Structural Survey Before Bidding At Aution
A review of how having a full structural survey on a residential property is a must before putting in a bid at an auction.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
A pause for thought, read the survey report in full
These were many things wrong with the property and we recommended our client read 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.
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.