s semi in the SE for £673 inc VAT. It is a national firm and the survey report is thorough - I would recommend and can PM details if of interest (if you don't have to use theirs)

sunnysouthend Wed 19-Apr-17 19:58:18

Personally I'd never buy without a full survey. Why scrimp on potentially finding out costly issues to the biggest and most life altering purchase you will ever make?

MrsPacMan Wed 19-Apr-17 20:03:45

We're getting a homebuyers report for no added cost with Santander. Their rate was a smidge higher, but the most competitive rate was charging us £900 for a survey so it made more sense to go for the extra £3 a month on the mortgage.

I wouldn't go with the valuation survey as it's just to determine the property is suitable to lend on, I'd definitely go with at least a homebuyers, the cost of finding a problem after exchange could be crazy in comparison to a couple of hundred now

Maggy74653 Wed 19-Apr-17 20:04:24

The first time we bought we got the homebuyers report and actually did nothing with the advice in it, apart from test the gas appliances, which was fairly obvious anyway.

The second time when we sold our first house we also got a homebuyers report done for the one we were buying and it highlighted various things like the wood outside the windows needed painting and the boiler was old and may need to be replaced in 5 years or so, but to be fair everything was obvious when we looked around the house ourselves. Unfortunately this purchase fell through because our buyer pulled out for the sale of our house so we ended up £700 out of pocket for nothing.

When we found a new house and buyer we actually just went for the basic valuation with the bank on the advice of our mortgage broker. He said if there is anything massively obviously wrong with the house then the basic valuation should spot it because the bank will want to make sure they can get their money back. He also said it is really easy for a seller to hide things from a homebuyers report survey because problems can be painted over and things hidden etc. Plus we had already lost £700 from the first house we tried to buy. We did arrange a second viewing of the house and went around looking at everything very carefully to make sure. So far we haven't encountered any major problems but I guess there is always that risk.

Honey1975 Wed 19-Apr-17 20:07:33

Thanks all, yes I am inclined to agree as I'm a very cautious person and would probably only worry if I didn't have the full survey. Just seems overly priced though with Halifax.

Sunnysouthend yes please could you pm me the details for the one you used.

Maggy74653 Wed 19-Apr-17 20:08:02

Just to add from friends experience I know one couple who didn't get anything beyond the basic survey and had no major issues with the house and another couple who also only had the basic survey but then had a lot of issues. Like leaks in kitchens and damp. However when they viewed the house this was all hidden so I'm not sure it would have been picked up on a homebuyers survey anyway.

Maggy74653 Wed 19-Apr-17 20:09:34

Is it worth getting a mortgage with a different provider who offer a better survey price?

Honey1975 Wed 19-Apr-17 20:10:06

Thanks Maggy. I think as others have said if we're spending this much on a house what's a few more hundred pounds for some peace of mind.

user1471530109 Wed 19-Apr-17 20:13:49

Personally, I think hb report is worthless. When I last sold,the woman doing it was in the house 10mins max. She also listed things completely wrong! She said it was opposite a sub station. It wasn't! It was a water pump (rural). After that I vowed never to waste my money again.

BrianWong Wed 19-Apr-17 20:42:15

The problem with the full structural (in my limited experience) is that they arse cover so heavily it's useless anyway. We had to use specified companies our mortgagors approved of (choice of 3).

I would go for a homebuyers and then get detailed reports on, say, the roof and the electrics/ damp. Then you get estimates of how much work needs doing (if any) and can use it to negotiate the price down if necessary.

user1471530109 Wed 19-Apr-17 21:52:04

But the hb report isn't worth the paper it's written on!

OP I am the most over the top person you could meet in terms of risk and not taking any.
Ive just had an offer accepted on a 60s semi today. I'll be taking a friend who happens to be a builder/plumber to the next viewing to see if any issues stand out.
If you had seen this woman doing this hb report in my previous house you'd be shocked. When I bought it up with my mortgage provider at the time they agreed.
If I was buying an older property I would get a full structural survey done.

You will get a pack from the hb report that will state things like....roof may need replacing, boiler may need replacing, etc etc. You are quite capable (or take someone with you with more knowledge) of seeing this yourself. As a PP said. There could be a great big hole in the floor. If a rug covers it, the hb report wouldn't pick up on it.

can you tell I feel strongly about this grin

CakeThat Wed 19-Apr-17 22:07:09

You can get a homebuyers report from any surveyor directly. If you book through the bank they will charge more and take a cut. Best to call a few surveyors for a price and try and get them to knock off a few extra £.

user1489844432 Thu 20-Apr-17 08:45:51

£0 for Valuation with Santander. Really goods news as I lost first house due to vendor changing their mind and second as it was down-valued, so now I am on house no 3! Would lot a bit of money if had to pay for the other two surveys.

£550 for structural survey, 3 bed semi in SE London. Arranged separately. Also just a clarification structural survey is non-invasive, so no drilling or lifting floors/carpets involved. I think someone before said it could be expected, definitely not.

sunnysouthend Thu 20-Apr-17 09:24:52

Yes my structural survey (both recent and when I bought my current place) did not drill or anything, but was v clear about what needed doing and in what timescales. It also took damp readings around the property and detailed look at roof inside and out. They arse cover so that you are unlikely to be able to sue if they miss something, but if you have no proper surgery then you are far more likely to miss something costly or even catastrophic. And still have no one to sue about it.

sunnysouthend Thu 20-Apr-17 09:25:32

Survey - not surgery hmm

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