Trying to save money on your property purchase? Penny wise or pound foolish?

Jon Charters-Reid the Yorkshire Surveyor explains the pitfalls of skimping and trying to save money when obtaining your best investment, the roof over your head.

Time and time again we are contacted by clients who have obtained a survey from other surveying companies at a really low cost, sometimes not even that much cheaper, sometimes £40 cheaper. The conversation always goes the same way and usually involves the purchaser having obtained a cheap survey and all their requirements have not been fully answered. Alternatively, the survey has identified a whole range of problems that need further specialist investigations, which could have ordinarily been answered in one of our survey reports from the onset. If your home is the most important thing to you, then why do you want to save a few pounds which might not identify problems that you could have ordinarily identified from the start?

Here is an example:

In a recent case a purchaser bought a house for £210,000. The purchaser rang round for a couple of quotes, one from ourselves and one from another property inspector. The difference was actually £48. About a week and a half went by then the lady rang us again because a load of issues had been identified on the previous report. In essence I was so intrigued about these issues that I went to take a look at the property myself and sadly and unfortunately all the issues mentioned had no substance whatsoever to them it was really just a case of writing caveats in the report to avoid litigation. It was a very badly written report. We ended up doing a deal with the homeowner to write them a proper report and in the end they effectively ended up paying twice. This is what we mean by being penny wise and pound foolish.

If you are going to employ a property surveyor find out what their experience is, how many staff they have, how many years they have been trading and alarm bells should begin to ring when the property inspector claims to have one office in a city and another office somewhere in Europe, or indeed on a similar vein, two offices at opposite ends of the country. If they are only a single practitioner or single property inspector you need to question this. Obviously, if you want a cheap job and you don’t want to protect your investment and expect to have a load of defects and problems with the house then of course you should choose the cheapest.

Remember, you get what you pay for. BUYER BEWARE!