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Is This House Habitable / Mortgageable?
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# 1
JillyR
Old 30-05-2009, 6:04 PM
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Default Is This House Habitable / Mortgageable?

Any advice or opinions would be much appreciated please on whether this house would be considered habitable or even mortgageable (sorry no photos):

Conventional brick built semi-detached house, built circa 1920 and is more or less ‘as built’. There are two to three bedrooms, upstairs bathroom, two reception rooms, a small kitchen and an ‘outside’ loo. It has been empty for several years.

OVERALL CONDITION - it is structurally sound though very dated decor and though not neglected is due for re-decorating.

EXTERNALLY - it is weatherproof and generally in a good state of repair. In the past 10 years it has been re-roofed, had new rainwater goods, and the roof timbers had preventative treatments. About a third of the windows have upvc double glazed windows, the rest are the original wood sash windows, which are due for repainting and some need refurbishment (new cords etc.). The foul air pipe needs replacing.

INTERNALLY - really needs modernisation.
It has the original plaster and lathe ceilings and apart from some ‘running repairs’ the original lime plaster on the walls.
It has the very basic electrics typical for its’ age - one ceiling light and one socket per room, and was rewired in the 1970s.
There is no central heating. It has the original fireplaces in the two reception rooms and two of the bedrooms but the chimneys will need re-lining before use.
The kitchen is the old ‘scullery’ type, i.e. Belfast sink with cold water tap with a hot water tap being added later from the bathroom supply. There was a gas point for a cooker and an old-fashioned wash boiler - but the gas supply was disconnected at the street several years ago.
The hot water system was an old instantaneous gas heater which was condemned years ago and as above gas supply was cut off more recently.
The bathroom is very small - just room for a basin and an old narrow roll top bath. The only toilet is currently accessed by going outside.
Cold water supply still has the original lead pipework.
The third bedroom is very small - less than 6 square metres floor area.

Reason for asking is - For various reasons (reviewing finances, wills, to keep / sell / give away etc.) my Dad recently had valuations done on an empty house he owns. The valuations came in at around the same figure aimed at the same ‘market’. However, whilst the agents were all very polite and apparently helpful all of them seemed to have a very narrow market in mind (i.e. ‘developers’), and kept referring to ‘cash buyers’ but did not elaborate, even when asked. (I got the impression all of them already had a quick and easy sale in mind to specific buyer(s).) A little further research for myself makes me now wonder whether the house would even be classed as habitable in its current state or would be mortgageable.

Again, any advice or opinions would be appreciated. Thanks.
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# 2
Norma Desmond
Old 30-05-2009, 6:16 PM
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I would have thought it would be at least mortgageable as it does have (most!) utilities connected and a kitchen of sorts.....not sure about the outside loo though?
Our house was virtually a shell when we bought it - although it was structurally sound the kitchen consisted of two taps and the sink and two base units - we didn't have a problem with a mortgage.
"I'm ready for my close-up Mr. DeMille...."
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# 3
theartfullodger
Old 30-05-2009, 6:49 PM
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Of course it is b****in' habitable. Seen how so many people have to live out there in the real world??

It might not meet the standards you'd like - an entirely different question...

I always feel we must be so thankful for the advantages we have living in dear old Blighty...

Cheers!

Lodger
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# 4
JillyR
Old 30-05-2009, 8:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theartfullodger View Post
It might not meet the standards you'd like .....
You may have misunderstood - my standards are very low !

Seriously as the off-spring of the "Make Do and Mend" generation my standards are firmly based on "if it ain't broke don't fix it". To me this house is perfectly acceptable - my only concern would be lead water pipes but even that need not be a major issue.

However, I am fully aware that many people these days, including the professionals, expect everything to be to modern standards. My concern is that there is no nasty suprise if the house is classed as not habitable or mortgageable.
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BitterAndTwisted
Old 30-05-2009, 8:41 PM
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Oh, it's mortgageable, all right. You need to get some contractors round to price up what the modernisation will cost and factor that in. Sounds like the tiny "bedroom" could become part of an enlarged bathroom if the layout allows for it. Long-term you'll need to get shot of those manky UPVC windows. Bit of a bummer not having gas, though.

Edit: I misunderstood about the gas bit. I see now that it's connectable.

I'd love a solidly-built 1920's house, myself. Four original fireplaces. Imagine how cosy!

Last edited by BitterAndTwisted; 30-05-2009 at 9:25 PM.
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# 6
PasturesNew
Old 30-05-2009, 8:49 PM
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It sounds habitable to me. The issue would therefore be whether the survey suggests that the lender put a retention onto the mortgage. They might put a retention on it until the rewire at least.
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# 7
lincroft1710
Old 30-05-2009, 11:27 PM
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Sounds like first house my parents owned, except gas was connected. 6 sq m is fine for 3rd bed, if it's 3m x 2m, then that's 10ft x 6.5ft, plenty of room for single bed.
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# 8
silvercar
Old 31-05-2009, 5:41 PM
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There are minimum requirements for a property to be mortgeable. I know a kitchen is one, but a sink and single cupboard and cooker point will suffice.

There needs to be a bathroom, so that box is ticked. I'm not sure if there needs to be an inside toilet or not - that could be the sticking point.
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# 9
BitterAndTwisted
Old 31-05-2009, 7:07 PM
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I don't know for a fact but I believe an outside privy should be acceptable to a lender. Thousands of people still have one, even in this day and age: it's just not seen as perfect now
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# 10
JillyR
Old 31-05-2009, 9:44 PM
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Many thanks for your opinions - and putting my mind at rest.

It is a nice little house and would be very quick, easy and inexpensive to update.

I just felt the agents were being evasive and possibly trying to keep a 'gazundering' option open for their 'favoured' buyers. (Yep suspicious is my middle name.)
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