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General Chat Thread, Buying a house - Survey in General; HI Guys, I'm in the process of buying a house (well I've made an offer and it's been accepted), but ...
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    Buying a house - Survey

    HI Guys,

    I'm in the process of buying a house (well I've made an offer and it's been accepted), but at what point do I get a survey done (and how). I dont expect it to throw up anything too problematic as there are a couple of things which I have already been informed of, but I would be happier to get a survey done. I understand that the bank will do an indepdant survery to cover the money they will lend for the mortgage but this is a basic survey for the loan not the condition of the house. So how do I go about getting a home survey done as I dont want to pay for that and the bank to do a survey twice as I understand this can both be done at the same time? Can I do this through the bank/solicitors or am I better arranging this to be done myself?

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    Dom_'s Avatar
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    You don't need to get another survey done - I'm going through the same process at the moment.... With natwest at least, you have to pay for the survey, and have the options of the basic (250ish), better (500ish) and the full survey with legal cover (750).

    It's all sorted by the banks soliciters once your mortgage has been approved afaik.

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    Ah right, I know there are different levels, but it wasn't covered in the last meeting I had with the bank, but I thought they only offered the basic. Might go back and ask.

    Thanks

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    sippo's Avatar
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    The solicitor should sort that, especially if you are spending hell of a lot of money on him/her!! It's usually the surveyor from the mortgage company that goes out.

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    Every time we've moved house, we've always arranged a separate full structural survey that is independent of the bank lending us the money.

    Whether or not you should do so, depends on the age of the property concerned. Very new properties are still covered by their 10 year guarantees.

    We arranged the survey by contacting a surveyor through a local estate agent that was independent of the sale of the property. I know the bank's lending the money, but it's me who'll be stuck if something nasty comes up later that I should have known about. The bank will just tell you that their surveys were for their purposes.

    DO CHECK that everything is looked at properly in whatever survey you go for. Some so-called full structural surveys won't look in the loft, only check the roof using binoculars and don't even move furniture away from walls to look for damp.
    Last edited by elsiegee40; 17th May 2011 at 04:49 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by elsiegee40 View Post
    DO CHECK that everything is looked at properly in whatever survey you go for. Some so-called full structural surveys won't look in the loft, only check the roof using binoculars and don't even move furniture away from walls to look for damp.
    or, as in our case, got a report saying "you need to check the structural integrity of the timber". when we questioned what timber we were told "no timber in particular, it is just advised that you check it all by a wood specialist".
    so basically we have to call someone out, and say "find whats wrong with this house" and foot the bill. absolute load of nonsense. we checked the loft and there are no signs up there, the only other thing i can think of was that a couple of areas the carpet sunk about an inch (just where new and old floorboards joined) so perhaps he stood on that and thought rotting floorboards.
    but in that case why not say check all floorboards, not ALL TIMBER.

    its like saying check the brickwork, i wont say which bit, just every single brick in the house, if you're not going to give me a clue!!

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    It's a small 2 bed semi about 30 years old. I have been told that there were a few issues found in a previous survey(although sale fell through due to personal circumstances) which are due to building regs changing, and I knew about this already as I know someone who lives close who also has a house of same age/type. However, I would still like to get a survey done and I'm getting a bit lost into what I need to do and when to do it.

    Thanks for all the responses.

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    MK-2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by penfold View Post
    It's a small 2 bed semi about 30 years old. I have been told that there were a few issues found in a previous survey(although sale fell through due to personal circumstances) which are due to building regs changing, and I knew about this already as I know someone who lives close who also has a house of same age/type. However, I would still like to get a survey done and I'm getting a bit lost into what I need to do and when to do it.

    Thanks for all the responses.
    if i remember, when you go for a mortgage application you can choose to have one done with the provider, and subject to that coming back ok will be them offering you a mortgage. we didnt go for an external one so i dont know how that works, but if you go with mortgage provider it should be arranged as part of that i think

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    You need to get that survey done before exchange. If the survey throws anything up, you can then haggle on price to cover the costs of the remedial work.

    Once you've had your offer accepted and have instructed your solicitor, then move onto to getting the survey done and instructing your mortgage company. Do it sooner rather than later and be very careful about the small print... ask the surveyor to tell you in writing exactly what he does and does not inspect.

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    elsiegee40 - Thats the stage where I am up to, the offer has been accepted so I was wondering who to contact in relation to get a survey done. I understand the bank carry out a survey but this is just to cover their loan amount not to inspect the house. But I've also read the Banks survey and the one I would request could be done at the same time saving some money? If the bank offeres this I might go with them, it may not be the cheapest or best option, but I'm getting confused with who I need to contact for what now

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    Andrew_C's Avatar
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    There are basically two forms of survey. 1) The survey that you will HAVE to have done, this satisfies the lender that the house is worth the money they are lending. It may be no more than a drive past, coupled with local knowledge. This can (could, I haven't done it for a while) be "upgraded" to a Home Buyers report, those went into more detail. These are the ones I have had done in the past.

    2) Full structural survey. Much more detail, and they are legally required to do the job right. If they fail to spot something, you may have recourse to the courts if you suffer loss. (Yanni vs Middleton; Birmingham ISTR) Much more likely in older, more expensive properties.

    You pay for all of them, sometimes quite a lot!

    I worked for surveyors many years ago.

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by penfold View Post
    elsiegee40 - Thats the stage where I am up to, the offer has been accepted so I was wondering who to contact in relation to get a survey done. I understand the bank carry out a survey but this is just to cover their loan amount not to inspect the house. But I've also read the Banks survey and the one I would request could be done at the same time saving some money? If the bank offeres this I might go with them, it may not be the cheapest or best option, but I'm getting confused with who I need to contact for what now
    The RICS regulates all surveyors: Find a surveyor | Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (search for type of residential Property) or get the phone book out and look for local surveyors... many are attached to Estate Agents. Look at their websites for information and then ring round to get a quote. Actualy, in these modern times you can probably ask for a quote online... We last moved in 1999!

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    jinnantonnixx's Avatar
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    I paid a bit extra for something which I hoped would be useful, but my experience was similar to that of @MK-2. My survey was so full of weasel words and vague, it was next to useless.
    Last edited by jinnantonnixx; 17th May 2011 at 09:16 PM.

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    Gotto agree, if you get a survey done get a proper structural survey. When I bought my first hoiuse years ago I just had the bank do the survey and it was next to useless but they put provisos on the mortgage like must be completely redecorated (ok it was not nice but it was livable) and said the heating system was 'unusual' so had it checked by a plumber and he said the guy just didnt know what he was talking about, not modern heating by by no means strange. Bought next house new, 10 year building warranty Ha! You had to fund any investigation to prove fault under warranty then claim it back if they agreed it was a fault if not you lost out, cheaper to just pay to have fault rectified (was fault with damp proof membrane i.e. builders had cut out a section because it came too close to the skim of concrete they used for the floor, hence damp cam up and lifted the floor!). As they say its a minefield and dont want to move again!

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    The case law I refered to above (as I was trying to leave work) is one that sends shivers down the spines of surveyors. In short, the plaintive was suing as a structural surveyor (defendant) who missed something. Defendant tried to rely on weasel words, but the judge ruled that where a professional provided a report to a layman, that "a reasonable man" would rely on, then the professional was liable for restitution of losses caused by his errors.



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