Are home survey reports worth the money?
What do you do if the loaf you’ve just bought is mouldy? It cost you £1.50 when all is said and done.
What about that new dress? The one you wore once before the thread started to fray. Well, it might have been in the sales, but it still cost you 30 quid.
And that shiny used car you bought from the garage down the road, the one whose gearbox packed up within the first 100 miles.
Chances are, with the possible exception of the mouldy bread, you went back and demanded a refund, right?
Well that’s because consumers have their rights. By law, goods sold to you must be fit for purpose. In most cases you can even change your mind and take stuff back within 14 days because you’ve decided you don’t like it after all.
And now you’re about to make the biggest purchase of your life. You are buying a house; not a new one admittedly, but 40 or so years old, and nicely presented with a lovely new kitchen, decent sized rooms, and in a good neighbourhood.
So, how long were you there viewing it? About 15 minutes? Did you look in the cupboard to discover the ancient fuse box? Did you see the mould on the wall behind the telly? Or did you notice the half-a-dozen slipped tiles on the roof? Any idea when the central heating was installed? And what’s the water pressure like? Does the water drain away nice and quickly? My guess is you probably don’t know.
Let’s suppose you’ve now moved in. The bank gave you the mortgage, no problem, but now you’re pretty stretched to afford anything beyond the essentials. And now the bad weather has come, you realise why there’s a bucket in the loft. The roof leaks.
Unfortunately, even though it is the biggest purchase in most people’s lives, unlike the loaf of bread, the dress and the second-hand car, you can’t get your money back once you’ve exchanged contracts and completed the deal. Nor can you claim on your house insurance if the problem is simple wear and tear.
Could you have averted the disaster? You are no expert when it comes to property matters, but the bank did a Valuation Survey and no issues were highlighted. On top of that, you asked your mate, John the Builder, to have a look for you and he said these houses were pretty solid and he couldn’t see any major problems.
Hold on though, the bank was only interested in making sure that it would get its money back in the event of you defaulting, and, as for John, he might have had a quick look from the outside, but he never went inside the property.
But yes, you could have hugely minimised the risk if you had commissioned a Homebuyer Report from a RICS registered Building Surveyor like Marc Tate. Marc would have done a thorough inspection of the house, reporting on general condition, any major faults affecting the property, urgent problems needing specialist advice, damp test results, insulation and drainage as far as can be ascertained from visual inspection.
Not an absolute guarantee that nothing will go wrong, but not far short. With the Tate Surveying Homebuyer Report to hand, you can get a clear picture of what extra costs you are likely to incur, a good reason to re-negotiate the purchase price, or, if that does not work, to pull out of the deal with your finances intact.
If you have any questions or would like to book a home survey, get in touch with Marc today.