Buying a house – surveyors / conveyancers recommendations?

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  • Buying a house – surveyors / conveyancers recommendations?
  • tonyd
    Member

    Don’t go too cheap. We’re in the process of buying now, we’re using a local solicitor who we also used when we sold our last house. She’s good, communicative, and just up the road. When she sends us stuff to sign we can just drop it straight through the door, also if we need to chase (I don’t expect to) we can just happen to be passing and drop in for an update.

    We had a full (building) survey carried out on the house we’re buying. Not used the guy before but he was recommended and again is local so has many years experience surveying the local housing stock.

    YMMV but personally I’d avoid the large national conveyancing etc chains as I’d rather be able to look em in the eye 🙂

    Edit: Congratulations by the way!

    mattrgee
    Member

    From my limited experience, all surveyors are a complete waste of time and won’t tell you anything you don’t already know. Go for the cheapest option then ask your local friendly builder/electrician/plumber for their opinion in exchange for a couple of quid.

    I personally wouldn’t pay for a surveyor if we were to buy again. Waste of money. Get a good builder/tradesman to look at the things you are worried about bung them £50 for their troubles and you’ll save a hellova lot on not paying for a caveated cut-and-paste document describing everything you should get checked out because they [the surveyor] can’t determine if it needs attention.

    Edit: the above post beat me to it.

    Premier Icon Flaperon
    Subscriber

    Go with a personal recommendation from someone you trust.

    tonyd
    Member

    Agree that a builder is a good option rather than a full survey, ours didn’t tell us anything I hadn’t already guessed. However our full survey was £600 (South East) and if there’s anything he missed we can claim on his indemnity insurance. May be a bit OTT but I think it’s a good bit of insurance.

    Solicitor is the most important one to get right IMO.

    However our full survey was £600 (South East) and if there’s anything he missed we can claim on his indemnity insurance

    Good luck with that – The document you get has more get-outs than a rabbit warren.

    tonyd
    Member

    Good luck with that – The document you get has more get-outs than a rabbit warren

    No different to most other legal contracts you’ll be signing, but if there’s subsidence for example and the surveyor missed it his indemnity insurance will foot the bill for repair. If your builder mate missed it putting you out of pocket by thousands are you going to ask him to help you pay the bill? I suspect you won’t be mates for much longer!

    If you don’t want to use a surveyor fair enough, but when you’re spending hundreds of thousands of pounds £600 is a drop in the ocean and money well spent in my opinion.

    ashfanman
    Member

    Good luck with that – The document you get has more get-outs than a rabbit warren.

    Yeah, I’d heard that.

    My only concern with not getting a surveyor is that the property has been extended and there is a reasonably large crack in the wall of the first floor bedroom in the new bit. We’ve been told that it’s already been surveyed by the sellers, and that it’s settlement, rather than subsidence, but I think I’d feel better having it checked out myself. Or it that something a builder could do too?

    tonyd
    Member

    A builder could probably tell you if it’s OK or not. A surveyor might say it’s OK, it’s not OK, or he’s not sure and you need to get a specialist in to check it out. I think it all depends on your comfort levels with the risk. It might cost a bit more but at least if you use a surveyor you’ll have peace of mind and some comeback if his advice is incorrect.

    ashfanman
    Member

    Just had an offer accepted on a house (gulp) and wondered if anyone had any recommendations for good (and cheap!) surveyors and conveyancers?

    The property is in Ham (Surrey), but I guess the solicitors can be anywhere in the UK?

    Any help much appreciated – it’s my first house so I don’t really know what I’m doing! 😳

    Conqueror
    Member

    Agree with some of the other comments.

    In my limited experience, surveys are less useful than the opinion of a trusted builder.

    The surveyors cover their backside. For instance:

    There may or may not asbestos in the ceiling

    They won’t know if there’s huge cracks under the wallpaper. There could be the biggest stress crack you’ve ever seen under the wallpaper and the survey wouldn’t find it.

    They won’t poke around in the loft/attic.

    They might not notice problems with support above windows. Minimum width etc..

    You get the idea…

    If/when its next time, I’ll prob just get a minimal survey done assume I can find a good builder to conduct a survey of sorts…

    jekkyl
    Member

    I work in the banking industry, these guys are very popular & cheap http://www.1stpropertylawyers.co.uk/

    Dickyboy
    Member

    ask around & use local recommendations as above, I only got a surveyor in as there were a few things I was not sure about & wanted professional opinion on then & getting hold of a trusted builder ended up a week long game of phone tennis – mind you turned out he’d already looked at the house I was intending to buy with a view to buying it himself 🙂 due to get the report tomorrow fingers crossed

    Pieface
    Member

    Builders can spot stuff surveyors don’t but unless the surveyor’s report says stuff needs addressing the vendor may flatly ignore your builder as the surveyor has confirmed the value.

    We’re using a small local solicitor who is not expensive but not cheap, but he’s very good.

    mudshark
    Member

    When I bought my previous house I was very glad I had a home buyers survey as I get a pretty detailed report of all sorts of issues on the 100 year old property – looked pretty awful initially but decided nothing was too much of a problem and as the house needed renovating anyway I just gave the survey to the builder to sort everything out. When I later sold the house the buyer didn’t mention any issues so guess all was sorted out properly.

    crikey
    Member

    Meh.
    I paid £800 for a full survey on a listed building we were going to buy. The report was the shoddiest piece of Friday afternoon writing I’ve ever read, with numerous mistakes and a crucial ‘not’ inserted in exactly the wrong place, which made the whole document seem like a ‘do not buy’ when actually the intent was to suggest it was all ok.

    I phoned him up and suggested that he re-read and re-wrote the thing, which he agreed would be a good idea, then he did bugger all.

    Shoddy shyster.

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