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  • FIRST POST
    • dillinger88
    • By dillinger88 20th Apr 17, 11:12 AM
    • 2Posts
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    dillinger88
    First Time Buyers: Buying a house with broken drainage?
    • #1
    • 20th Apr 17, 11:12 AM
    First Time Buyers: Buying a house with broken drainage? 20th Apr 17 at 11:12 AM
    Hi all,

    My wife and I are in the process of purchasing a our first home. The sale is dragging on for a few reasons but there is one sticking point that is preventing me from committing fully.

    The house is a 1920s, 3 bed semi-detached in a popular area. We've put many offers in on other places but had none accepted as the area is so popular.

    Due to the age of the house, we had a full buildings survey done and our surveyor has continued to give us advice as things have progressed. Our surveyor raised concerns that the concrete apron around the front of the house has cracked and fallen slightly away from the wall which is likely due to some ground movement.

    It was suggested that we get a drainage survey and have any issues fixed ASAP to reduce further ground movement and damage to the property. The survey does not explicitly say that there is evidence of subsidence, heave or other nasties, but there are signs of cracking that aren't unexpected for a property of this age.

    The results of the CCTV drainage survey have highlighted a number of cracks and open joints in the private drainage and in the shared drainage that is (probably) the responsibility of the water company. Our surveyor has said this is the likely cause of the cracking and that it really should be sorted ASAP; the vendor could get it done on their insurance and have any guarantees passed on to us as part of the sale. Our solicitor has also confirmed that is seems like a sensible request.

    We approached the estate agent with our request and we got a phone call back today. The vendor is happy to cover the costs of the repair work by reducing the sale price, but is concerned about the sale dragging on and does not want to sort the work themselves prior to exchange of contracts.

    I am personally not comfortable going ahead and taking responsibility of the property with the drainage in this state, however my wife is arguing that if the vendor is happy to pay for it then she is willing to go ahead.

    My concerns are with regards to the buildings insurance and mortgage and how us knowing about the drainage problem is likely to affect these.

    We can cover the costs of the repairs ourselves so we would be reducing our mortgage to the new sale price rather than worrying about it affecting our loan-to-value, but are any issues that can arise from this?

    Secondly, buildings insurance is required for our mortgage and I am worried about how pre-existing drainage problems would affect our policy. Even though we intend to get it fixed ASAP if we were to go through with the sale.

    Overall I am a lot more cynical and pessimistic that my wife, so I am open to being told that my worries are over-blown. Unfortunately, the only advice we've seen on the internet for drainage problems is for houses that have history of subsidence which, according to our survey, this property does not.

    Sorry for the long post, I wanted to make sure I covered all the nuance of the issue.

    Any advice is welcomed.

    Best wishes,

    Daniel
Page 1
    • G_M
    • By G_M 20th Apr 17, 10:38 PM
    • 40,553 Posts
    • 46,397 Thanks
    G_M
    • #2
    • 20th Apr 17, 10:38 PM
    • #2
    • 20th Apr 17, 10:38 PM
    It's possible that your own insurance, once you own, would not pay out as

    a) pre-existig condition and
    b) you purchased knowing of the issue

    So unless the seller will claim on his insurance and get it fixed pre-sale, you can either

    * withdraw
    * budget to pay for the repairs from your savings/contingency fund, or
    * get the purchase price reduced
    • PeterPanic
    • By PeterPanic 21st Apr 17, 8:16 AM
    • 26 Posts
    • 83 Thanks
    PeterPanic
    • #3
    • 21st Apr 17, 8:16 AM
    • #3
    • 21st Apr 17, 8:16 AM

    I am personally not comfortable going ahead and taking responsibility of the property with the drainage in this state, however my wife is arguing that if the vendor is happy to pay for it then she is willing to go ahead.

    My concerns are with regards to the buildings insurance and mortgage and how us knowing about the drainage problem is likely to affect these.

    We can cover the costs of the repairs ourselves so we would be reducing our mortgage to the new sale price rather than worrying about it affecting our loan-to-value, but are any issues that can arise from this?

    Secondly, buildings insurance is required for our mortgage and I am worried about how pre-existing drainage problems would affect our policy. Even though we intend to get it fixed ASAP if we were to go through with the sale.

    Overall I am a lot more cynical and pessimistic that my wife, so I am open to being told that my worries are over-blown. Unfortunately, the only advice we've seen on the internet for drainage problems is for houses that have history of subsidence which, according to our survey, this property does not.

    l
    Originally posted by dillinger88
    I 100% agree with you, I suspect your wife is too excited about the purchase and doesn't understand the possible issues that can arise from broken drains.

    The cynical part of me would be saying that the vendors know the issue is bigger than they are letting on and that their could be possible subsidence issues that will mean they will find it hard to sell the property.

    Lets say you agree to them paying for the drains and you get the work done after the sale has completed. It is entirely possible that the leaking drains have damaged the foundations and caused subsidence. Who is then going to foot the bill for that, I am certain your insurance company would not want to know.

    If it were me I would be pushing for them to get the drains fixed, if the sale falls through then so be it. Better to lose the house than buying something with massive structural problems.

    Trust your gut.....
    • Niv
    • By Niv 21st Apr 17, 8:23 AM
    • 1,506 Posts
    • 1,317 Thanks
    Niv
    • #4
    • 21st Apr 17, 8:23 AM
    • #4
    • 21st Apr 17, 8:23 AM
    why do you need to get insurance companies involved. The OP stated that the seller is happy to reduce the house price to cover cost of repair. Most advice on this forum says get house price reduced and don't get vendor to do repairs themselves as they could bodge it, now we have a seller offering to lower the price and people are saying you should get them to fix it...
    YNWA

    Mortgage free by 58.
    • knightstyle
    • By knightstyle 21st Apr 17, 8:35 AM
    • 4,314 Posts
    • 1,594 Thanks
    knightstyle
    • #5
    • 21st Apr 17, 8:35 AM
    • #5
    • 21st Apr 17, 8:35 AM
    Most drain replacements are fairly straightforward and can be done DIY using plastic pipes. The cost/problems are getting to the pipes, avoiding other services and reinstating the area.
    Get a quote for the work to be done and buy the house. If you and friends do the job you will have money left over.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 21st Apr 17, 9:13 AM
    • 22,897 Posts
    • 88,033 Thanks
    Davesnave
    • #6
    • 21st Apr 17, 9:13 AM
    • #6
    • 21st Apr 17, 9:13 AM
    "The survey does not explicitly say that there is evidence of subsidence, heave or other nasties, but there are signs of cracking that aren't unexpected for a property of this age."

    Get a structural engineer's report and act on that advice.

    Employing your own contractor is usually better than having the work carried-out by the vendor, using.....well, who knows?
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • illusionek
    • By illusionek 21st Apr 17, 9:20 AM
    • 95 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    illusionek
    • #7
    • 21st Apr 17, 9:20 AM
    • #7
    • 21st Apr 17, 9:20 AM
    Please bear in mind that the price reduction does not necessarily equal cash in the bank. Do you have enough money to cover necessary repairs + fairly large contingency budget?

    Have you taken into consideration future resale? There are questions in the Property Information Form related to Insurance Claims. I also assume all future surveys will pick up on the movement. I would assume some buyers may got cold feet seeing this.

    I guess you need to make a decision whether you are getting good enough deal or not.
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