Would you buy without a homebuyer survey?

(83 Posts)
Crunchiedelight Sun 18-Oct-20 16:49:36

I’m a ft buyer with my DH and have recently had an offer accepted on our dream house. We are booking the mortgage survey next week, is it necessary to book a homebuyer survey too? DH thinks it’s not necessary at all (he was an ea 13yrs ago for a few yrs) but I’m a bit nervous. The house is about 30yrs old, has been extended and renovated by the current vendors beautifully, they have lived there for 20yrs. It all looks great on the surface to me, is it a waste of time and money?

OP’s posts: |
Viviennemary Sun 18-Oct-20 17:22:54

I would definitely have a survey done. Because people do all sorts of things which aren't obvious. Knock down load bearing walls. Don't get planning permission, alterations don't meet building regulations, Issues with damp. Nice decor can hide a multitude of faults.

IheartNiles Sun 18-Oct-20 17:38:13

It depends how much you know. We don’t as DH trainee as a surveyor (although doesn’t work as one) and I’ve also picked up enough now to feel confident I could spot the obvious. The problem is they are often not conclusive and just indicate further specialist surveys. Basically lots of arse covering by the surveyor.

BlusteryShowers Sun 18-Oct-20 17:45:21

I wouldn't buy without one.

Look at it this way: would you rather spend a couple of hundred pounds on this, or potentially a few thousand pounds fixing something that a survey would have warned you about.

It's the most money you'll probably ever spend so make sure you're putting it in the right place.

Sausagis Sun 18-Oct-20 17:57:13

Yes but shop around and go (reasonably) cheap for a trustworthy property. I worked for a while in mortgages, reading surveys. The expensive ones were on thick embossed paper, made into a book, and went into loads of detail. the cheap ones were on printer paper and often 1 side of A4 - but they covered the important stuff like whether your house was falling down. Price difference could be a grand.

EdwardCullensBiteOnTheSide Sun 18-Oct-20 17:59:38

I know someone who was about to buy a very expensive house and the survey flagged up that the whole extension was not to builders regs and was only single skin, they couldn't tell this from just looking, it turned out to be really unsafe and the house subsequently wasn't worth anything like the value. Definitely get it!

Lurchermom Sun 18-Oct-20 18:06:35

I'd get one. Me and DH are house savvy and we had a builder friend come round to view the house we are buying. I have a RICS accredited degree, but I'm not a surveyor and I haven't used it for years as I work in a different field.
We nearly didn't have a survey on the place we are buying, bit decided to at the last minute as there was one crack we assumed was settlement and not of concern but wanted the legal backing of a survey.

Cracks came back fine, but a dangerous tree to close to the boundary (on the neighbours side) has been picked up and is now a make or break on the house and if the house is even insurable. We didn't even notice it. So yes, I'd get a homebuyers. At 30years old I wouldn't bother with a full structural but I would now always fully recommend a homebuyers just so you go in with your eyes open.


pilates Sun 18-Oct-20 18:19:18

I would want a home buyers survey

ventanaperrito Sun 18-Oct-20 18:23:21

No, you'd be making a big mistake. We live in a tied house so there was no survey and the house has a lot of faults - it needs rewiring so two rooms have no electric light in them which is workable in one since it has plenty of power sockets but the other room has none so I have had a bedroom with no electric light in it for years.

bilbodog Sun 18-Oct-20 18:35:21

Yes get a homebuyers - we didnt on this house and have now got to have the render replaced at over £20,000 - long story!

I wouldnt pay for full structural unless it was very old. If it was obviously a complete renovation job I would go round with my builder.

Mumofwho Sun 18-Oct-20 18:58:54

We almost did not get a buildings survey because the house is 1930s and looks in great condition. It just needs a bit of freshening up. We cancelled the surveyor on Wednesday but then changed our minds and asked him to still go ahead on Friday. He spent ages at the property on Friday and called us with 4 major things we must consider and at the very least negotiate a reduction to deal with the problems. We will get the report this week. I am so relieved that we did.

RippleEffects Sun 18-Oct-20 19:02:17

If you can't show that the house was in a good state of repair at the time of insuring, should subsequent issues be found, your insurance validity may be effected.

Chumleymouse Sun 18-Oct-20 19:44:32

On that house, I wouldn’t bother , the searches will pick up if the extension has been through planning and building control , because it’s only 30 years old, it will have been built with modern building techniques, proper damp proofing , plastic drainage, trussed roof design ?

Just look for any cracks inside or out things like that .
If they have been there for 20 they wouldn’t have wanted to live with any major problems for that long.
If you husband was an ea then he should know what to look for.

I didn’t bother with the house we are in now ( and it’s built half underground in the side of a hill ). Not found anything serious , but we are doing a lot of work to it .

IheartNiles Sun 18-Oct-20 20:21:17

To be honest even if stuff is picked up it’s naive to think there will be price reductions agreed unless something major is found. Appreciate if you don’t have the money to do large jobs or house is presented as ‘done’ you might want to walk.

burnoutbabe Sun 18-Oct-20 20:25:02

I didn't on a purpose built flat (was 15 years old at that stage) as not much you can say about a flat (and wasn't top or ground floor)

KoalaRabbit Sun 18-Oct-20 20:31:07

First flat didn't get one and was fine - no work needed. Second house it pointed out £20k of work and I negiotated a further £10k off so survey was a very good investment - house was a renovation project. This house we didn't bother as loved it so much and they were really reluctant to even take asking price offer and other bidders but £35k of work within first two years. Having said that I don't think we would have got any money off and would still have bought it at same price. But in future would get one.

titchy Sun 18-Oct-20 20:38:00

* If you husband was an ea then he should know what to look for.*

Why? confused Estate agents aren't surveyors. They don't remove carpets and check joists. They don't check render, or lofts, or circuit boards. I fact they have a vested interest in ignoring those things to get the sale to completion!

bilbodog Sun 18-Oct-20 20:39:16

Surveys can also be useful for telling you what to look out for and things that might need doing in the near future. Having said that 2 houses ago we were told the roof would need re-doing at some stage - we lived there for 15 years with the same roof and sold and as far as i know same roof is still in place another 10 years later!

Echobelly Sun 18-Oct-20 20:39:19

Get a survey done - it may seem expensive, but it's cheaper than potentially buying a house that's choc-full of defects! Newer homes are not immune.

oldmotherriley Sun 18-Oct-20 20:40:29

Chumleymouse (above) talks sense. (I've bought four houses, and never paid for a survey on any). Your mortgage surveyor will tell you if they think it is worth what you are paying.

Chumleymouse Sun 18-Oct-20 20:43:11

Do surveyors remove people’s carpets ? The homebuyer survey our last buyers had didn’t . The most he did was unscrew the manhole cover and look inside .

muckandnettles Sun 18-Oct-20 20:45:18

The most useful thing I've ever found with a survey is an off the record type chat with the surveyor over the phone when you can ask them honestly what their opinion is. What they put on paper is often a lot of obvious stuff, but their opinion as an experienced surveyor is worth the price you pay.

Chumleymouse Sun 18-Oct-20 20:54:48

Ha ha , plus are homebuyer surveyors qualified to check circuit boards ????? I think not 😀

Hardbackwriter Sun 18-Oct-20 21:00:36


Chumleymouse (above) talks sense. (I've bought four houses, and never paid for a survey on any). Your mortgage surveyor will tell you if they think it is worth what you are paying.

Mortgage surveyors often don't even enter the property. Our mortgage surveyor on our most recent house purchase did it by Google Streetview... I really wouldn't rely on that!

ShanghaiDiva Sun 18-Oct-20 21:07:07

I would get a survey done. I had a home buyer survey completed which also included a valuation (I didn’t need a mortgage). Report was detailed and informal chat with surveyor after I received the report was also useful.

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