So, life is a little hectic right now. In addition to trying to buy a house I have been working in France, London and Dorset (small commute then!) and at the moment it is a miracle if I am in one place for more than three hours at a time. This is a little tiring but it's the life I chose, and still choose, so I shall not complain too much (today!).
The thing I do want to whinge bitterly about is insurance and house surveys. I met with the bank today to finalise the mortgage arrangements (aaargh - fear - debt - penury - fear...). As part of the mortgage I have to get a valuation for which they charge a small yet painful fee of £256.00 This is for somebody to drive by the house on their way home and say 'looks rubbish to me - I'd only pay X'. They then inform the bank of this on their headed paper knocked up on Powerpoint. It's a disgrace and the world's biggest con. I mean I could do that. You could do that. For god's sake, the Loyal Hound could do that.
The next option is to do a Homebuyers Report. This is when they do exactly the same thing but write a longer report explaining that though they didn't see anything because the door was closed / they didn't go upstairs / they never actually went there the house could have damp, a roof that will blow off if somebody sneezes, windows that don't fit, a boiler that will explode every other Tuesday. This is an even bigger rip off at £550. I could still do that, as could you. It's just a bigger con.
The last and only viable option is a Buildings Survey. This is where they visit the house and actually go inside. They are usually a qualified surveyor of some kind and they prove it by bringing damp meters, test tubes and pipettes and possibly a lab coat and they test everything they can find. Then they inform you that the house is a death trap, everything that could go wrong, just might and that you would be nuts to buy it. This small novella will cost £856.00. OUCH. There are so many other things that I could buy with that money. Things I'd actually like to buy. I mean, when else do you pay to receive bad news?
I would so love to be the person who says 'bollocks to that' and just doesn't get a survey but at the back of my mind is the fact that if I don't get the survey then Sod's Law says that I will end up with a house that does have death watch beetle encamped on the sofa watching daytime television and drinking Horlicks. If I get the survey at least I would know this, but if I don't then I will have bought a house with a sitting tenant that could make it worthless. So, I have had to agree to spend nearly a thousand pounds on a survey 'just to be sure'. It's downright depressing.
I mean, we seem to insure against EVERYTHING. Car Insurance, health insurance, contents insurance, building insurance, travel insurance, life insurance, mortgage insurance, public liability insurance (Ok I have that one for work but I do have it). The bank also wanted me to take Sickness Insurance and Trauma Insurance (I might need that one if I survive the process of buying a house which is vilely traumatic). If I saved up all the money that I spent on insurance I'd be a millionaire and could retire in a fortnight.
When it comes down to it I don't actually know anybody whose life has been ruined because they didn't have insurance. I do know plenty of people though who had insurance which didn't pay out at the vital moment because of some incomprehensible and devious bit of small print that said the insurance was invalid if you had a vowel in your name, or you tried to claim in the afternoon, or you preferred Cindy to Barbie.... you get the general gist. It's the world's biggest scam and I fall for it everytime. Why? well, just in case of course.
I'm never going to be the person who doesn't insure, but I am it seems always going to be the person who bitches and moans about the fact that I wish I didn't have to. The only thing insurance seems to do, whether it be a survey or travel insurance, is insure that I get robbed once a month like clockwork.
The price of health
2 days ago