Structural engineer Tim Haw of Versineer; other?


I’ve received a quote from Tim Haw of Versineer, for the pre-purchase structural engineering survey.

I haven’t found a lot of others to request quotes from, for the Centre area. Do you recommend that I get at least one more quote, and if so would you have anyone you recommend, please?

Ian Morris seems to cover the central area.

Not a recommendation as I haven’t used his services, just the result of googling.

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Hi Mary… what is the quote for… looking over the property… or looking/providing report… or looking/reporting/advising for works… or something else… :sunglasses:

You are asking for something that is not the norm in France. There are experts around, including several British people but they are thin on the ground and spread across France.

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Hi Stella, the quote for a verbal report which will discuss any defects found and recommend remedial actions taking into account [my] preferences and budget: 870 euros.

For a written report in English and in French it’s about 650 euros additional.

Total for all reports: 1520 euros

I do understand. I do hate to stir up things, when it’s not the norm. I’m thinking though, for the long term I would feel miles better having had this done beforehand. I certainly hate to appear ‘forceful’ if you will, to the local folks including the local construction company (well-respected and very responsive and helpful as I’ve experienced personally when one of the owners actually met with the realtor and me to discuss things).

Mary have you been given a copy of the dossier technique immobilier. ??? The seller pays for this and it’s fairly comprehensive…mine even covered termites in an area not known for termites…there were a couple of things that bothered me and the agent kindly translated much of the report at no extra cost to me…Although the age wasn’t detailed accurately My property turned out to be over 200 years old…I can forgive all its idiosyncrasies and quirks and have no wish to alter any of them…If a stone built property is still standing over 200 years later then I kind of figure that there’s not much gonna move it now bar an earthquake and even that is comprehensively covered in the report…I know it’s a case of budget for all of us but go with your gut feeling…having seen it…looked around it…is this the property of your dreams and do you trust the locals involved on a daily basis…??? Hell after the completion of my own house I sat here for ages wondering why I hadn’t heard about my deeds…turns out I was sent an email not long after completion saying I was owed quite a few euros from the notaire and where to pay it…as by then I was on a mission to set up a landline and internet I completely missed the email…! It made no difference…months later I apologised for my lack of response and the money was refunded to my French bank account within a day…x :slight_smile:

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Hi, We are in a position where the diagnostics seem OK, and to my eye the house looks reasonably sound but then when going to sign the compromis one of the vendors (belatedly) disclosed that some remedial work had been done well over 10 years ago due to subsidence.
The vendors cannot produce any documentation and the notaire has recommended a structural report to find out what has been done and the current state of the house. So although this is holding things up we are anticipating commissioning a report from a “maitre d’oeuvre” as it seems the profession of Property Surveyor does not exist in France. Good luck.

Hi Wendy… how lucky that this was discovered before you signed… and the Notaire now has it in his sights…

You will presumably get a “written” report, rather than the cheaper verbal… and can refer back to it… if necessary… later on.

Good luck.

Thank you - yes we will definitely ask for the written report. Bien Cordialement

Just thought I’d mention what I’ve learned about the written report, in case you’d be interested. I am paying for the verbal report (and, if the Air France staff strike doesn’t delay my flight) I’ll be on hand to look and discuss with the engineer. If I can’t be there, then he’ll email me any drawings/photos to illustrate and then Skype me.

He’s suggested that I pay for the verbal, and then afterward depending on what I want to do (e.g. proceed with purchase or repair … or not) then I can purchase the written. If I decide not to pursue the purchase then he says it’s not worth paying for the written. While I suppose that’s obvious, I guess I did like how he’s set up the payment options, so that’s my point, really.

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Stella, I wonder what your thought might be about when I can contact the notaire the realtor has indicated we will use if I do decide to purchase the property. Should I wait to see what the engineer finds? I’m of a mind that it might be good to notify him about the upcoming structural survey. Just not sure when to ‘butt in’ and when to let things be.

Hi Helen, Yes, I’ve been given all of the required except the sewer which the seller has agreed to and will provide now that I’ve requested it… It was interesting to not have that, as it’s required. The lack of this has kind of made me feel a bit like I need to pore over all of the documents and wish I could trust the realtor…but of course, he represents the seller.

Not sure when I’ll see that report though and kind of wondering when to ask for it. The compromis does need to be revised, to reflect this too. Haven’t seen that yet. Hmmmm.

Is the notaire likely to have any of your details yet…??? In all fairness he/she might not know much about you yet as it’s the estate agent/realtor who is working with you…The first contact/document I was sent from the notaire (to my uk address) after signing the initial agreement to buy (in Brittany) was about my rights to the 10 day cooling off period…At this point the seller can’t pull out but you the buyer can pull out within 10 days without penalty…

It is strange there is nothing in the report so far about the sewer…Is there nothing in the report about whether the property is on mains drainage or a fosse septique…??? Do you have a garden…???

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Mary. You will certainly need to pore over all the documents…and I think it important that you find out whether or not the Notaire the Agents have chosen does, actually, speak English.

I attended a Sale in the Charente… I had gone along to act as Translator for nervous friends from UK. However, it turned out that the Notaire spoke beautiful English. He went through every page and every document, clearly explaining to us, what everything was all about. This was the final sale rather than “just” the promise…

You should get the same sort of treatment for the Promise… it is equally important to get things right at this stage… and to fully understand what you are buying,… in my view. :relaxed:


Yes…the notaire dealing with mine didn’t speak any English but the agents did and patiently translated everything…sounds like you provide a wonderful service to your community Stella…:heart:

I never realised retirement could be so much fun… :relaxed:


Unfortunately, the agent/realtor doesn’t represent anyone apart from himself, and it’s you who pays his fees, not the vendor.

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Mary… are you using David Croix (Notaire) in Sancerre … he is listed as speaking English…:wink: probably worth confirming though…


Thanks, yes I did confirm with the realtor that David Croix is the Notaire he is using. Yay, that’s great that he speaks English; but I see what you mean, I will check… So I can email him, I suppose, and ask, right?

Anyway, I do appreciate your finding this info about his speaking English and letting me know. I confess I’ve been a bit drownded lately, in the poring over of facts and documents and websites. Getting better, though, and closer to the finish line.

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(((((( Hugs ))))) :heart: