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Homebuyers Report Or Building Survey?

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I've had an offer accepted for a 2-bedroom, 1st floor maisonette in London. It was built in the Edwardian era, so has been standing there for 100+ years. On my (amateur) viewings, it didn't seem like there were any structural issues with the property.

The EAs have advised that only a homebuyer's report is required, as a full building survey will be limited as we're only buying the 1st floor maisonette and loft space (there's also a ground floor maisonette in the building). But of course, I'm treating their advice with a pinch of salt - obviously they don't want any flaws to be dug up that could disrupt the sale process.

Does anyone have an opinion? Currently I'm being quoted £500-ish for a homebuyer's report and £850ish for a full building survey. And if I do go for a full building survey, are there any particular areas that I should ask the surveyor to pay attention to? I noticed for example that the fuse boxes are about 20-30 years old - would a standard building survey be able to pick up problems with the electrics?

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I've had an offer accepted for a 2-bedroom, 1st floor maisonette in London. It was built in the Edwardian era, so has been standing there for 100+ years. On my (amateur) viewings, it didn't seem like there were any structural issues with the property.

The EAs have advised that only a homebuyer's report is required, as a full building survey will be limited as we're only buying the 1st floor maisonette and loft space (there's also a ground floor maisonette in the building). But of course, I'm treating their advice with a pinch of salt - obviously they don't want any flaws to be dug up that could disrupt the sale process.

Does anyone have an opinion? Currently I'm being quoted £500-ish for a homebuyer's report and £850ish for a full building survey. And if I do go for a full building survey, are there any particular areas that I should ask the surveyor to pay attention to? I noticed for example that the fuse boxes are about 20-30 years old - would a standard building survey be able to pick up problems with the electrics?

Not if they are like my surveyor. They're not trained electricians so they'll just cover their arses by reporting 'old electrics should be inspected by a qualified electrician'.

I was disappointed in the detail of the report I got for a homebuyers survey. It was basically 'the house is X by Y metres, built of brick, has a roof and windows. It has gas and electric, so better get someone qualified to check them.'. The surveyor did stick his head up in the loft but only for a couple of minutes, don't know if you could find any problems in that time?

But this was a for a modern 2-bed property. I dare say they are more things to check with an older house. Shop around for surveys though, those prices sound high!

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Does anyone have an opinion? Currently I'm being quoted £500-ish for a homebuyer's report and £850ish for a full building survey. And if I do go for a full building survey, are there any particular areas that I should ask the surveyor to pay attention to? I noticed for example that the fuse boxes are about 20-30 years old - would a standard building survey be able to pick up problems with the electrics?

Neither will look at electrics, they will use the normal line about not being current standard , but nothing ever is.

Personally I wouldn't bother with the full survey, they don't tend to look at much extra. Are you forced to use one particular company? I suspect getting someone local and independent would produce a better result. The extra money could be used to get someone more specialised to look over anything that is highlighted on the homebuyers survey. Most likely to need checking is the roof structure unless its been replaced recently.

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I've had an offer accepted for a 2-bedroom, 1st floor maisonette in London. It was built in the Edwardian era, so has been standing there for 100+ years. On my (amateur) viewings, it didn't seem like there were any structural issues with the property.

The EAs have advised that only a homebuyer's report is required, as a full building survey will be limited as we're only buying the 1st floor maisonette and loft space (there's also a ground floor maisonette in the building). But of course, I'm treating their advice with a pinch of salt - obviously they don't want any flaws to be dug up that could disrupt the sale process.

Does anyone have an opinion? Currently I'm being quoted £500-ish for a homebuyer's report and £850ish for a full building survey. And if I do go for a full building survey, are there any particular areas that I should ask the surveyor to pay attention to? I noticed for example that the fuse boxes are about 20-30 years old - would a standard building survey be able to pick up problems with the electrics?

£850 sounds unfeasibly cheap for a full structural survey.

A survey is sure to tell you some worrying things, even if the place is in excellent condition in reality. But a surveyor is much less likely to tell you anything useful, like "out of X and Y, X is harmless in reality but Y might really need fixing", let alone tell you whether Y will cost £500 or £50k to fix. You're buying information you're not qualified to use, unless you're somewhat expert in it yourself.

If you do pay more than the minimum, ask yourself just what you're buying, and what you're going to do with it.

[i have absolutely no relevant expertise, just a healthy dose of cynicism. This is not advice.]

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Thanks for all the helpful replies!

I think as many have pointed out, the report will be worded in such a way as to cover their ass and recommend "seeking further professional advice". I think what I'm more interested in is the verbal opinion of the surveyor after the work, as opposed to what he/she will commit onto paper.

I'm going for a standard homebuyer's survey in that case then, but choosing my surveyor based on whether I feel they will be happy to discuss over the phone or in person their opinion of the issues they have found.

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  • 311 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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