A review of how having a Full Structural Survey on a residential property is a must before putting in a bid at an Auction


Independent Building Surveyors

If you are in the process of purchasing or selling a property we can provide help and advice with regard to building surveys, structural surveys, home buyers reports, independent valuations, property surveys, engineers reports, structural reports, specific defects reports or any other property matters.

auction property

Buying a property at auction – caveat emptor

Whether you are buying a property at auction or otherwise you should always remember the saying caveat emptor, which translates as buyer beware. The onus is on you to find out everything you need to about the property before you commit to purchase, otherwise once you have purchased the property all responsibility falls on you. It is therefore very important, we would say essential, to have a survey carried out by a chartered surveyor before you buy the property.

auction property

If you are interested in buying at auction you may be interested in the following articles we have written:

Buying at auction
How to buy a property at auction
Buying property at auction

Location, location, location

Our client was determined to live in a particular town and had been waiting for the right property to come up. He was looking for a family home, with three bedrooms and a reasonable sized garden, but unfortunately property prices in the area were quite high and generally more than he could afford.

The Victorian end of terrace property he was interested in had everything he wanted; three bedrooms, good sized rooms and a good sized garden. However, the reason that he could afford this property was that it was in a dilapidated state having been occupied for many, many years by the same owner who lived there until well into old age, and who had not carried out any repairs or maintenance for many years and as a result the purchase price was greatly reduced.

auction property

Street view of Victorian properties

We recommend meeting the surveyor at the property during the survey

Our client met us at the property and was able to explain exactly what he wanted from the survey and that because he was buying at auction in two day's time he needed to know all about the property very quickly to make an informed decision as to whether to buy or not.

We have written the following articles about buying property and why you should have an independent building survey carried out:

What is a building survey?
Building surveys, often known as structural surveys
Do estate agents tell the truth?
Why you have never seen a survey like ours

To buy or not to buy? - that is the question

We found more than an average amount of problems with the property:

The chimney had been removed at roof height and this was causing dampness within the property. We could see rot visible in the ceiling joists.

auction property

Rotting timber

The roof had had been braced but this often causes the walls of the property to get pushed out, known as roof spread. This in turn can cause cracking, which is what had happened with this property, we could see movement and cracks to the walls. We also noted cracks visible inside the property.

The property had timber windows which were rotting and needed replacing.

There was also dampness within the property but particularly in the cellar area, which would benefit from having a sump pump fitted.

The whole house generally needed general TLC, both inside and outside to bring it up to modern day liveable standards.

auction property

Roof spread

A pause for thought, read the survey report in full

There were many things wrong with the property and we recommended our client reads the report thoroughly before making a decision to go ahead and try and buy the property at auction and not be a desperate buyer. Just because the property was in the client's preferred location in his price range did not necessarily make it the best purchase as there were so many problems wrong with the property that it could become a money pit and not be a cost effective purchase long term.

auction property

We aim to complete our survey reports in three working days

As this property was being sold at auction in a few days time we needed to carry out the survey and type it up within three working days of the survey, which is exactly what we did. This gave the client time to read and digest everything in the report before going to the auction.

This is a service we offer all our clients, as we understand you are keen to know whether to proceed with the purchase or not.

What do the circles and ovals mean in our reports?

The red ovals and circles are a system that we use within our structural surveys and building surveys to help explain to you or highlight problem areas or characteristics of a property. If the report, along with our photos, does not explain the problem or characteristics of a property enough then we also have a vast range of sketches that we have had commissioned exclusively for us that we can use in our reports.

auction property

Air brick acting as a gutter

auction property

Air brick photo

Compare our Building Surveys but don't compare Apples with Thursdays

If you require a Building Survey or a Structural Survey on a home, house or commercial property we believe as Building Surveyors we have a wealth of experience and expertise that we can utilise to help you.

We are more than happy to send you examples of our Surveys that we have carried out on similar properties to yours and pretty much have always carried out a survey on similar property to the one that you are looking at although we do appreciate that all properties are unique.

We really believe that you should see what you are getting in the form of an example Survey before you purchase a property. What is more is that we are so confident with our higher than average standards that we believe that there is no other comparable survey available in the UK property and surveying market.

Examples of our survey reports

If you are thinking of buying a property and are interested in having a Structural Survey carried out or if you are trying to sell a property and would like a Pre-Sales Survey please call us on free phone us for a friendly chat on 0800 298 5424. We would be happy to email you several examples of our tailor made reports.

auction property

All rights reserved

All rights are reserved the contents of the website are not to be reproduced or transmitted in any form in whole or part without the express written permission of www.1stAssociated.co.uk