Thursday, October 18, 2007

House Survey (but not like we know it)

You know when you buy a house in the UK, you dish out a few hundred quid for a survey and when you move in and find out nothing works, you wonder what you spent your money on. For instance, the guy that did the survey on our St Albans house for our buyer was really nice...but I know that because he spent 80% of the 90 minutes he was in the house chatting to me rather than surveying!

Not so today...we had our survey (the Canadian's call it a House Inspection) on the property we are buying. Merv was the man and what a character he was. We were with him through the entirety of the 2.5 hour survey (never happens in the UK) and step by step, he pointed out everything he was doing. Where there were imperfections, he would point them out and tell us whether they were significant or not (in all cases, not, thankfully). He tried all the taps, filled the bath with water to check for leaks and water pressure, he tested sockets and got us to do likewise by tripping sockets. He'd then make us figure out how to rectify the situation. He walked us through the electrical consumer unit and how to reset it and also down in the basement, where the furnaces and air conditioning are hosted, he would spell out theoretical problems and then get us to figure out what to do to resolve them. He labelled all the key parts of the system to help us remember and did his report there and then for us. Superb value for money at CDN$450 or c£225.

We asked him why he went to all this effort with clients and he says he likes being a House Policeman - he hates seeing people ripped off. Nice guy...ever so slightly nuts but nice!