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Things To Do When Buying A House


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It does boil down to location location location as the gospel according to Kirsty and Phil tells us.

Inside the house is almost irrelevant - you can change this as much as you like.

The location can not be changed.

This means that neighbours, street, alleys, grass verges, etc are all really important to get right.

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More difficult to replace the neighbours, or stop kids playing footy on the grass outside. If this is the kind of thing that annoys you and you have no power over changing it then you need to think seriously about whether that is really the place for you.

The problem with neighbours is they can change at anytime - and there is nothing you can do about it. Makes sense to do a wee check before you move in - of course. However you could have brilliant neighbours and in 6 months all could change and they could be a nightmare. And there is nothing you can do about it. Well - unless you want to buy all the surrounding houses too. May be a little costly though.

If I was selling and a potential buyer wanted to get a number of tradespeople to come poking around the house purely to find faults that may not be there (say what you want about surveyors but they have to be reasonably careful) I'd be showing you the door. If you want to get people around after a survery has been completed then that's a different kettle of fish.

I don't understand you ? You are getting a survey done - you are just doing it properly with people that actually know what they are talking about. If someone has a problem with that ? They clearly have a problem with the house that they fear may be uncovered.

Not really a hassle is it ? Arranging for 5 or 6 people to come around to look over your house over perhaps a week period ? If you are really wanting to sell it and are talking about hundreds of thousands of pounds - then it is barely worth mention IMO on the 'hassle' scale.

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If I was selling and a potential buyer wanted to get a number of tradespeople to come poking around the house purely to find faults that may not be there (say what you want about surveyors but they have to be reasonably careful) I'd be showing you the door. If you want to get people around after a survery has been completed then that's a different kettle of fish.

Most surveyors recommend getting a specialist in for most things. The majority of surveys I've seen are next to useless and any residential surveyor who wears a suit won't get their hands dirty and that is essential if a property is going to be checked top to bottom.

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I don't understand you ? You are getting a survey done - you are just doing it properly with people that actually know what they are talking about. If someone has a problem with that ? They clearly have a problem with the house that they fear may be uncovered.

If it were me and I was getting this much hassle this early on in a sale imagine what you could be like later on.. If I was absolutely desperate to sell then I'd go along with it but if I wasn't being pressured.. nope.

Not really a hassle is it ? Arranging for 5 or 6 people to come around to look over your house over perhaps a week period ? If you are really wanting to sell it and are talking about hundreds of thousands of pounds - then it is barely worth mention IMO on the 'hassle' scale.

To the seller it's still hassle and there is no incentive at a very early stage to go through said hassle. Sure if you've had your surveyor around and you want a few things checking out from the surveyors report then that's very very different. There's a huge difference between getting a surveyor out and getting a number of tradespeople out. The surveyor should be non-biased, they can be sued after all, but tradespeople tend to be looking at how they can make money. That's the key difference.

Not being rude but have you ever tried getting tradespeople out? They tend to go where the money is, which means not turning up if they get a better offer or not returning your calls if the job looks too small beans money etc etc.

At the end of the day the decision is yours as to how you approach buying, and I wish you well, but I think you'll find what you're suggesting to be a whole heap more difficult in practice than it is on paper.

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Not really a hassle is it ? Arranging for 5 or 6 people to come around to look over your house over perhaps a week period ? If you are really wanting to sell it and are talking about hundreds of thousands of pounds - then it is barely worth mention IMO on the 'hassle' scale.

I agree with both of you. The solution is to get a trusted general builder to come with you on 2nd viewing. A good builder will identify most if not all potential issues and will know through experience how to spot work that could be masking something sinister.

You can then point this out to your surveyor before he walks in the door

It will cost you little more than a beer. I do the same when looking at cars. I have a friend who is a machanic.

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This means that neighbours, street, alleys, grass verges, etc are all really important to get right.

As someone else said neighbours can change, so what we are really talking about here is finding the most expensive neighborhood you can afford so that no chavs get to move in.

Sums up why property prices are so high here.

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Most surveyors recommend getting a specialist in for most things. The majority of surveys I've seen are next to useless and any residential surveyor who wears a suit won't get their hands dirty and that is essential if a property is going to be checked top to bottom.

Exactly. Why not just bypass this hassle and get the experts straight in there from the start ? If I am using my hard earned cash to buy a house - it is the hassle to ME that is most important. As for the sellers ? They are wanting something from me and not the other way around. People need to remember this.

If it were me and I was getting this much hassle this early on in a sale imagine what you could be like later on.. If I was absolutely desperate to sell then I'd go along with it but if I wasn't being pressured.. nope.

To the seller it's still hassle and there is no incentive at a very early stage to go through said hassle. Sure if you've had your surveyor around and you want a few things checking out from the surveyors report then that's very very different. There's a huge difference between getting a surveyor out and getting a number of tradespeople out. The surveyor should be non-biased, they can be sued after all, but tradespeople tend to be looking at how they can make money. That's the key difference.

Not being rude but have you ever tried getting tradespeople out? They tend to go where the money is, which means not turning up if they get a better offer or not returning your calls if the job looks too small beans money etc etc.

At the end of the day the decision is yours as to how you approach buying, and I wish you well, but I think you'll find what you're suggesting to be a whole heap more difficult in practice than it is on paper.

Hassle ?! Well that is all subjective. However I imagine for many people - who really want to sell their house - this would seem like very little hassle at all.

And why would the tradesmen be pointing out stuff just for the sake of it ? You would make it clear the house was not yours and you were just wanting a report done. Of course they may still ******** but that is a risk you take with any person. I think the risk of ******** would be less than if you brought thme into your house asking if something needed to be fixed.

And as for getting them out ? I think it would be a jiffy compared to their normal day of work. Couple of hours, no supplies, no materials required, use of their knowledge then bakc home to write up a basic report. Would be like a day off for many I imagine. I reckon many would jump at the chance. Would all come down to cost of course. However something between £100-200 would seem reasonable IMO. For a cruisy days work I really don't think you would have difficulty. Anyway - if I ever decide to buy somewhere I will be sure and update here on if this works or not.

I agree with both of you. The solution is to get a trusted general builder to come with you on 2nd viewing. A good builder will identify most if not all potential issues and will know through experience how to spot work that could be masking something sinister.

You can then point this out to your surveyor before he walks in the door

It will cost you little more than a beer. I do the same when looking at cars. I have a friend who is a machanic.

Yep that could be a plan also. However you would probably need a pal who is such a person - which would be handy. However would a builder really be able to spot potential problems in areas that are not his speciality ? I would personally prefer to pay for the person who deals with these things every day. Makes sense.

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Here's hoping you've got a patient enough seller to allow all of those tradespeople to turn up at different times. I say different times because good luck getting them all out at the same time!

Or when you pay for a full survey arrange to be at the house when the surveyor is there, ask questions and discuss condition and prices to correct if need be. ;)

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Or when you pay for a full survey arrange to be at the house when the surveyor is there, ask questions and discuss condition and prices to correct if need be. ;)

How much does a 'full proper' survey cost on a house ? And how long do they take looking around - what sort of experience do they have in the business etc ?

No idea myself. Would be handy to know if anyone has knowledge of this.

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Just done a quick google. Loads of info on surveys etc..

Seems a standard building survey can cost up to a grand. It can take between 2 days and a week to take place. And if there are specific things you want checked on and they dont have the qualifications - you are advised to get another expert in anyway to look at that specific aspect (Dry Rot or whatever).

So why not just get 5 experts in at the start and pay them £200 each for less than a days work and a detailed report on the individual aspect they are an expert on ? More hassle for the seller ? Well considering a building survey, that is quite normal and expected, can last days or up to a week ? Then no - I really don't see how this would be any more hassle.

Of course if you want a mortgage you may also need to get a basic survey done on top of this to tick their boxes. This would of course add to the cost as they would probably not accept the individual reports if done my way ? Although they would clearly be more specialised so it would not seem to make sense. However I doubt common sense has any place in this sort of thing when it comes to lenders.

For any cash buyers out there I cannot see why this plan is the not the best one. Only one is the 'hassle' to the sellers. Well inform them a mortgage is not required and waft the crisp notes under their nose. I am certain this will suddenly become a hassle they can live with. If not ? Tell them to ram it and go somewhere else. ;)

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How much does a 'full proper' survey cost on a house ? And how long do they take looking around - what sort of experience do they have in the business etc ?

No idea myself. Would be handy to know if anyone has knowledge of this.

...as far as I know there are three types of home survey....the basic is for the benefit of the lender, the second is a home buyers report that gives more comprehensive information but often uses opt out type wording such as, unable to get access to floorboards due to fitted carpet etc, it often has a traffic light system of condition of the various parts of the house, green, good condition.. amber, will need work doing in the next year or two but will do for now and red, money should be spent to correct soon. ....and the third is a full structural survey that goes into even greater detail, recommended if buying an older house.....certain qualifications are required for the second two surveys.......you are in effect buying peace of mind. ;)

http://www.home.co.uk/guides/buying/vands.htm

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Get an home insurance quote before viewing or making offers etc. The insurance quote is a ' mine of information' for problems in the area like flooding, crime, subsidence etc . It's always one of the first thing I do before proceeding with my time and expense because they are very informative and free !!! ;)

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...as far as I know there are three types of home survey....the basic is for the benefit of the lender, the second is a home buyers report that gives more comprehensive information but often uses opt out type wording such as, unable to get access to floorboards due to fitted carpet etc, it often has a traffic light system of condition of the various parts of the house, green, good condition.. amber, will need work doing in the next year or two but will do for now and red, money should be spent to correct soon. ....and the third is a full structural survey that goes into even greater detail, recommended if buying an older house.....certain qualifications are required for the second two surveys.......you are in effect buying peace of mind. ;)

http://www.home.co.u...uying/vands.htm

Yep does seem there are 3. And the 3rd can cost a serious whack and even with that you are advised to probably get in specific experts for certain areas. I just dont see the point in them at all. They are going to have a general knowledge of this stuff. However they may not have a specific expertise in any area.

You want to know if the roof may have issues and need replacing in 2 years time ? Well call me crazy - but I would get a good roofer in and pay him a couple of hundred pounds to tell me !!

Same goes with plumbing/bioler, electrics etc...

Get an home insurance quote before viewing or making offers etc. The insurance quote is a ' mine of information' for problems in the area like flooding, crime, subsidence etc . It's always one of the first thing I do before proceeding with my time and expense because they are very informative and free !!! ;)

Now thats a good idea.

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Yep does seem there are 3. And the 3rd can cost a serious whack and even with that you are advised to probably get in specific experts for certain areas. I just dont see the point in them at all. They are going to have a general knowledge of this stuff. However they may not have a specific expertise in any area.

You want to know if the roof may have issues and need replacing in 2 years time ? Well call me crazy - but I would get a good roofer in and pay him a couple of hundred pounds to tell me !!

Same goes with plumbing/bioler, electrics etc...

To be truthful....most people with a bit of commonsense could look around your average 50 year old semi and do a personal survey without much difficulty (using many of the tips on this thread)....anything that causes concern a specialist can then be brought in to give a second opinion....any large unexpected costs can then be put to the owner with a view to reducing the price for a sale. ;)

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How much is the council tax?

If it's a flat, how much is the maintenance?

Do you have to pay to leave your car outside?

...what is the cost of water per year? is it on a meter? ask what the gas/ oil/electric bills are?....heating a house costs much the same however many people live in it, make a small adjustment re hot water and cooking costs depending on how many live there. ;)

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To be truthful....most people with a bit of commonsense could look around your average 50 year old semi and do a personal survey without much difficulty (using many of the tips on this thread)....anything that causes concern a specialist can then be brought in to give a second opinion....any large unexpected costs can then be put to the owner with a view to reducing the price for a sale. ;)

But this is the issue I have with this plan. Most people will not have a clue of what to look for that may cause a concern. I don't think a full survey would cover this either. You are trusting people to notice a potential problem - that they are probably not an expert in. I juts think for the money you pay for this - it is not exactly great value. They will know the standard big issues things that can rear their head - however what about those niggly sublte things only an expert in the field would know ? Likely to be missed by a 'general' surveyor ?

Anyway - I plan to use the same money - but go right to the experts in the first instance.

Even with the numerous decent points on this thread - I still see very little downside to this option. And many potential upsides.

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...what is the cost of water per year? is it on a meter? ask what the gas/ oil/electric bills are?....heating a house costs much the same however many people live in it, make a small adjustment re hot water and cooking costs depending on how many live there. ;)

Ask to see the full EPC and not just the rateing graph. Lots of these things are covered in it

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I would also just go around the local area/street and ask people. People generally like giving advice becuse it makes them feel useful and important. So if you just knock on their door, explain you are thinking of moving into the area and would like some info, the majority would be more than happy to tell you of any local issues etc..

I reckon so anyway - never done it myself but one day I shall. Why not ? Nothing to lose. The worst that can happen ? They are all rude bastards and you get no info. This in itself would be quite useful to deduce the street was filled by bawbags.

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But this is the issue I have with this plan. Most people will not have a clue of what to look for that may cause a concern. I don't think a full survey would cover this either. You are trusting people to notice a potential problem - that they are probably not an expert in. I juts think for the money you pay for this - it is not exactly great value. They will know the standard big issues things that can rear their head - however what about those niggly sublte things only an expert in the field would know ? Likely to be missed by a 'general' surveyor ?

Anyway - I plan to use the same money - but go right to the experts in the first instance.

Even with the numerous decent points on this thread - I still see very little downside to this option. And many potential upsides.

A qualified surveyor has insurance, if they say the roof is sound and it turns out not to be you have some comeback....a roofer may require work so may suggest that the roof requires work.....you pays your money you make your choice....nothing is totally 100% fool proof. ;)

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How much does a 'full proper' survey cost on a house ? And how long do they take looking around - what sort of experience do they have in the business etc ?

No idea myself. Would be handy to know if anyone has knowledge of this.

3-500 for a basic

800+ for a full one

They'll both say "get an electrical survey done, get a drains survey done, get a timber survey done etc etc"

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A qualified surveyor has insurance, if they say the roof is sound and it turns out not to be you have some comeback....a roofer may require work so may suggest that the roof requires work.....you pays your money you make your choice....nothing is totally 100% fool proof. ;)

Of course. But I would rather trust a roofer to give me an opinion on a roof than a non roofer. Crazy logic huh. :D

3-500 for a basic

800+ for a full one

They'll both say "get an electrical survey done, get a drains survey done, get a timber survey done etc etc"

Well thanks for that - what I was expecting !! I dont see the point in paying someone £800 to tell you to pay other people - just bypass the shyster in the first place !

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