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Survey a flat or not?

emma c

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Hi I'm new to all this and having won a bid on a flat within a large, concrete block my new solicitor has said I need a survey (original solicitor advised against as said it would bring nothing to the table given it a block of flats and we are cash buyers).

Do people usually get one done and aside from electrics/sanitary ware what would they actually be able to tell us about?




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I've never been someone who has paid for a survey but I realise there are a lot of properties around which have suffered from bad DIY over the years. Sometimes it's just shoddy electrics, sometimes it's just lack of maintenance, sometimes it's lack of anything from long term letting of the property.

It's best not to assume anything and either get a survey or have someone knowledgeable take a professional view of

electrics, plumbing, central heating, condition of windows/doors etc. Usually the trick is to find enough wrong in order to justify a reduced price. 

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Assuming you are btl you are going to need certificates.

The electrical inspection will hi litre anything there.

For the gas inspection find a gas engineer who is conversant with general plumbing (be difficult not to in my opinion). Request they look it over with an eye to what they or another might see as work to be quoted for.

A good builder would look over the rest and point out issues. But really a lot would be fairly obvious or not easy to find w/o intrusive examination. An experienced eye into loft and underfloor spaces is worthwhile.

How much peace of mind do you want to pay for, given that the surveyor may suggest further specialist surveys?

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I would never pay for a survey as I have seen the some of the latest presentations for buyers from these surveys from my Nephew who is in the process of purchasing a property at a cost of nearly £500 and I quote:

1.   Unable to inspect floor due to floor coverings.

2. Evidence of damp in rear corner of lounge.  Recommend you call a damp company in for a full appraisal.

3. Central heating not tested. Recommend you contact a Gasafe Engineer for a full report.

                                       You get the idea of what I am saying here.

I am fortunate that my Son is a Gasafe Engineer and very experienced in the building trades so I have the luxury of a another pair of experienced eyes looking over my purchase and not only that I can call on a builder friend of mine who would also take a look for a "big drink" as a reward.........and then there is me as the weak backstop but I have a good knowledge of what I am looking at.

So to answer the question find a good experienced Tradesperson to carry out a visual survey and in particular if you have a gas boiler heating system get a Gasafe engineer to have a look and check it over. Has it been serviced annually and certified? Is it actually in working order? How old is it? etc.   Same goes for the electrics.

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