Beautiful Naive Thoughts
Initially GEM Associates Limited Independent Chartered Surveyors, was set up with some beautiful naive aims, which were that if we offered the best surveys we would make a good honest living. However we soon noticed that all is not as it seems in the property world!
Property is big business
Property is very big business and the lending of money to finance the acquisition of a property is equally big business. This has lead to some of the largest companies, shall we say “protecting their interests” (we are always cautious as to what we say as in the past one very large company tried to take us to court for our comments – maybe they did not like people to know).
The Latin “caveat emptor” means “buyer beware” and whilst the property buyer should be conscious that they have liability it can help to make a unique selling point if your house has its own independent structural survey carried out.
Understanding close links
The situation is “interesting” whereby the Estate Agent can be owned or own the Surveyors and in turn all can be owned by the lenders. We are probably safer (from the being sued point of view) to say they have close links with them.
So this means that the estate agent can recommend the surveyors and mortgage lenders – all being owned ultimately by the same company!
On occasions the mortgage lender may give their client the “choice” of companies on their panel – these companies usually/often have reciprocal agreements with the recommending company. They make it very difficult to use anyone outside this group – just try asking!
Buying property is too important to leave to a production line
The purchase of a house has to be one of the biggest investments most people make; therefore we consider it is very important to get good property advice. This is why our Independent Surveyors treat every house they survey as if it were the house that they were buying. We care about our clients and strive to give the best property advice presented in the best structural survey report.
All surveyors are not the same
We repeatedly see survey reports that are not worth the paper they are printed on! We recently carried out a structural survey where the owners were so impressed with what we did – the astonishing thing was that they had just had a survey carried out by another Surveyor and could not understand it! Having read it we could see why, it did not give an opinion at all, it used technical language and had no heart and soul to the report.
Plain English survey reports
Our report format is written in plain English and is very readable and free from “Surveyor speak” so that it is aimed at making the survey easy to understand any property issues. When we do include a technical term we give a clear definition as well as sketches and photographs to ensure the area is plainly identified.
Meeting and speaking to your surveyor
We always speak to the client prior to the survey, often meet them at the property being surveyed and speak to them after the survey to ensure they are fully aware of the properties good, bad and any ugly points. We always do our best to help and happily take clients calls with any queries if they need clarification on a property matter.
All surveys are not the same
From talking to clients over the many years we have been in the surveying business we appreciate that there are many almost worthless surveys written by some of the other Surveyors in the field. We pride ourselves in producing the best quality surveys tailored to recognise what our clients require it may be easy to use the Estate Agent/mortgage lenders “recommended” Surveyor but they are not totally independent as our Surveyors are who work for our clients and our clients alone with their best interests at heart and are totally impartial.
An independent voice
Our pledge to our clients is “We act just for you – we offer a personal service tailored to your needs and we are truly independent.” Our clients can ask us to look at potential for an extension (we can draw extensions too) or advise on that crack they saw – is it a problem or not?
Happy clients is always our aim
In fact we encourage our clients to contact us both before and after the survey for a chat or meet us at the property. We will be pleased to meet with our clients to ensure they are happy with our service and fully understand the property they are viewing.
We establish the cause not just look at the effect
We find time and time again that owners, builders and Surveyors alike treat the effect of a problem without establishing the cause. It is often relatively easy to see the problem and effect and hard to see the cause. We always try to find the cause of the problem and would start by sending our clients a questionnaire to complete before the survey is carried out.
Peace of mind – a safety net
And finally a survey should give our clients a safety net. We take great pride in what we do. We will try and be conclusive in what we say (although sometimes not always possible). On building surveys for example, if an area needs opening up, a floor for example, we will do our best to get it open (with present owner’s permission required of course).
We advise – you decide
If our clients believe we have missed something we are happy to return free of charge. We will talk and talk with you until our clients are happy to make an informed property decision. Ultimately the decision is the clients of course – we advise, the client decides.
Beautiful naive thoughts
We still have beautifully naïve thoughts but now many years on we understand the property game. We have built up a fantastic client base on word of mouth recommendations from people who have discovered us one way or another. We have developed our website to include property articles to help our clients as well as developing specialist websites such as www.dilapshelp.com and www.warehousesurveyor.com tailor built to address property issues specific to these areas.
Circles and ovals – what do they mean?
The circles and ovals are a method that we use within our structural surveys and building surveys to focus on problem areas so that our clients are not left deliberating what the problem area is.
Our good, bad and ugly building surveys!
We would also like to introduce to you what we call our Good, Bad and Ugly survey which is a building survey, also known as a structural survey, and is a survey feature that we have developed over many years, in fact several decades.
Good points we believe are always a positive start to read in our Executive Summaries then Bad or Ugly areas are detailed in full supported with photographs, unique survey sketches and technical term definitions – our aim is to ensure our clients are fully informed regarding the property being surveyed. We have listened to feedback from our clients and amended and altered our surveys to make them easy to read and describe issues clearly. The key factor we believe is that our surveys are easy to understand and written in plain English.
Aerial view 360 photos
All our Surveyors have the latest surveying equipment and also include aerial view 360 photos in all our reports. These unique aerial view 360 photos give a bird’s eye view of difficult to see areas of a property such as hidden valley gutters or chimneys and used within our building surveys help to identify any problem areas.
We also provide 3D sketches that enables us to show you your property in 3D sketch format. Using this design process we can show you any plans you may have considered including adding an extension adding extra windows and doors or roof windows for example. We can enable you to see what you have dreamt about with a 3D sketch.
Independent building surveyors
If you would like to speak to us regarding a building survey then either call or email and we will call you back. A call to GEM Surveyors today will save you time and money. 01234 355 358