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Survey Contains details of work needed on House
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# 1
SuperOxford
Old 20-03-2007, 7:23 PM
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Default Survey Contains details of work needed on House

I have just received my HomeBuyers Survey and it states that what seems to be a fair amount of work is needed.

Specialist contractor to inspect all timbers in house and also to inspect whole property for damp as there as signs of damp in 2 downstairs rooms
Roof to be checked (there are some light gaps in roof)
Floor of utility room to be renewed
Water ingress from chimney stack in utility room to be investigated
Flue & linings of open fire to be checked

It states that house is worth £136,000 (which is the price i have agreed) but the current estimated cost of reinstating the property in its present form is estimated at £115,000 for insurance purposes.


I spoke to my solicitors who said that I need to send the report to the estate agents and matters will progress from there. The solicitors said they would not become involved in this. Is that correct as I thought that they would do this for me.

Is all of the recifitcation work the responsibility of the present owner?

I propose to ask that the owner either corrects all the faults or the house price is reduced by however much the quotes are for. Is that the correct procedure?

Will it cost £21,000 to rectify the problems (£136,000 less £115,000)

If the owner will not reduce the price or do the work then my initial instinct is to call off the purchase of the house as after buying the house there is no way i will have the money to sort the problems out.

Hope thats not too much info (or too little!).

Can anyone tell me how I should proceed and what their thoughts are?

Thanks
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# 2
silvercar
Old 20-03-2007, 7:28 PM
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Quote:
It states that house is worth £136,000 (which is the price i have agreed) but the current estimated cost of reinstating the property in its present form is estimated at £115,000 for insurance purposes.
So the survey states the house is worth what you are paying for it; this will limit your negotiating power. The insurance reinstatement valuation allows for the fact you would own the land; its purpose is to tell you how much to insure the building costs for. It is irrelevent for your negotiating purposes.

You can try and negotiate based on items shown in the survey that you weren't aware of. The fact that, even with these problems, the house is worth what you are paying will limit your power. But no harm in trying.
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# 3
Floxxie
Old 20-03-2007, 7:31 PM
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Speak to the EAs and let them know that the report is back. You need to contact some firms dealing in the various matters and get them to have a look at the property and to see if there are any works that need doing and how much they are likely to cost.

If the surveyor has valued the house at the price you have agreed to pay, then I cannot see why you expect the vendor to help with any costs. I certainly wouldn't drop the price.

The insurance figure reflects how much a house costs to rebuild; this is not the figure that you should be interested in.

If you want to buy a house that requires no work and therefore no extra outlay, then buy a new build.

Sorry that this might sound a little harsh but I am amazed by how people think the house should be 'perfect' before they purchase.
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# 4
Headintheclouds
Old 20-03-2007, 7:45 PM
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Presumably if your lender is happy with the valuation part of your survey and will lend you the money to buy the property at the agreed price, then you can do the work as and when - prioritising to suit your budget and the time of year (i.e. given the bad weather we're having get the roof checked out and fixed before worrying about the utility room floor!) I understand that post-survey negotiation really applies if the valuation is lower than the offer you've had accepted because of some hideous flaw - perhaps someone could confirm.

As the above poster said, if you want a house which doesn't need any work then you'd be better off buying a new build! If you really love the house and aim to live in it for some time then take it on the chin as a challenge! Good luck.

Last edited by Headintheclouds; 20-03-2007 at 7:59 PM.
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# 5
shell2001
Old 20-03-2007, 8:50 PM
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We had this happen to us as sellers. We bought the property 3 years ago and had a home buyers done, nothing major just the usual guttering, repainting etc. Our buyer had a homebuyers done and the most crazy pile of cack got listed by an over zealous surveyor who was just justifiying the hundreds of pounds they charge for these reports! He said the chimney needed rebuiling, we got a roofer round - no just some bricks have blown and fronts need reconcreting, to do the chimney, realign, clean and replace seals on guttering and also reconcrete 4 bricks along the bottom of the house £280! Our buyer saw the list and wanted us to drop £5500 (plus this would have saved him another £1300 pounds stamp duty!)

I would definatley look at getting prices for the jobs required and take it from there. Ours is a 1930's property and yes it has its lumps and bumps what property doesnt. I work weekends at an estate agents, i did a viewing of a house 3 years old the amounts of cracks in walls, doorframes etc was unreal!

Our situation resulted in us loosing our buyer, we were prepared to drop but not by such a crazy amount. But because of his greed we have now accepted an offer of £1500 more than he was going to pay! He is still looking for his bargain!
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# 6
SuperOxford
Old 20-03-2007, 11:04 PM
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Thanks for all your replies.

At this stage I will try to get the owner to at least contribute towards the damp problem and the roof. Will speak to my solicitors tomorrow and send them a copy of the report. The damp could well be long standing so am worried about the cost!
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# 7
thesaint
Old 21-03-2007, 9:02 AM
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I wouldn't buy a new build in order to have a home requiring no extra work, they are often worse than a house that's 50 years old!
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# 8
olly300
Old 21-03-2007, 9:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperOxford View Post
Thanks for all your replies.

At this stage I will try to get the owner to at least contribute towards the damp problem and the roof. Will speak to my solicitors tomorrow and send them a copy of the report. The damp could well be long standing so am worried about the cost!
Surveyors are over zealous.

If the house is worth the valuation then the vendors will can quite rightly tell you to go away and sort out the stuff yourself.

Check out the problems yourself i.e. get a builder in for the roof and the damp. The damp could be caused by anything from poor ventilation due to the vendors lifestyle to broken pointing in the brick work, leaky guttering.
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# 9
Floxxie
Old 21-03-2007, 9:16 AM
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Originally Posted by thesaint View Post
I wouldn't buy a new build in order to have a home requiring no extra work, they are often worse than a house that's 50 years old!
But they don't have damp. need the electrics updating, need decorating. Unless of course you are talking about badly built homes and that's a different matter.

Houses need money spending on them for maintenance. If the OP has no extra money then a new build would be a viable choice.
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# 10
icklejulez
Old 21-03-2007, 9:26 AM
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Ive lived in a new build for 4 years and everything just falls to pieces. You can hear someone on the toilet upstairs downstairs and the kids wake up at every noise. Never Again. Give me a victorian Terrace anyday...
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# 11
AndrewSmith
Old 21-03-2007, 9:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperOxford View Post
I have just received my HomeBuyers Survey and it states that what seems to be a fair amount of work is needed.

Specialist contractor to inspect all timbers in house and also to inspect whole property for damp as there as signs of damp in 2 downstairs rooms
Roof to be checked (there are some light gaps in roof)
Floor of utility room to be renewed
Water ingress from chimney stack in utility room to be investigated
Flue & linings of open fire to be checked
To be honest these are all standard things one would expect a Homebuyer's report to find and pick up. They will always suggest a specialist contractor to check damp and timber merely to cover their own arses and shift liability in the event of a claim if it was missed.

I am guessing the house is between Victorian - maybe 70's?

Quote:
It states that house is worth £136,000 (which is the price i have agreed) but the current estimated cost of reinstating the property in its present form is estimated at £115,000 for insurance purposes.
Re-instatement value will usually always be much less than the actual market value. It represents the cost of a ground-up rebuild should the whole house need to be completely replaced. It is not a reflection on the market value of the property at all.

Quote:
I spoke to my solicitors who said that I need to send the report to the estate agents and matters will progress from there. The solicitors said they would not become involved in this. Is that correct as I thought that they would do this for me.
No, solicitors will not, as a rule, become involved in negotiation following survey. It is down to you to attempt to do this if you feel you have valid reason.

Quote:
Is all of the recifitcation work the responsibility of the present owner?
It is nobody's 'responsibility' as such. You buy a house in an 'as seen' state pretty much in the same way as a used car with all known faults. You can try to renegotiate however the seller has no legal or moral obligation to reduce the price at all. After all, the survey has assessed that you are paying what the property is worth so the condition will have been taken into account when the selling price was agreed initially with the Estate Agent and Seller.

Quote:
I propose to ask that the owner either corrects all the faults or the house price is reduced by however much the quotes are for. Is that the correct procedure?

Will it cost £21,000 to rectify the problems (£136,000 less £115,000)
Right, but remember that if you were buying a house without the aforementioned works you would, most likely, be paying more for it. They surveyor does not obviously feel that the repairs are immediately essential or else he would have either downvalued the property or suggested a retention of monies by the lender until the work is carried out.

Regarding asking the seller to reduce by £21,000 as a result of the relatively minor issues (with the exception of the roof) raised, taking into account that there is a certain amount of justifying their existance and the money you have paid them in a homebuyer's report, I think you do not have a chance. That represents a reduction of 15.5% of the agreed price, probably the equity needed by the seller to make the move possible.

Quote:
If the owner will not reduce the price or do the work then my initial instinct is to call off the purchase of the house as after buying the house there is no way i will have the money to sort the problems out.
With most 'used' houses there will always be work to do. Both initially and on-going maintenance.

Obviously I do not know the whole picture but, based on what you have posted, I don't think you have much chance of getting the seller to reduce by £21,000 as the price the property has sold for will most likely reflect the work that is needed.
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# 12
AndrewSmith
Old 21-03-2007, 9:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Floxxie View Post
But they don't have damp. need the electrics updating, need decorating. Unless of course you are talking about badly built homes and that's a different matter.

Houses need money spending on them for maintenance. If the OP has no extra money then a new build would be a viable choice.
New build may seem the viable choice however for a comparable property it is normal to pay sometimes up to 20% extra for a newbuild, to have snagging problems, inferior build quality to older houses and a house which will have no character.
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# 13
Paul1sh
Old 21-03-2007, 10:04 AM
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I'm adding my bit now as I've worked on restoring quite a few victorian properties in the last decade.Firstly the report doesn't indicate anything that says the property is uninhabitable.Unless house prices suddenly crash the works done on the property are to your benefit as it will increase the value.

Let's break dowwn the report to realistic money terms and what it really means.

'Specialist contractor to inspect all timbers in house ' - as someone has already stated this is to cover the surveyors backside.He wants you to check that there's no wet/dry rot or woodworm in the rooftimbers and floortimbers.Unless it's a timber framed house built in the 80's we're looking more to the roof timbers and any possible damage the water ingress may have caused.Get several quotes before anyinspection takes place but you're looking at £200 - £400 for this inspection.
'and also to inspect whole property for damp as there as signs of damp in 2 downstairs rooms' Get this checked out at the same time as the timber inspection .The damp could be penetrating (i.e. pointing needs redoing ,gutters might need cleaning out as they're full of moss allowing water to run down the wall.) If it's penetrating rectify the cause and then prevent it happening again and reinstate any damaged internal plasterwork.£1000 max
If it's rising damp (doesn't state whether the seller has had a damp course installed and if it is still under guarantee) then it requires a damp course installed/injected and internal plasterwork reinstating - £2000 max

Roof to be checked (there are some light gaps in roof) - this would indicated no underfelt on the roof so you're looking at £1500 max to underfelt and replace worn slates.
Floor of utility room to be renewed - without seeing this I don't know whether it's a tile floor with no dampcourse underneath or what.Let's go for the worse senario the floor needs excavating 300mm deep , sharp sand at the bottom,damp proof membrane laying, insulation laying then concreting over .£1000 MAX including new floor covering.
Water ingress from chimney stack in utility room to be investigated - sounds like the flashing has worn away and this will be included in having the roof underfelted as mentioned above.
Flue & linings of open fire to be checked - this is just to check no carbon monoxide is leaking - a corgi registered engineer can check this out .If it needs relining £500 including inspection.
£5400 max for the lot
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# 14
Floxxie
Old 21-03-2007, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by AndrewSmith View Post
New build may seem the viable choice however for a comparable property it is normal to pay sometimes up to 20% extra for a newbuild, to have snagging problems, inferior build quality to older houses and a house which will have no character.
You could be describing any house - I don't consider most 1970s houses to have character!

Yes, they do have thinner walls but noise is an issue in most houses, especially if they are small! And at least you know that the works were done by a tradesperson and not Mr/s weekend DIYer.

The house I bought is styled on a Victorian property, is large, has high ceilings and any snags that have been found, have been corrected by the builder...even after 4 years of being here...it's a case of checking out the builder prior to buying.

Some people just prefer houses that don't have damp, old electrics, issues with foundations (or lack of them), walls and windows that let heat out and cold in, beetle and woodrot etc., because of the ongoing costs involved and the discomfort.

The OP is concerned at 'normal' areas that are raised in older properties; it suggests that s/he should be looking at properties that don't require extra outlay at the time of purchase.
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# 15
thesaint
Old 21-03-2007, 1:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Floxxie View Post
You could be describing any house - I don't consider most 1970s houses to have character!

Yes, they do have thinner walls but noise is an issue in most houses, especially if they are small! And at least you know that the works were done by a tradesperson and not Mr/s weekend DIYer.

The house I bought is styled on a Victorian property, is large, has high ceilings and any snags that have been found, have been corrected by the builder...even after 4 years of being here...it's a case of checking out the builder prior to buying.

Some people just prefer houses that don't have damp, old electrics, issues with foundations (or lack of them), walls and windows that let heat out and cold in, beetle and woodrot etc., because of the ongoing costs involved and the discomfort.

The OP is concerned at 'normal' areas that are raised in older properties; it suggests that s/he should be looking at properties that don't require extra outlay at the time of purchase.

I made my initial post because you said "If you want to buy a house that requires no work and therefore no extra outlay, then buy a new build".

You then say that you have had the builder in to correct snags in your new build. So you've had work done? I bet most owners of newbuilds have considerably more complaints than the average 'Old' house.

I think your house was styled on a Victorian property because purchasers know Victorian houses are built to a superior quality, so the developers play on that because they can command a premium.

Everyone prefers a house without damp, old electrics etc, but all this is up for negotiation.
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# 16
silvercar
Old 21-03-2007, 3:58 PM
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Negotiation on offered prices is always difficult. To use the survey as a negotiating tool, it needs to flag up issues that you couldn't expect to have seen on initial visits. You can then say that in making your offer you were unaware of X and had you known about it you would have adjusted your offer accordingly. The downside of valuations is the vendor can say that you are getting full value as the house is at present.
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# 17
Floxxie
Old 21-03-2007, 8:21 PM
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Originally Posted by thesaint View Post
I made my initial post because you said "If you want to buy a house that requires no work and therefore no extra outlay, then buy a new build".

You then say that you have had the builder in to correct snags in your new build. So you've had work done? I bet most owners of new builds have considerably more complaints than the average 'Old' house.

I think your house was styled on a Victorian property because purchasers know Victorian houses are built to a superior quality, so the developers play on that because they can command a premium.

Everyone prefers a house without damp, old electrics etc, but all this is up for negotiation.
This is turning into a new build v old build discussion! I have lived in both new and old houses. I find old houses are a drain on the finances.

The work I have had done on my 'new' house is less than minor - filling in of settlement cracks (they are normal when a house is drying out!), evening of plaster, repaint in several areas, replacement of blown worktops...fortunately the builder will make good such things. I know of others that won't come through the door once completed. However I do not need to pay out for anything that has been replaced/repaired and so there has been no extra outlay.

It is interesting that you write buyers know Victorian properties are built to a superior quality and therefore builders can command a premium. In my job most surveys I see will pull apart Victorian properties citing movement, damp, electrics, beetle infestation, timber issues, single wall kitchens, damaged roof and the occasional loose gable end. I am beginning to wonder if people go for these properties in the hope that they can get major reductions for what is normally a solid house. (In terms of a premium price, this type of house hadn't been built here before so the price was very reasonable)

I think those of us who buy new builds expect everything to be perfect and therefore we are not happy if they are not. Whereas in an older property you should expect things not to be perfect; people seem to require old properties to be bought up to today's standard without having to incur the cost themselves.
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# 18
thesaint
Old 21-03-2007, 9:35 PM
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I would love to see the surveyors report when the current new builds are 120 years old.
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# 19
SuperOxford
Old 22-03-2007, 9:25 PM
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Thanks for all yoru replies. Not sure I meant to start of an Old v New discussion!

The estate agents have told me the owners have a guarantee for work done is connection for damp that lasts for 30 years. They are trying to find out more from the owners. I guess there is a chance that the guarantee will be useless and may not be for what it actually causing the damp now. The agents have told me i can instruct someone to look at the roof and will get back to me about the damp when more information has been obtained about this guarantee thing. I dont expect it will help so will probably have to instruct a company to do a survey and provide quotes in relation to the damp.

At the moment the owners seem prepared to negotiate this with me and the estate agents so hopefully things can get sorted and the problems fixed but you never know.........
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