Thoughts on a structural survey report......

Having bid on a property that is quite old (although bidding is not done, apparently it is down to me and one other party) I am interested in getting a proper survey done before I decide if I want to increase my offer.

I don’t want to ask the EA because I am sure they will recommend someone they either get a kick back from for the steer, or a mate who may “miss” something.

So two main parts to this, first I need a recommendation and idea of price I should expect to pay. The property is in SCD if that is important.

Secondly, do you think it is advisable to ask the EA if the other bidder would be prepared to split the cost of the survey. One of us will eventually have to get one done and we may as well be bidding with full information otherwise a successful bid may fall through at a later date.

Any and all advice gratefully accepted.

We used Peter from Property Health Check twice in the last year, was very impressed with how comprehensive his reports were and how happy he was to discuss things with us ahead and in the aftermath of the surveys themselves. I’m 90%+ sure that he was recommended on here by others, fairly sure that’s how I got the name anyhow!

Price was less than €400 per survey, not sure of the exact amount.

Thanks, I had come across their website but I feel it is always better to get testimonials from other parties then read them on a website.

Did you go for the silver or gold service? Not sure the extra stuff in the gold level is applicable to what I am looking at.

Used Property Health Check also a couple of years ago. Was very happy with everything.

I just got a very comprehensive one done that cost €490 incl VAT, which has turned out to be a bargain (see the other thread!)

The report was incredibly factual, detailed, comprehensive. Highly recommended can PM you details if you like :slight_smile:

I bought my dwelling house in 2012 , the house was built in 1973 so I knew there was some improvements to be made and that doesn’t include having to decorate it but the surveyor overlooked some absolutely glaring issues , im talking about gutters which were leaking , roof tiles missing , poor basic plumbing

not enough faults to have made me pull out but I came away with the impression that many of them just take a walk around the house and scribble something down , the solicitors insist on them as another way of covering themselves

cost was 300 and I may as well have put it on a horse , this guy cam recommended highly and has a very slick website

We used Property Health Check last year and got a very comprehensive survey, we pulled out of the purchase as a result of faults he identified. We are sale agreed on another house now and will be using him again.

Seems to be the best outfit for surveys. Have had a number of recommendations on them PM’d to me as well.

Have used Peter from Property Health Check who is always recommended on the pin and also Sean Oregano at Building Surveying Solutions. I can’t recommend either highly enough but it was Sean Oregano that I would use again if I had to choose between them.

Be careful out there. Everyone’s on the make. How can you be sure Peter or Sean as recommended here aren’t recommending their own services :nin .

Had a few PM’s recommending them as well. It would be strange if all those people who have been on here for the last few years are actually just the two of them.

Doesn’t matter who you ask though, you are always going to have to go on a recommendation anyway.

Whoever I use, I will post up my experience of their service here.

Also used Peter in the last 2 months and no complaints

Worth discussing what a surveyor is actually for.

Is it to (a) determine the value of a property, or (b) as a go/no go sanity check before signing contracts?

The information in a survey is almost always negative because you’re paying the surveyor to find faults. It’s like an IT security audit - almost never good news, unless you’re such an Eeyore that you assume every property you view is a money-pit-kip by default in which case you’ll probably leave the country in disgust and move to somewhere where stuff is done right.

If you do the survey pre-sale agreed, you’re forking out before price discovery is done, and you may well end up wasting your money. You get the negative information before the other bidders.

If you do it post-sale agreed, you then have to deal with an agent and buyer who are attached to the price. Negotiating a reduction is possible, but as described in other threads they’re just as likely to go sale agreed with the other bidders and go into an almost endless circle of survey, frustration and failure until someone goes “ah what the fuck, I’ll take it”. The only people that win are the surveyors :slight_smile:

The problem is that once you’ve gone sale agreed and paid a deposit all parties have mentally attached themselves to the price on the Sales Advice Notice.

I don’t have an answer.

what you want is actually a structural engineer. Cost, including report will probably be 600-800eur.

I have paid for and received many reports from many different engineers/surveyors over the years… every report has contained so many caveats in terms of it being a “visual report only” with “this can only be confirmed with intrusive works behind the fabric of the building”, etc that I think they were not such good value and at this stage I have my own list and go through it systematically. (most derived from snag lists/reports that I did get over the years!).

Many/most things, broken boiler, needs more insulation in the attic, etc should be obvious to people who should be able to review and check the property that they are looking at in detail, particularly a house built in the last 30 years which should not need any structural work.

In term of more specifics the reports I have seen merely advise that further review is needed (eg “an asbestos survey should be conducted prior to building works”, a dry rot/damp/drain survey (if there are trees, older houses, etc/etc survey should be performed)).

FWIW I am not totally against getting a surveyor/engineer out since it can be a major advantage …my brother got a report stating that there was subsidence a few years ago and used it to get a substantial reduction in price… it turned out the it was only the footpaths had shifted since they didn’t have a decent foundation to start with! The surveyor who said that it would cost 10k to rewire a 3bed terrace in their report also repaid their cost to me with an 8k discount after negotiation when it cost less than 5k to actually have the place rewired including burglar and fire alarm!

The key thing is that you cannot rely totally/blindly on such reports… sometimes it’s not as big a problem as he/she thinks and some things will only become obvious after you strip the place back.