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    • Ambercls
    • By Ambercls 12th Oct 17, 9:03 AM
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    Ambercls
    FTB - HomeBuyer Report thrown up major concerns
    • #1
    • 12th Oct 17, 9:03 AM
    FTB - HomeBuyer Report thrown up major concerns 12th Oct 17 at 9:03 AM
    Hi all,

    I am a FTB and have had an offer accepted on a 3 bed 1930s mid terrace for £167.5k. We have recently had the homebuyers report back and it has thrown up huge concerns which has scared me off slightly. Not only has the surveyor valued the house at 140k (16% less than the asking price) it has also raised concerns about the roof, damp and much more.

    Luckily this was an independent survey and so our lender valuation hasn't been affected. The figure the lender came up with was the full purchase price so I am slightly confused as to how they have come up with a 27.5k difference?!!

    To name a few the survey has mentioned the following:
    • Soil water vent pipe damaged
    • Chipped and slipped roof tiles to the front of the property
    • Chipped tiles to the rear
    • Gaps in the ridge tiles allowing water through
    • Original roof with no roofing felt - limited life expectancy
    • Chimney needs repointing and a guard putting on - open chimney has lead to damp in the fireplace
    • Raunching on chimney needs replacing
    • Rear rainwater pipes upvc leaking
    • Rear cast iron pipe rusting - needs replacing but in between 2 extensions so will be very difficult
    • No lintels in some of the windows so upon replacing windows steel bars will need to be fitted to support brickwork
    • Double glazing unit in box room has failed and misted on the inside
    • External front door, door frame and door into the living room are unlikely to be safety glass
    • Timber fascia board to the rear rotten
    • Spindles too far apart on the landing - safety hazard
    • Non condensing boiler now obsolete - no parts available
    • Dampness found in external living room wall - cause unknown
    • Penetrating damp around the windows in box room and master bedroom
    • Timber ground floor not ventilated. Timber floor in kitchen and living room springy. Excessive rattling noises in living room suggests timber has been weakened by damp, wood rot or wood boring insects.

    Should I run for the hills or Not? We are not in a position where we can afford to do all this work... so have no idea where to go from here. Could maybe do a few of the smaller jobs but our biggest concern is when we come to sell, will we lose money on the house given the huge down valuation and all of these things that will come up in another's survey. Help!
Page 1
    • ssparks2003
    • By ssparks2003 12th Oct 17, 9:18 AM
    • 208 Posts
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    ssparks2003
    • #2
    • 12th Oct 17, 9:18 AM
    • #2
    • 12th Oct 17, 9:18 AM
    If you consider these major issues i suggest that an older property is not for you, look at new builds only. These are not major issues, they are the facts of owning an older property that you may need to address over the next few years. So are more of a priority to fix that others but at the end of the day none will kill you.
    • Ambercls
    • By Ambercls 12th Oct 17, 9:32 AM
    • 4 Posts
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    Ambercls
    • #3
    • 12th Oct 17, 9:32 AM
    • #3
    • 12th Oct 17, 9:32 AM
    My main issue is the damp, the cast iron pipe (as this is inbetween 2 extensions so accessing would mean a huge job), leaking gutters and the roof. In particular the damp having 2 very young children. Like i say we are first time buyers and everything is new to us. But a down value of 27.5k is very concerning. Not sure what's best - pull out knowing we can't afford the remedial work, ask the seller to conduct a damp survey etc, or ask them to match the valuation (which I highly doubt they will agree to!).
    • juniordoc
    • By juniordoc 12th Oct 17, 9:33 AM
    • 235 Posts
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    juniordoc
    • #4
    • 12th Oct 17, 9:33 AM
    • #4
    • 12th Oct 17, 9:33 AM
    None are absolute dealbreakers, and it sounds like good grounds to renegotiate the price to give you some funds to do the required works.
    • Scotbot
    • By Scotbot 12th Oct 17, 9:37 AM
    • 139 Posts
    • 97 Thanks
    Scotbot
    • #5
    • 12th Oct 17, 9:37 AM
    • #5
    • 12th Oct 17, 9:37 AM
    You have 2 separate issues, firstly the house needs maintenance do you want to do this and can you afford to? Secondly an independent valuation is 16% less than the offer price, so there is a good chance you won't be able to sell it for the price you paid for a while. Valuation is not an exact science and I would not be bothered by a 5% difference but 16% and I would be. If you are happy with a fixer upper you need to renegotiate the price. If not walk.
    • teneighty
    • By teneighty 12th Oct 17, 11:20 AM
    • 1,034 Posts
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    teneighty
    • #6
    • 12th Oct 17, 11:20 AM
    • #6
    • 12th Oct 17, 11:20 AM
    It sounds like the property needs quite a lot of work, probably new roof covering in near future, possible issues with floor, older boiler and double glazed windows, plus all the other bits and pieces. So potentially it is going to cost you a lot of money over the next 5 years or so. Is that reflected in the asking price? If not then get quotes for all the work highlighted in your survey and reduce your offer accordingly or look for a house that has already had all the work done.

    As for the valuation you should be able to get a reasonable idea from studying the SOLD prices of similar properties in the area. Of course taking in to account the condition of the property.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 12th Oct 17, 11:49 AM
    • 42,269 Posts
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    G_M
    • #7
    • 12th Oct 17, 11:49 AM
    • #7
    • 12th Oct 17, 11:49 AM
    Most of these are minor maintenance issues.

    A decent man on a ladder will fix most of the roof, chimney and ridge tiles in a day. The same guy will do the gutters/drains, both pvc and cast iron. And the wooden fascias - these are non structural so just repair/paint or replace with pvc. Not a big job.

    Lots of houses have non-safety glass. It never used to be used. If you're concerned about your kids, change it - your choice. The spindles similar.

    Obsolete boiler. Might not break down for years. Who knows? And decent boiler engineers can source 'obsolete' parts eg from other old boilers they remove. (British Gas won't. they'll quote you a fortune for a new boiler.)

    The window lintels are only an issue if.when you change the windows, but any decent FENSA firm will know how to ensure the wall above s supported by either the new windows, or lintels.

    The failed double glazing you must have seen yourself. either live with it (I did for 8 years!), replace the window, or use a cheap 'de-misting' firm.

    The last 3 points are the only ones potentially concerning. Adding ventilation to the timber floor is easy/cheap - so the issue is whether damp has caused damage. I'm surprised the surveyor was not more definitive. Maybe ring him and ask. Or were the floors covered by fitted carpts so he could not see? Ideally, you neeed a floorboard lifted to inspect underneath, for which you'd need the seller's permission.

    Cause of damp in external living room wall. Hmm - could it be the gutters/drains outside making the wall damp? If so, fixing the gutters will fix the damp!What is outside that damp wall and where are the dodgy gutters?

    Overall, yes, there's some work to do to get the property up to scratch, but none of it is hugely expnsive r difficult. So it's up to you wheteher you want a perfect property to move into and not do anything, or are prepared for sme (not huge) costs, some weekend DIY, and a few contractors.
    • Kynthia
    • By Kynthia 12th Oct 17, 11:53 AM
    • 5,042 Posts
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    Kynthia
    • #8
    • 12th Oct 17, 11:53 AM
    • #8
    • 12th Oct 17, 11:53 AM
    So a local surveyor who knows the area and looked at this property thinks it's worth significantly less tgan you're paying. That would concern me. So while many things on the surveyors list are minor, inconsequential, or just ongoing maintenance of an older property, the valuation would be an issue and if want to investigate the timber floor and damp.
    Don't listen to me, I'm no expert!
    • teneighty
    • By teneighty 12th Oct 17, 12:23 PM
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    teneighty
    • #9
    • 12th Oct 17, 12:23 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Oct 17, 12:23 PM
    Most of these are minor maintenance issues.

    A decent man on a ladder will fix most of the roof, chimney and ridge tiles in a day. The same guy will do the gutters/drains, both pvc and cast iron. And the wooden fascias - these are non structural so just repair/paint or replace with pvc. Not a big job.
    Originally posted by G_M
    Rather optimistic. A nearly 90 year old roof with the original roof tiles that are showing signs of deterioration.

    Are you the estate agent by any chance?
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 12th Oct 17, 12:27 PM
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    Cakeguts
    I haven't seen this house but I can guess what it looks like from the description but what is confusing me is where can you put two extensions onto a 1930s 3 bed mid terrace where a gutter is between them. On an end terrace you can have windows on 3 sides but in a mid terrace the windows are only front and back so if you extend at the back you can finish up with either a long dark room or two smaller rooms with the one in the extension being dark.

    Were the lights on in the house when you viewed it?

    What might have happpened is the vendors are trying to sell the house for the price of a purpose built 3 bed house of the size this one is with the extensions. However on a mid terrace you are limited to how you can extend and if the extensions make the house really dark inside they could devalue the house not make it worth more especially if the extensions result in long thin rooms.

    What you need to do is to see what else has sold recently for £140k and what has sold for £167k because that will tell you what value this house should have. Remember a purpose built 3 bed mid terrace of the size that this one is without extensions will always be worth more.
    • SG27
    • By SG27 12th Oct 17, 12:32 PM
    • 1,946 Posts
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    SG27
    Rather optimistic. A nearly 90 year old roof with the original roof tiles that are showing signs of deterioration.

    Are you the estate agent by any chance?
    Originally posted by teneighty
    My roof is 300 years old. I replace a few tiles now and then but there is plenty of life left in it if its maintained.
    Mortgage Debt: £93,537.48/£105,025 Feb 13
    Overpayments so far: £3,939.72
    • Grenage
    • By Grenage 12th Oct 17, 12:39 PM
    • 1,324 Posts
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    Grenage
    The points raised wouldn't bother me, but the reduced valuation would cause me to double-check the prices for equivalent properties in the area.

    If you will be left penniless after buying the house, then this might not be the right choice.
    • spadoosh
    • By spadoosh 12th Oct 17, 12:42 PM
    • 4,669 Posts
    • 6,122 Thanks
    spadoosh
    Rather optimistic. A nearly 90 year old roof with the original roof tiles that are showing signs of deterioration.

    Are you the estate agent by any chance?
    Originally posted by teneighty
    My parents own a 300 year old barn with the majority of the tiles being the original hand formed clay roof tiles (as far as we can tell, the seller is the neighbour and it was his familys land for generations and they only repaired patches. Could be a case of triggers broom.)

    Are you a roofer by any chance?
    Don't be angry!
    • missprice
    • By missprice 12th Oct 17, 12:48 PM
    • 3,280 Posts
    • 97,659 Thanks
    missprice
    Rather optimistic. A nearly 90 year old roof with the original roof tiles that are showing signs of deterioration.

    Are you the estate agent by any chance?
    Originally posted by teneighty
    I am in a 30s house right now, moved in 3 years ago. The survey at the time said something like "the roof is original and could be coming to the end of its life, be prepared to spend a lot on it"
    It's still on, it doesn't leak, it's in decent nick,
    Plus the whole street is over 100 houses, a lot still have the original roof.
    84 mortgage payments to go.

    Zero wins 2016 😥
    • teneighty
    • By teneighty 12th Oct 17, 12:58 PM
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    teneighty
    My roof is 300 years old. I replace a few tiles now and then but there is plenty of life left in it if its maintained.
    Originally posted by SG27
    So you are saying the tiles on your 300 year old house are going to be the same as the tiles on a 1930's semi?

    Chances are you've got handmade clay plain tiles, probably last another 200 years.

    On a 1930's semi more likely to be pressed concrete interlocking tiles or thin machine made clay plain tiles with a life expectancy of around 80 to 100 years if you are lucky, that's if the nails don't rust out first.
    • teneighty
    • By teneighty 12th Oct 17, 1:06 PM
    • 1,034 Posts
    • 733 Thanks
    teneighty
    I am in a 30s house right now, moved in 3 years ago. The survey at the time said something like "the roof is original and could be coming to the end of its life, be prepared to spend a lot on it"
    It's still on, it doesn't leak, it's in decent nick,
    Plus the whole street is over 100 houses, a lot still have the original roof.
    Originally posted by missprice
    If the entire street still has the original tiles with no indication of deterioration then they obviously used a quality tile when they built the houses.

    The OP's survey states that the tiles are "chipped and slipped" which should be ringing alarm bells that the tiles and fixing nails are coming to the end of their life.

    All houses are different, you need to look at all the elements individually and a assess the condition and likely failures. You cannot say, I live in a 1930's semi with a good roof therefore all 1930's semis will have a good roof.
    Last edited by teneighty; 12-10-2017 at 1:08 PM.
    • Ambercls
    • By Ambercls 12th Oct 17, 1:08 PM
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    Ambercls
    I haven't seen this house but I can guess what it looks like from the description but what is confusing me is where can you put two extensions onto a 1930s 3 bed mid terrace where a gutter is between them.
    Originally posted by Cakeguts
    Apologies, I should have been more clear. The cast iron pipe is inbetween next doors extension, and the conservatory on the house we are looking to purchase. So access is extremely limited.
    • Ambercls
    • By Ambercls 12th Oct 17, 1:23 PM
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    Ambercls
    It also states on the survey (which I forgot to mention) is that the timber rafters are showing signs of dampness due to the gaps in the ridge tiles.

    I have checked for previous sold prices on the street however houses don't come up for sale often on that street and, the ones that do, are predominantly semis rather than a terrace. The semis are generally selling for £200+ so it is difficult to value. I assumed a £40k reduction for a terrace was reasonable but obviously the surveyor doesn't agree and I am fairly sure we will get some back lash from the vendors who do not agree with the valuation.

    At the end of the day if we are going to lose money on this house when we come to sell (after potentially spending ££££s in the next 5 years) then it doesn't seem like a good idea.

    Think I will need to approach the agents show them a copy of the survey and request either the work to be done (in particular a damp survey) or a reduction in price. I know the jobs arent necessarily huge jobs but with such an old property they easily could become huge jobs... and everything adds up when things are already tight! Who said buying a house could be so stressful?
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 12th Oct 17, 1:39 PM
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    Cakeguts
    Semi detached will be more expensive than an end terrace and a mid terrace will be cheaper than an end terrace even if they are all the same size.
    • chappers
    • By chappers 12th Oct 17, 2:43 PM
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    chappers
    Apologies, I should have been more clear. The cast iron pipe is inbetween next doors extension, and the conservatory on the house we are looking to purchase. So access is extremely limited.
    Originally posted by Ambercls
    just replace it from the roof down to the top of the extension and then divert it either onto the extension roof or across the wall , this really isn't a biggie.
    As said most of the things are fairly basic and part of owning an older house.
    On the subject of valuations. Mortgage valuers basically just do what their told unless there is some real obvious issues, prices generally reflect the condition of a property.
    Your surveyor is acting for you as to the condition of the house and is therefore going to err on the side of caution, he has done you a favour and given you a big bargaining chip.
    If you really want a better valuation then get one done on a commercial loan basis.
    If you're not happy with the levels of work necessary then walk away, but realise that most surveyors of this ilk will find issues for you in all but the most up to spec houses.
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