Home purchase - surveyor options

14
Found 28th Sep 2017
Hi, we are in the process of buying a house built around the late 90's and was wondering what surveys to opt for. The house itself seems to be in reasonably good condition . No renovations or extensions done to the original build except a garage conversion (garage is detached from the house). We plan to extend the property after a year or two . The lenders have already done a valuation report and as far as I can see we can go of 1) condition report 2) home buyers report 3)building survey report

Should we opt for a building survey now as we plan to do a extension ? or would we essentially have to fork out for the same again in a couple of years when we actually do the work? Also if someone had opted for it how useful is it and roughly how much does it cost for a 3 bed conventional detached brick house?

Being a relatively new build , I don't see the point of doing any of the other surveys as they are essentially just another eye survey and don't seem to add on anything significant. But maybe I am wrong here. any advises?
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has your lender not specified that a 'house buyers survey' be done or have you not got so far as to choose the lender yet?
Original Poster
paulj481 m ago

has your lender not specified that a 'house buyers survey' be done or have …has your lender not specified that a 'house buyers survey' be done or have you not got so far as to choose the lender yet?


yes, the lenders have already done a valuation report .. that is just the basic survey as far as I understand and I have gone through it - nothing major
blkwhte7 m ago

yes, the lenders have already done a valuation report .. that is just the …yes, the lenders have already done a valuation report .. that is just the basic survey as far as I understand and I have gone through it - nothing major



did you pay for that valuation report then? if so you should have been given the opportunity (by the lender) to upgrade the survey into a house buyers or structural report, it would have been the same surveyor and would have saved money buying a separate one.

I found that the last survey I paid for quite sparse really, surveyor couldn't find the stop tap (even though it was one cupboard along from the sink and the existing owners told him where it was). He wouldn't go up a ladder so the channel on the extension roof wasn't inspected but if he had stuck his head out of the bathroom window he would have had a full view of it. Tried to complain but with the rest of the stress that goes with buying a house I didn't get anywhere with it.
As far as I remember, you have the lender valuation, which states very little. Then you can have something in the middle, which talks more about the condition and structrure. Then the full wack, which includes the structural survey. I tend to go for the middle one
Which gives some information.
blkwhte2 h, 0 m ago

yes, the lenders have already done a valuation report .. that is just the …yes, the lenders have already done a valuation report .. that is just the basic survey as far as I understand and I have gone through it - nothing major



If you don't have to have any other survey for the purpose of the mortgage then I wouldn't bother. If you are compelled to I would always go for the cheapest - any thing else is a waste of money for 90% of buyers.

What value is a supposed detailed report going to give you?
paulj482 h, 20 m ago

has your lender not specified that a 'house buyers survey' be done or have …has your lender not specified that a 'house buyers survey' be done or have you not got so far as to choose the lender yet?



Please read the first paragraph
mutley11 h, 29 m ago

As far as I remember, you have the lender valuation, which states very …As far as I remember, you have the lender valuation, which states very little. Then you can have something in the middle, which talks more about the condition and structrure. Then the full wack, which includes the structural survey. I tend to go for the middle oneWhich gives some information.

Agree with this.
I've found surveys to often be pointless, be thorough and check the house over yourself, get a trusted friend in the trade to look with you and buy them a pint or two as thanks....

The only exception is if it's clear there is possible or recent structural, subsidence, or damp issues that have not been resolved. But be prepared to be put off the purchase due to the report contents when that's the case.

In fact, even if you wanted to do it for peace of mind alone, sometimes the opposite could happen and minor issues will sound far more risky on the report than they actually are (to cover their backs).

And ultimately you've spent 500-2k on a survey when you could have put that towards maintenance costs once living there instead. I bought a house a few years ago which obviously required a lot of work, I calculated before purchasing based on a worst case so no bad surprises.
Edited by: "delusion" 28th Sep 2017
Original Poster
paulj483 h, 27 m ago

did you pay for that valuation report then? if so you should have been …did you pay for that valuation report then? if so you should have been given the opportunity (by the lender) to upgrade the survey into a house buyers or structural report, it would have been the same surveyor and would have saved money buying a separate one.I found that the last survey I paid for quite sparse really, surveyor couldn't find the stop tap (even though it was one cupboard along from the sink and the existing owners told him where it was). He wouldn't go up a ladder so the channel on the extension roof wasn't inspected but if he had stuck his head out of the bathroom window he would have had a full view of it. Tried to complain but with the rest of the stress that goes with buying a house I didn't get anywhere with it.


No, we weren't offered a choice by the lender and I am annoyed that it didn't cross my mind to ask . I suppose we had been stressed out until the mortgage came through so I only started investigating this week on further survey options.

I was present when they carried out a homebuyers survey on our last place and to be honest he didn't do anything major so I don't see much of a point in going for it especially as we have seen this house has not been renovated or had any structural changes done since it was built..
Original Poster
Van19731 h, 39 m ago

If you don't have to have any other survey for the purpose of the mortgage …If you don't have to have any other survey for the purpose of the mortgage then I wouldn't bother. If you are compelled to I would always go for the cheapest - any thing else is a waste of money for 90% of buyers.What value is a supposed detailed report going to give you?


The way I think is that the lender survey has covered the basic bits so if i had to go for something it would be the structural one as it would (I hope) give some insight on the feasibility of extension we plan to make on the house. However , if that's not the case , I don't see the point of going for any survey as u mentioned.
Original Poster
delusion57 m ago

I've found surveys to often be pointless, be thorough and check the house …I've found surveys to often be pointless, be thorough and check the house over yourself, get a trusted friend in the trade to look with you and buy them a pint or two as thanks....The only exception is if it's clear there is possible or recent structural, subsidence, or damp issues that have not been resolved. But be prepared to be put off the purchase due to the report contents when that's the case. In fact, even if you wanted to do it for peace of mind alone, sometimes the opposite could happen and minor issues will sound far more risky on the report than they actually are (to cover their backs). And ultimately you've spent 500-2k on a survey when you could have put that towards maintenance costs once living there instead. I bought a house a few years ago which obviously required a lot of work, I calculated before purchasing based on a worst case so no bad surprises.


true - totally agree. Maybe i could request to go and have another casual check done myself. The only friend whom we do know in the construction biz lives a couple of hours away so that's not feasible. My major worries would be dampness but the dampness wouldn't show up until another month or two (the weather being still mild around here) . I guess I would most likely stick with investigating more on what the structural survey offers . The others I i have pretty much crossed off the list..
Edited by: "blkwhte" 28th Sep 2017
Original Poster
just got some online quotes from local surveyors for building survey and there are price ranging from £500-£750 .. Not sure if there would make a huge difference to go with the cheapest quote since the format essentially would be the same. (....Still searching for some sample survey report online so that I know what I am paying the extra for)
blkwhte2 h, 40 m ago

The way I think is that the lender survey has covered the basic bits so if …The way I think is that the lender survey has covered the basic bits so if i had to go for something it would be the structural one as it would (I hope) give some insight on the feasibility of extension we plan to make on the house. However , if that's not the case , I don't see the point of going for any survey as u mentioned.


The lender survey was probably done from the surveyor's office. A visit to the property is often not required for a valuation survey. It's only purpose is to determine that if the property were to be sold, that the sale price would cover the mortgage & costs amount, that can be worked out from similar house sales.
Original Poster
thanks everyone for your input. We have found a local surveyor whose report contains very good level of detail so decided to go for the full survey . Ideally we still think we should be ok without the survey but somehow feeling a bit insecure in buying a house having only visited it twice that too before we put the offer in. I am pretty sure this is money down the drain but for peace of mind I might as well do it! Must mention though that the structural survey offered by most surveyors is not as comprehensive or hands on as I thought. Its just a bit of add on on top of the homebuyers and most companies seem to be happy to upgrade to structural for very less ..
Edited by: "blkwhte" 29th Sep 2017
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