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Homebuyers Survey

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tiggerblue10 | 11:13 Sat 24th Oct 2020 | Home & Garden
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I've been quoted £490 - 600 to get a survey done on the house I'm purchasing. What should I be looking for in a surveyor? Do they all carry out the same checks?

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There are 3 levels of homebuyers surveys
Good description of what you get in which category in the link below
https://www.which.co.uk/money/mortgages-and-property/first-time-buyers/buying-a-home/house-surveys-akbw67f03dkx
Hope the link works, I am not very good at them.
There are different types of survey. Some are done in much more detail than others so you need to ask. When we bought this house 6 years ago we had a simple 'buyers survey' done as opposed to full structural job and it was nowhere near £400. They do list quite clearly the things they check for. I'm sure Builder will be around somewhere and he will know.
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I'm getting the homebuyers survey as that is what I've been advised I need. It's a 70s build.
That's a level 2, have a look at the link above and it will tell you what the surveyor will be doing.
Then that seems expensive to me, tigger, so perhaps ask around for a few other quotes?
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I just want the best vfm.
£490 is close to the lower end of the price range for a Homebuyers report these days. They were charging around the £300+ mark when I was signing off mortgages and that was 15 years ago.
It is very much a tick list, without too much difference between Companies.
Level 2 will only cover surface level issues, they will not move anything, will stick their head in the loft if you have one. They will value the property and give report what they think it will take to rebuild, which will help with your insurance application.
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Ok, thanks. The 490 quote was the cheapest off a comparison site. Maybe I'll go for 570 which was a contact of the estate agent.
Tigger -no don't use a comparison site or especially not the Estate Agent one (they get amazing commission from the surveyors which is reflected in their price). Do a local search and find an independent lo surveyor (local to the area where you are going to purchase the house) , get a few quotes before you commit. I think £300 - £350 is more like it .
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Do the prices vary depending on location?

One of the said I'd be lucky to get anything under 500 and another said he wouldn't trust a surveyor carrying out adequate checks at 490.
Its all spiel tiggs believe me Surveyors are the bane of my life :-)

The prices will vary from county to county. The difference between a full survey and a homebuyer is mainly extra bells and whistles you don't need. For example, the important stuff like evidence of dry rot or subsidence is pretty obvious and will be noted on even the mortgage survey. Building regs or lack thereof will be handled by the solicitor. If you want my advice it would be cheaper to get your local builder to give the place a 'once over'. They (we) often do a better job than a surveyor.
its a difficult question to answer. the point with getting a "proper" surveyor in (and I mean no disrespect to bulders or APG) is that you have comeback to the surveyor if they say something is fine and it isn't. When we bought the house I own now, we had a full survey done and it was worth every penny. He uncovered things we wouldn't have considered and we made it part of the purchase deal that the seller should fix the problems at his expense before purchase. The house is a mid 80's build. If it was me I would look for local surveyors, contact them directly and ask them what they will charge and what they will do for the money and get it put in writing (well email).
If I remember, Tiggs, the house has an annex? Not a very small property then. So I guess that 500 is about right for south London.
Cheaper elsewhere of course.

For a surveyor, preferably go for someone you know, or can be recommended. If not, go for someone from a "proper" firm that can take the responsibility. In the end, they're all RICS registered anyway.

I have to agree with Auntie here. (Well, I would say that, wouldn't I?) A long established local builder would be ideal. 1970s housing is usually quite predictable. Modern Building Regs were starting to come in properly. Except, naturally, levels of insulation were nowhere near today's for example.
Still, they tend to be well built, if a tad "unimaginative" in design etc.
70s houses rarely hold any surprises for an experienced builder.
At least there will be no faffing about with hopelessly misleading damp meters.
Surveyors often make more trouble than necessary, since they have to be "seen" to be thorough. Often, what a surveyor might flag up as a fault, a builder would deal with as a triviality.
The only advantage with a surveyor is that they carry substantial Indemnity Insurance if they should miss something major.
A builder would likely just have his Third Party Liability insurance.
I wouldn't worry about that though.
Perhaps your Dad might know of someone.
Absolutely spot on Builder .
Thanks Auntie :o)

As they say on american TV Tiggs ... we've got your back :o)
Question Author
Thank you all. You've given me some great advice :o)

My dad knows all sorts of tradesmen including builders, electricians, roofers so that won't be a problem. He used to own a greasy spoon in Streatham, serving a full English to many of them a few years back ;o)
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Thanks, will read all the links in more depth later :o)

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