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What sort of surveys (if any) do you get on new properties?


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I'm currently looking at buying a 1960's house which doesn't look to have any major structural issues/damp/red flags. I'm curious about what sort of surveys other investors tend to use for these sorts of property purchases? Which qualifications for surveyors/memberships must they have? I've heard so much conflicting advice about certain surveys 'not even being worth the paper they are written on' or that you are 'an idiot if you buy without a homebuyers survey at least' that I'd really appreciate some thoughts from more experienced investors. 

 

Thanks :-)

 

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Hi MillyMollyMandy678

Think it depends on a few things;

  • Area - where's the property located, is it in a mining town that might have a mining shaft nearby or contains red ash?
  • Construction - is it a standard build or is it pre-fab concrete, any flat roof?
  • Use / Purpose - will you be refurbing it or is it a turn-key investment? If you're refurbing it, especially if going back to brick, then probably no use getting one as you'll identify more whilst refurbing than you will from a survey as the surveyor is unlike to lift up carpets or chip away plaster to see the brickwork.
  • Previous experience - if you've done loads of the same type of property investment, then you're probably more confident that there's no issues, and even if there were, you'd be experienced enough to rectify it.
  • Risk tolerance - willingness to take a gamble on a few hundred pound survey vs. not getting one.

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If you are inexperienced in housing then a Homebuyers is fine on most houses. Something old &/or unusual might need a structural survey. We gave up having surveys as we think we can spot most problems and after 2 surveyors looking around a house we were selling failed to spot a chimney!! We have a really close look round in place of a survey where we look in more detail than when viewing.

If you don't trust your own judgement then get a survey - its a small price to pay in the grand scheme of things and often provides a useful list of jobs to do :)

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  • 1 month later...

As an owner of a damp proofing company I definitely recommend a damp survey. We get contacted by homeowners nearly everyday about damp problems after moving in to a new home. Damp can so easily be covered up in the short term nowadays that people are being tricked and moving into houses full of damp problems. Make sure to use a PCA qualified member as there are a lot of rogue traders who have no real experience in testing. 

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