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Demand for UK-style pre-purchase property surveys?

Posted by Gerard Ball-193301 - Created: 16 years ago
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9 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 9)

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Posted by Gerard Ball-193301 - 16 years ago


I'm a great believer in free speech so I welcome you opinion. If it's any consolation, I've also had dud surveys carried out by members of my own profession so I am not entirely unsympathetic.

As pointed out by a later respondant, the survey does NOT take the place of a property search - a process that is currently well catered for under the existing French system.  What you really want to know (unless you are a property expert yourself) is whether your purchase IS what it purports to be - as in description, structure, services and condition.

The French system is based on trust and that is to be commended but I suspect that a French person buying a home in the UK and not understanding the language or system fully would appreciate an impartial ally as much as a UK buyer in France.



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Posted by Spidey-189686 - 16 years ago


I think that you are getting confused! The survey does not inform you whether there is going to be a motorway built nearby, that is down to your local search (in the UK) which is a COMPLETELY different report.The survey reports on the condition of the building in terms of the structure, and, depending on the level of the survey it will comment on damp, timber, electrics etc etc/


I think it is a great idea, when people buy property in France they rarely have an independant survey carried out and in my opinion I think it is foolish. If you are taking a mortgage then the lenders will occasionally send someone round to have a look but all they comment on is whether the property is worth lending money on, there is generally no report and you will never receive any feedback about it.





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Posted by MikeP-180526 - 16 years ago

quote:There is an onous on the vendor and the estate agent to disclose any problems with the property. So, if they don't declare that there is (say) a motorway due to be built right next to your prospective house, the vendor and agent are liable.

True, but if they conspire to be dishonest (hypothetically of course because no-one on the Cote d'Azur would dream of trying to operate a rip off),  or are simply incompetent,  then the purchaser ends up with the misery of a long and time consuming court case, which he may never win, or if he does win, at such cost both emotionally and financially that he's had no pleasure from the purchase.

This actually happened years ago to a friend of my parents who bought a flat in Antibes to find that later the A8 was built below her balcony.  She was a tough old lady,  but the legal wrangles nearly killed her.

Caveat emptor, which roughly translated means get a survey!

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Posted by gollum-193507 - 16 years ago

There's no need for a survey here. There is an onous on the vendor and the estate agent to disclose any problems with the property. So, if they don't declare that there is (say) a motorway due to be built right next to your prospective house, the vendor and agent are liable. Seems a much better system to me than the rip-off system in UK where every potential purchaser has to pay for their own survey (and the surveyors can sell the same survey to two potential purchasers without telling them...).

I don't see any need to import to France the inefficient and protective practices of the UK...


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Posted by EJLL - 16 years ago

I think there would be a demand for your expertise and speaking English would be a bonus. We bought an apartment and did not have a survey done but did not feel very comfgortable with the decision. Good luck with your new venture.

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Posted by kfulwell - 16 years ago

We found someone via this board to do a general survey for us. We got a thorough (almost too thorough!) report for 350 Euros plus tax. Kate

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Posted by Gerard Ball-193301 - 16 years ago

Thanks very much for your comments - it's all food for thought.

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Posted by dublinmike-182617 - 16 years ago

I would have to say 'go for it'. However it (in my opinion) would be absolutely necessary for you to have no contact with the building trade whatsoever, & never recommend anyone to carry out any work that might need doing, if you know what I mean. But I feel there's a huge market for the right service.

I think there's a market for a 'can do' surveyor who can tell people what might need doing without scaring them to death and raining on their CdA dream, that's not going to win you any customers. In fact most messages I see here people say 'nah, didn't bother', and that's the reason why; they don't want ANY bad news.

Personally i think the biggest reason I refused to let my normal surveyor even look at our old place is that being from dublin he just wouldn't (as a surveyor, and in my opinion)....get it. Stones built directly on the rock with the mountain showing through the floor just wouldn't do it for him, but for me it's magic. It's been here for 300 years but has no damp course (my god how did it survive?), but would never pass a survey.

Good luck,


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Posted by SJ-190944 - 16 years ago

When we bought our apartment a year ago we were quite uncomfortable that there was no formal survey required, as there had been when we bought our previous home in the States.  I was particularly concerned about how the place would stand up in an earthquake (having been in a huge one a few years back).  I was told that to have a survey done, I would need to hire a structural engineer for a fee of close to two thousand euros.  Not having that to spare, we took our chances........  We would have liked an overall survey done if it were possible at the time.

Hope this helps and good luck.