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    • kissprudence
    • By kissprudence 1st Oct 17, 12:19 AM
    • 25Posts
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    kissprudence
    Nervous after survey - structural movement (?), damp and cavity wall ties eroded
    • #1
    • 1st Oct 17, 12:19 AM
    Nervous after survey - structural movement (?), damp and cavity wall ties eroded 1st Oct 17 at 12:19 AM
    Hi everyone, need some advice.
    Had an offer accepted of £115k on a 2 bed 1930s semi in Bradford.
    Valuation survey has come back and surveyor has put current value of house at £0!
    Reasons:
    - vertical crack in render which *may* be a sign of progressive movement
    - damp (despite vendors having a damp proof course in last six years, I'm waiting for certificate to find out how long ago)
    - eroded cavity wall ties

    Surveyor says I need:
    - structural engineer out to look at the crack
    - damp and timber survey
    - cavity wall tie report

    I realise that damp and timber surveys are a common request nowadays and that wouldn't necessarily put me off. But with the structural engineer survey AND cavity wall tie report as well, it all just feels a bit too much.

    Should I run for the hills or am I being too hasty? Hubby doesn't seem too fazed but then I'm buying it in my name only WITH MY MONEY ha.

    I will confess that it's not my intended forever home and not my dream house. We've been looking for quite a while and this is the only one that we felt met our spec/ needs and in our price bracket.
Page 1
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 1st Oct 17, 9:20 AM
    • 15,769 Posts
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    AdrianC
    • #2
    • 1st Oct 17, 9:20 AM
    • #2
    • 1st Oct 17, 9:20 AM
    Had an offer accepted of £115k on a 2 bed 1930s semi in Bradford.
    Valuation survey has come back and surveyor has put current value of house at £0!
    Originally posted by kissprudence
    Are you a cash buyer, or is there a mortgage lender involved?

    If this valuation is for a lender, then the decision is out of your hands.

    Reasons:
    - vertical crack in render which *may* be a sign of progressive movement
    Let's see a pic.

    - damp (despite vendors having a damp proof course in last six years, I'm waiting for certificate to find out how long ago)
    1930s would have been built with a DPC anyway. Damp is usually a simple question of gutters and ground levels.

    - eroded cavity wall ties
    Eww.

    Should I run for the hills or am I being too hasty? Hubby doesn't seem too fazed but then I'm buying it in my name only WITH MY MONEY ha.
    Your money, your decision.

    and this is the only one that we felt met our spec/ needs and in our price bracket.
    And now you know why this one was cheaper than the many other ostensibly similar 1930s semis in Bradford...
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 1st Oct 17, 9:30 AM
    • 7,677 Posts
    • 8,291 Thanks
    AnotherJoe
    • #3
    • 1st Oct 17, 9:30 AM
    • #3
    • 1st Oct 17, 9:30 AM
    If it was me I wouldn't be at all nervous as there's no way in hell I'd be proceeding.
    I wouldn't buy anywhere that needed cavity wall ties let alone had some sort of issue (inherent damp?) that meant they were corroding.
    • Scotbot
    • By Scotbot 1st Oct 17, 9:46 AM
    • 139 Posts
    • 97 Thanks
    Scotbot
    • #4
    • 1st Oct 17, 9:46 AM
    • #4
    • 1st Oct 17, 9:46 AM
    If the valuation was 0 you won't get a mortgage. If you are paying cash get a structural engineer to quote for fixing it. The cost will run into thousands and may well take you out of your price bracket.
    • kinger101
    • By kinger101 1st Oct 17, 9:57 AM
    • 3,956 Posts
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    kinger101
    • #5
    • 1st Oct 17, 9:57 AM
    • #5
    • 1st Oct 17, 9:57 AM
    See if the vendor will accept the valuation price.
    • RedFraggle
    • By RedFraggle 1st Oct 17, 11:05 AM
    • 540 Posts
    • 1,257 Thanks
    RedFraggle
    • #6
    • 1st Oct 17, 11:05 AM
    • #6
    • 1st Oct 17, 11:05 AM
    If it was me I wouldn't be at all nervous as there's no way in hell I'd be proceeding.
    I wouldn't buy anywhere that needed cavity wall ties let alone had some sort of issue (inherent damp?) that meant they were corroding.
    Originally posted by AnotherJoe
    I don't believe their presence indicates anything wrong, they're part of the build process. I think they corrode because they used to use mild steel that was coated not stainless so the corrosion doesn't mean a massive damp issue.
    Officially in a clique of idiots
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 1st Oct 17, 11:07 AM
    • 15,769 Posts
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    AdrianC
    • #7
    • 1st Oct 17, 11:07 AM
    • #7
    • 1st Oct 17, 11:07 AM
    I don't believe their presence indicates anything wrong, they're part of the build process. I think they corrode because they used to use mild steel that was coated not stainless so the corrosion doesn't mean a massive damp issue.
    Originally posted by RedFraggle
    Quite. Not buying anything that "needs" cavity ties simply means not buying anywhere with cavity walls...
    • kissprudence
    • By kissprudence 1st Oct 17, 12:30 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    kissprudence
    • #8
    • 1st Oct 17, 12:30 PM
    • #8
    • 1st Oct 17, 12:30 PM
    Thanks everyone. I'm buying with a mortgage. Think my mind is made up, I'm going to walk away from this one...
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 1st Oct 17, 6:29 PM
    • 3,291 Posts
    • 4,590 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    • #9
    • 1st Oct 17, 6:29 PM
    • #9
    • 1st Oct 17, 6:29 PM
    I can't decide whether £115k is expensive or cheap? If it is cheap compared to the traditional end of terraced two up two downs then that is because it has problems.

    It seem expensive to me for a 2 bed anyway because they are not that popular unless they are an old cottage or something.
    • ProDave
    • By ProDave 1st Oct 17, 6:56 PM
    • 459 Posts
    • 535 Thanks
    ProDave
    I question if it is really a cavity wall. That would be unusual for 1930's
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 1st Oct 17, 6:58 PM
    • 15,769 Posts
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    AdrianC
    I question if it is really a cavity wall. That would be unusual for 1930's
    Originally posted by ProDave
    It would be very normal for 30s.
    • shortcrust
    • By shortcrust 1st Oct 17, 7:12 PM
    • 1,467 Posts
    • 1,920 Thanks
    shortcrust
    I question if it is really a cavity wall. That would be unusual for 1930's
    Originally posted by ProDave
    It would be very normal for 30s.
    Originally posted by AdrianC
    My house was built in the 30s without cavity walls and my surveyor questioned the build date because "cavity walls were ubiquitous by 1930".
    • quotememiserable
    • By quotememiserable 1st Oct 17, 7:20 PM
    • 399 Posts
    • 260 Thanks
    quotememiserable
    Reasons:
    - eroded cavity wall ties
    Originally posted by kissprudence
    How could he know that, unless he drilled the wall? More often they say something like 'with a property this age corrosion of cavity wall ties may be an issue and we recommend a wall tie survey'. Although the problem can then be that the only companies who offer such surveys also offer remedial packages, and always find corrosion that needs their attention. In practice ties are mild steel and normally a littled rusted the day they go in. Partly because the bond to the cement better that way.
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 1st Oct 17, 11:00 PM
    • 7,677 Posts
    • 8,291 Thanks
    AnotherJoe
    Quite. Not buying anything that "needs" cavity ties simply means not buying anywhere with cavity walls...
    Originally posted by AdrianC
    My bad I was thinking of those big X's you see, different thing entirely. In any case, if they have corroded I'd have thought a mare to fix.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 2nd Oct 17, 12:13 AM
    • 23,712 Posts
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    Davesnave
    How could he know that, unless he drilled the wall? More often they say something like 'with a property this age corrosion of cavity wall ties may be an issue and we recommend a wall tie survey'. Although the problem can then be that the only companies who offer such surveys also offer remedial packages, and always find corrosion that needs their attention. In practice ties are mild steel and normally a littled rusted the day they go in. Partly because the bond to the cement better that way.
    Originally posted by quotememiserable
    I think some ties are more prone to cause problems, because when they rust, they expand, forcing bricks apart. Fishtail ties are worst for this, while the thinner butterfly type are less prone to expand and damage the wall.

    Some independent timber & damp surveyors will also cover detection of corroded ties. A few are listed here:

    http://www.independentdampsurveyors.co.uk/6.html

    Modern methods of tie replacement mean that it's not a big job on a 2 storey property. It might cost around £1500 on the one the OP mentions; hardly something to walk away from on its own, but certainly something to get a price reduction for.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • Lauralou79
    • By Lauralou79 2nd Oct 17, 6:09 AM
    • 124 Posts
    • 88 Thanks
    Lauralou79
    The problem with this is that it's out of the OP Hands as the valuationhas come at £0 so the lender won't lend for the mortgage anyway.
    My property survey ( 30s semi!) mentioned the usual cavity wall ties 'may' be eroded employ a expert etc etc. ( it's all fine) But it was valued at asking price. So my feeling it's more to do with the vertical crack?
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 2nd Oct 17, 6:59 AM
    • 23,712 Posts
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    Davesnave
    Yes, the value is £0 until the issues have been investigated and the house given a clean bill of health, or major defects rectified. Someone has to spend money now, and the OP has indicated it won't be them.

    That's fair enough. While these are only potential issues at this point, there are plenty of other 2 bed houses in Bradford without them.

    As someone else has indicated, this property may well have had the cost of some remedial works factored into the price, making it appear attractive and good value. It might be, but only to someone able and willing to throw money at it.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • Car1980
    • By Car1980 2nd Oct 17, 8:31 AM
    • 234 Posts
    • 113 Thanks
    Car1980
    Wall ties used before 1981 were of a poorer material and most houses have needed some wall ties replacing since then. My parents paid £3000 to get them replaced in a 4 bed detached in 1996.
    • wantonnoodle
    • By wantonnoodle 2nd Oct 17, 4:30 PM
    • 218 Posts
    • 149 Thanks
    wantonnoodle
    Our house needed new wall ties and 3 new lintels following the requested structural and cavity wall surveys that were identified during the valuation.

    Until we had the surveys done, our lender valued the property at purchase price, however they had a 100% retention on it. After they were done, the retention was reduced to 5%. This was not something we could afford to cover, so we negotiated with the vendor, who agreed to get the work done to the standard requested by the lender. The work cost around £3000, and the guarantee certificates were transferred to us as part of the conveyancing. All the surveys and rectification work was done before a single penny was spent on legal fees (the contract pack only arrived with our sols mid surveys, and we instructed them to hold fire on the searches).

    I think the vendor figured that if he didn't get the work done, and we walked away, anyone else buying with a mortgage would be likely to face the same problems. This would have massively reduced the potential market for the house, and given that the house had been on the market for a few months anyway, would have made it a near impossible one to sell.
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