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Not to get a building survey done on new house.

37 replies

ItsPeanutButterJelly · 11/12/2019 10:23

We are buying a nearly new home. Built a couple of years ago. Still has years left on the new build guarantee thing. We'll be the second owners. Moving from an old house with loads of little niggles - nothing that isn't standard for an old property.

I want to get a basic building survey done for my own piece of mind but OH says we shouldn't bother.

We are pushing ourselves to the edge financially because we are frittering a lot of money away at the moment and don't want to move again (until kids move out, etc) so every £100 counts.

I am, by nature, a worrier and "just in case" type where OH is into being "lean" and all about only doing things where they'll add value. He is NOT a worrier and deals with things when they come up. I am having counselling to help me with worrying/checking/panicking etc.

I worry if there are issues I'll resent him/kick myself if they could have been picked up in a survey. Im aware though that surveys are a fairly broad brush stroke with lots of caveats which can make them useless. He feels most things would be covered by the new home warranty and we should just read that and make sure the obvious things are covered.

I am completely torn. Any angles, perspectives, experiences welcome!

OP posts:
LIZS · 11/12/2019 10:26

If you need a mortgage you have to have a valuation survey as minimum.

Hellofromtheotherside2020 · 11/12/2019 10:29

Do you need a mortgage on the property?

MindyStClaire · 11/12/2019 10:37

YANBU. A lot of newer properties were thrown up in the boom. I'm aware of an apartment block near me making a claim through NHBC. It was accepted years ago that NHBC would pay to correct the damage of the roof not being properly attached, but work is still yet to start. It's a very slow process and not one you want to find yourself going through.

BikeRunSki · 11/12/2019 10:38

Hell yeh I’d get one, especially on a new house.

SilverySurfer · 11/12/2019 10:45

There's no way I would buy a property without having a survey done, regardless of the age of the property.

sotired2 · 11/12/2019 10:48

the mortgage one is not a survey it is a valuation so the bank can make sure its worth the % of the mortgage you are applying for. It will not go into any detail - surveyor will be in property 30 mins max a survey which tells you if anything wrong with property depending on size will be at least 1/2 a day if not a full day.

randomsabreuse · 11/12/2019 11:21

With a high percentage mortgage on a property in warranty I'd tend to go with just the valuation survey. Smaller mortgage/older (or extended) house and I'd be more cautious.

Mortgage valuer is protecting the bank - is the asset worth enough to cover the mortgage even in a forced sale... so big mortgage the market valuation would have to be more or less the purchase price. 50% mortgage not so much...

CaptainButtock · 11/12/2019 11:27

I would be MUCH more inclined to get one on a ‘new’ house. So many horror stories.

TheTrollFairy · 11/12/2019 11:33

We didn’t get one done but we knew we were buying a shit hole (it was a good price)
I would definitely get one on a new build. One of the ones around me have had pretty bad roofing issues plus others (which I can’t remember)
New builds are only as good as the builders and if the builders or investors have run out of money then they do sometimes cut corners

thecalmorchid · 11/12/2019 11:43

Yes yes and yes, it's worth the money.

New builds often have long snagging lists and as a new build cannot be surveyed this might be its first survey.

A good time to find out exactly what is going on and negotiate a lower price if needs be.

movingdilemma1234 · 11/12/2019 11:56

I've bought five houses. I had valuations on the first four and only a survey on the last as had no mortgage so no valuation. All my houses have been victorian or older and I've never had a single issue that wouldn't have been expected for the age of the house. When I buy this time I'll not be having survey done unless I find a good dooer upper.
My last survey described the cottage and scribed what couldn't be seen properly! Advised things like a electricity check! It cost about 500-600 and was a total waste of money

MatildaTheCat · 11/12/2019 12:00

So many new builds have so many serious issues. I’d be very wary of just assuming that as it’s new and ‘under warranty’ there’s no need for a survey.

squee123 · 11/12/2019 12:13

I would definitely get one on a new build. I know several people who have had no end of bother with new builds and have ended up having taking the builder to court. Also one that couldn't be bothered so sold it to a couple that didn't bother with a survey so were unaware of the fact there were over 100 documented problems. The NHBC's guarantees often aren't worth the paper they are written on as they are very biased in favour of the builders.

hazell42 · 11/12/2019 12:30

Personally I would never buy a new house, but if i did I would definitely get a survey done
It's the biggest purchase you are likely o make and not all builders are reputable
You get much more house for your money with an older house, though I know that is largely a matter if preference
Would he buy a car on trust?

LightsInOtherPeoplesHouses · 11/12/2019 12:32

I would definitely get one. Would never buy a house without one regardless of the age of the house. If it's terrible it gives you the opportunity to walk away, if not so terrible you at least know there as an issue that needs addressing. Some things the longer you leave the more damage is caused and even if the fix is free, the disruption caused is worth considering.

AJPTaylor · 11/12/2019 12:42

Tbh unless you are going to have a full structural survey I am with your husband. We paid for the next one down on last house and there was nothing we couldn't have seen for ourselves. House is 15 years old.

DappledThings · 11/12/2019 12:44

I would be MUCH more inclined to get one on a ‘new’ house. So many horror stories.

Me too.

Spoonie22 · 11/12/2019 14:14

FFS stories like this give me the rage.


We weren’t going to have one on the basis a very well known ‘upper class’ Hmm selling agent advertised a property as a brand new home.

Detached, in its own grounds of an acre, purchase price of almost a million blah de blah....absolutely no reason to think we would NEED one.

For some nagging reason, at the very last minute we decided it would be safer to pay £800+vat and have one than risk the unknown.

Bloody hell, are we thankful for that. The report came back and the surveyors first words were “In 30 years of this line of work, never before have I advised someone to not purchase a property. This is the first time”.

In short, the surveyor for the first time ever had chosen NOT to flush the toilets. None of them (there were 7) Due to the cesspit being blocked by the developers materials (it was private drainage) the land was one flush away from being flooded by sewage.

The garage already had been flooded and showed evidence of this.

The only way of accessing the rear garden to empty the pit was by asking the neighbour!!!

None of the windows closed securely.

I could go on & on but you get the gist.

Please don’t let him be a fool.

ItsPeanutButterJelly · 12/12/2019 06:08

Thanks for all the replies. To clarify a few things:

  • mortgage valuation is obviously a separate process and not one we're taking into account

  • it's not brand new - a couple of years old so typical "snagging" less of an issue. It's likely to throw up more fundamental, hidden issues I guess

  • it's a new build but a reputable builder and the development has won awards for design and quality (sorry if this is drip feeding - it doesn't affect my feeling about needing one but illustrating it's not a crappy, red box style development). We have always said no new way we'd buy a build but these are lovely

  • it's a brownfield site with no major contamination issues etc. I work in planning so so have looked into a lot of the site docs already

    Some horror stories on here so this is all stuff I can speak to him about - thanks.

    His strong feeling is still likely to be that surveys dont give concrete evidence 99% of the time but at least we'll know if there are alarm bells. Forewarned is forearmed and all that
OP posts:
ItsPeanutButterJelly · 12/12/2019 06:10

And we will be increasing a current mortgage to buy it

OP posts:
Thismummyruns · 12/12/2019 06:12

I live in a brand new house. Get the survey done.

Bluntness100 · 12/12/2019 06:12

I didn't think you could buy a house without a basic survey if you wanted a mortgage, and you needed to close off current mortgage and take a new one when it was on a different property? Confused

ItsPeanutButterJelly · 12/12/2019 06:13

Forgot to add - I want to get either a Condition Report as a minimum or ideally a Homebuyers Survey

OP posts:
ItsPeanutButterJelly · 12/12/2019 06:15


The mortgage lender to a valuation - purely on value of property, not a survey on condition. I want the basic survey done.

And we will be porting our existing mortgage (made sure we had a deal which allowed this when we renegotiated) and then topping it up with a new deal

OP posts:
squee123 · 12/12/2019 07:07

personally I would always go g for a building survey not just a condition report or Homebuyers'. There isn't that much difference in cost and it gives a lot more detail

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