Beware if an estate agent advises you don't need a survey
This is the second survey that we have carried out for this client and we feel as independent building surveyors the estate agents have not been that honest when selling the property and are well aware of the many problems within it but have hoped that the purchaser wouldn't have a survey.
Very unusually the estate agents met us at the property and escorted us around. We are always concerned where estate agents take the time to show us around a property as we have lost count on the number of times that we have been to estate agents offices to pick up keys even when pre-arranged, known as KWA (Keys With Agent) and the estate agents have taken forever to find the keys.
We certainly are well aware as surveyors that the estate agents incentivise not to have surveys carried out. Normally we would talk to the owners and we would also have a question and answer session with them. When we enquired about carrying this out, the estate agent advised that the seller didn't want to be present during the course of the survey, which we can sort of understand but it does very rarely happen.
Speaking to neighbours uncovered problem neighbours
When carrying out our surveys we always knock on the neighbours doors. In this case we did a neighbourhood check speaking to the direct neighbours and also any neighbours that passed by. We discovered that next door had had problems over the years and were now under police supervision. They were happy to advise that there were police cameras on the house which is a situation you may or may not want to be living next to.
This Victorian property had several major problems which fell into two main categories:
1. Lack of maintenance which although it doesn't sound very much, when it involves the roof not being maintained and you are looking at a new roof it is a costly lack of maintenance.
Slates opening up and displaced
Dampness coming in
2. Inappropriate modern materials used on an older building. The building had literally been smothered using cement render on the outside and a modern gypsum plaster on the inside and as such there were many cracks visible in it and in turn water had got in via these which resulted in a very damp building.
High level pattern staining
Paint coming away to render
In addition, details such as no drips above the windows and no bell mouth to the base of the render did also not help matters causing further dampness.
High levels of dampness
Bell mouth detail
Always have a survey carried out prior to buying a property
As mentioned above a survey report is essential when buying a property to establish if the property has any problems and if so to use this information to renegotiate. We pride ourselves on our professional and easy to read reports written in plain English which we have been carrying out for many years on every age, type and style of property across the UK.
Call us on 0800 298 5424 and we can email you examples of our surveys.