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Not having a survery/home buyers report

(37 Posts)
suzie421 Fri 14-Feb-20 18:47:36

In the process of buying a house that's 12 years old. Have spoke to a few people and say said they wouldn't bother with the survery/home buyer including estate agent as it's still relatively new. I'd never considered not having it until now, but it sounds good to have the extra money and when sister had one on a old house it never picked up any of the many issues she's had. It seems in very good condition and I doubt there's any major issues. Would I be stupid not to have one?

needmorecoffeeandcake Fri 14-Feb-20 18:51:40

I’m wondering the same!

AGreatUsername Fri 14-Feb-20 18:52:05

We bought a 1930s house with no survey. We could see it was in structurally decent condition and were bothered enough to pay out for the survey, especially as FTB when money was super tight after a down valuation that required a higher deposit. If you know what you’re looking at, and are prepared to take a gamble a bit then meh, I would.

AGreatUsername Fri 14-Feb-20 18:52:41


alohamore Fri 14-Feb-20 18:55:06

We didn't. We could easily see from viewing that it had been well maintained. It wasn't super old either. We'd already been looking for close to a year and had plenty of experience by this point looking for cracks, mould etc.

Ilikewinter Fri 14-Feb-20 18:56:55

Our house was 15 years old, we had a standard survey the bank did for the mortgage - i think they just checked it was a house we were buying! - and didnt bother with any other homebuyers reports etc. Lived here 3 years now and the house is still standing.

beachcomber70 Fri 14-Feb-20 19:14:47

I've bought without surveys before. On second viewing I examine the whole property closely with my eyes peeled: absolutely every inch inside and out looking for any signs of concern.

However I do know a lot about the various builds around here, the history of the town and it's areas and roads. Never any mining here for example and I avoid anywhere near a flood plain. Most of my properties have been no more than 20-30 years old. My current place is 66 years old though, and solid as a rock, quality building materials used to build it. 13 properties on and I've never had a problem reselling any.

A friends father who was a chartered surveyor once told her to bother with a survey when she wanted to buy a property. Told her to go around with a fine tooth comb with a reputable builder who would flag up anything of a surveyor does [but with more flowery and language, a lot aimed at damage limitation so you don't sue the firm].

suzie421 Fri 14-Feb-20 21:29:56

Thanks for the replies so far as FTB starting from scratch again the extra money would really come in useful so I'm feeling like we may just not bother, but there's always that doubt in the back of my mind!

M0reGinPlease Fri 14-Feb-20 21:32:13

We didn't either but my DH is a builder and knew what he was looking at.

Have you got a mate or anyone with any basic building knowledge you can take with you for a look around? If not though I wouldn't worry. I think gear days people try to use surveys to knock £ off rather than what they're intended for!

DesperateElf Fri 14-Feb-20 21:37:13

Watching with interest.

squiglet111 Fri 14-Feb-20 21:56:32

We didn't. The property is 20 years old and looks in good condition. Did request the survey that the bank did for the mortgage. It's a basic survey, but that was good enough for us.

suzie421 Fri 14-Feb-20 22:54:21

@m0reginplease I took my dad to the second viewing who knows what to look for and quite experienced within this sort of thing and and he picked out 2 minor things that could easily be fixed but maybe I should go view a third time with him? He is a perfectionist though but I would totally trust his judgement.

Ginfordinner Fri 14-Feb-20 23:05:27

Your mortgage lender might insist on one.

Fairenuff Fri 14-Feb-20 23:09:11

The mortgage survey is completely different to your own survey.

The mortgage survey is just to satisfy the lenders that they can loan the money.

I would always get an independent survey. This means that you will be covered by their insurance if something comes to light that they missed.

Fools rush in and all that...

Mummyeyes Fri 14-Feb-20 23:09:32

The surveyor told me there was no point. After buying the place that we knew was in a right state we had structural engineer and electrician comment that a visit from them might have got money off the price. A survey does not include electrical checks. The electrician said he would not have charged us - it's been £4k work and he thought the house had the funniest wiring he'd ever seen. The structural engineer gave her advice free also when she had stopped laughing .

It is hard to say though - you seem to be talking about a fairly standard house. Ours is unique, to put it kindly.

Happygirl79 Fri 14-Feb-20 23:12:21

Most mortgage lenders WILL insist on a homebuyers report. If you are buying with cash it's entirely up to you BUT as a cash buyer I paid for a survey as its such a big investment.
My surveyor missed an obvious damp issue in the property
I recalled him and challenged him
He wriggled and wriggled but when I told him I would sue him to get recourse he changed his mind very quickly and paid for the work to be done at his own expense
Do you really want to take the risk of an expensive repair which will cost far more than the cost of a survey?

minniemoll Fri 14-Feb-20 23:19:49

I didn't have a survey on my current house - I was a cash buyer, so no one to insist on one. I knew I wanted to to work though, so I brought my builder round to check what I wanted to do was feasible, and he also gave it the once over for obvious problems but couldn't see any. The house has been here for at least 100 years though (some bits may date back about 400 years) and it's still standing, so that was good enough for me.

My buyers also didn't have a survey, they said that they were buying a second hand house and would deal with anything that came up (1950s house).

I did find the survey I had on the house I was selling which I'd had when I moved in, there were all sorts of dire warnings on it which hadn't given me any trouble at all in the 16 years I'd lived there. Make of that what you will...

Jada1234 Sat 15-Feb-20 00:21:54

Never buy a house without a survey it's one of the biggest purchase you will ever make. You wouldn't buy a second hand car without having it looked at, so your home is far more expensive and important.

Moomin12345 Sat 15-Feb-20 08:29:09

Don't bother, most surveyors are just a notch less useless than estate agents, put mostly obvious information in there ("the house is old") accompanies by lots of caveats.

Treacletoots Sat 15-Feb-20 08:41:00

Most lenders don't insist on a homebuyers report! They can't insist on anything other than the basic valuation to check it's worth what they're lending on it.

Agree with what Gin says, most people now only use reports to try and negotiate off the asking price. Given that most houses are priced with their current condition in mind and not everyone can sell a house in perfect condition, all you tend to do is piss off the seller and the sale falls through.

Surveys are also very dramatic and can be scarier than necessary which tends to be surveyors covering their arse. Also, often if the surveyor isn't qualified to comment on more structural issues they can often suggest there may be an issue, and you should get it checked out, when in fact there is not an issue, they're just not qualified to comment (this exact scenario happened to us)

A 12 year old house should be absolutely fine. Just check for signs of flooding and obvious damp but you should be fine. (for context we bought a 200 year old cottage with a very big list of red flags which we fixed all of them easily and quickly, so not the big deal it appeared on paper)

feesh Sat 15-Feb-20 08:46:57

We didn’t for our latest purchase last year. As far as I could tell, the surveys now are so completely full of disclaimers that I couldn’t see the point. The house was only 5 years old and I have an extremely practical husband who can spot things after a very thorough second viewing. We have owned it for a few months now and no issues have become apparent.

Ginfordinner Sat 15-Feb-20 09:19:06

Most lenders don't insist on a homebuyers report! They can't insist on anything other than the basic valuation to check it's worth what they're lending on it.

The mortgage lender for purchaser of my late MIL's house has insisted on a structural survey before they will lend him the money. He has already had a mortgage survey and elemental survey, but they weren''t good enough. It is a 1950s bungalow.

Surveys are also very dramatic and can be scarier than necessary which tends to be surveyors covering their arse.

That's true. The guy doing the elemental survey told us that.

Mildura Sat 15-Feb-20 09:30:57

Most mortgage lenders WILL insist on a homebuyers report

No they don't!

It's incredibly rare for the lender to want anything more detailed than a valuation, which doesn't do much more than confirm the house actually exists!

alwayscrashinginthesamecar1 Sat 15-Feb-20 09:40:59

I just bought a 15 year old house and got a survey, it cost $500 AUD. The report was extremely thorough and pointed out a few minor issues, a dodgy garage door opener, out of date smoke alarms, and a broken patio door lock, and an issue with the built in dishwasher. The vendor replaced the lot, must have cost her at least $1500. So it was worth every cent.

squee123 Sat 15-Feb-20 09:51:11

Personally I think surveys are worth it, but I always make sure to review dample reports for the surveyor before instructing them as the quality can really vary. I go for a building survey rather than a homebuyers as they are more detailed, and make sure that the surveyor includes an estimation of the cost of the works. I'd actually be even more inclined to have it done on a relatively new property given the number that have problems due to poor build quality.

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