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No sure whether to pull out of house purchase

I had an offer accepted on a beautiful property which I love.  The property was popular and went to best and final offer at 15k above asking.

I had a level 3 survey which detected a few issues and the valuation was 10k lower than the price I offered.

I am purchasing cash with no finance, my previous house sold and completed end of Sept and I am currently staying with family.

Conveyance searches had highlighted further issues, seller is a little hot headed at times and wants to complete asap.

environmental search indicates property may be built on contaminated land. Seller has agreed to purchase indemnity policy but I’m still cautious 

searches showed property was built in a coal mining area - so a further more detailed report has been requested 

lack of building regulations/certificates.
This property was built late 60’s. Current owner purchased property in July 2018 for 100k and has spent money making the property look lovely.
new kitchen, bathroom, tiled flooring etc.
At some point in the property history there has been a rear extension and a garage conversion for which there are no planning / building documents available. Seller says these were done before his ownership and that he has only removed a stud wall in the kitchen ( has no paperwork for that either).

on street view there is a photo of the property dated Oct 2018 ( after current seller purchased) which shows work being done to the front of the property and a garage door still in place. This suggests to me that the garage conversion was done during sellers ownership and if I am correct then why would he lie?

im also worried about resale possibilities and devaluation in the future based on the above issues, I don’t think indemnity policies are sufficient, even more so given that I am paying over the properties valuation.

im really disappointed and worried- I love the house and had there been no issues or minor ones I would be happy to pay more. I doubt the seller would agree to a price reduction and I’m not entirely sure if that’s even a solution anyway-  I just don’t know whether to continue or walk away obviously losing survey and solicitor fees.

any advice would be appreciated thank you ☺️
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Comments

  • FtbDreaming
    FtbDreaming Posts: 1,118
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    Did the survey pick up issues with the extension or garage conversion? If you had the papers would it make any difference to the house itself? Chances are it won’t. Re the price… they asked for practically spot on the market price and you chose to overbid so I don’t think that’s much of a reason to pull out. 

    Good luck whatever you decide. 
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  • The survey indicated a thicker metal support should have been used but my understanding was the minimum thickness was used but a thicker one would have been more suitable but that’s all that was detailed about the building side. 
    My concerns I think are when it comes to trying to resale the house with these issues. I’m just so confused as to what to do for the best 😕
  • Doozergirl
    Doozergirl Posts: 33,708
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    The survey indicated a thicker metal support should have been used but my understanding was the minimum thickness was used but a thicker one would have been more suitable but that’s all that was detailed about the building side. 
    My concerns I think are when it comes to trying to resale the house with these issues. I’m just so confused as to what to do for the best 😕
    What metal support? 


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  • ThisIsWeird
    ThisIsWeird Posts: 4,458
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    edited 25 November 2023 at 8:40AM
    I suspect a timber lintel was used instead of steel or reinforced concrete. Not an issue as far as I can see, and the surveyor said it was 'adequate'.
    (When sil had a structural block wall removed to open-plan her kitchen-living area, the SE gave us the calcs for a number of options, including timber - and he reckoned that timber would be his choice as it's naturally safer in a fire!)
    Masj, what is the worst that could happen?! A wall comes down? Ok, (a) it ain't going to happen, and (b) if it did, your buildings and indemnity insurances would sort it out.
    You are concerned about resale? As said above, the longer the time span between the work being done and the time of sale, the less this matters - until it becomes 'not a jot'. Until then, it's "We were given an indemnity policy for this, but it hasn't been an issue during our time here. We are passing on that same protection..."
    (Our house came with an indemnity for the sewer that runs through our garden, in case a neighbour makes some sort of claim - it doesn't actually make sense, as it's technically a public sewer. But the point is, I'm pretty sure it was the same policy that the previous owner had - it was just passed on to us. Does anyone know if such policies stay with the house?)
    As to why the vendor may have lied about the timescale for these works, I guess - if it's true - it is to avoid responsibility for them. Ie, if the work had been done during their tenure, then they'd expect to be quizzed at some length over the details, and "Why didn't you do this...get that... sort this..."
    Whether to tackle them on it (once you have concluded your evidence), I don't know. If you do, then it gives you the chance to ask for details - how much insulation. Who did the actual work, etc. Not sure there's a negative - you aren't going to be dealing with these folk face-to-face.
    Unpleasant and uncomfortable to be dealing with a potential fibber, but it wouldn't be the first time, and unlikely to be the last.
  • Jonboy_1984
    Jonboy_1984 Posts: 1,190
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    Have you checked rightmove and zoopla sold listings to see if any pictures from the previous sale are online rather than just the Google street view?

    (for zoopla you need to be logged in)
  • I think you need to ask yourself, what would happen if one of these things became problematic? If all of them became problematic? If you don’t like the answer, walk away now. But if you still want the house, continue with the purchase. 
  • snowqueen555
    snowqueen555 Posts: 1,518
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    edited 25 November 2023 at 5:17PM
    Whatever your decision, my experience has shown me that there isn't "the one". If this doesn't go through you will find another home you'll fall in love with, and on and on.

    I've been looking for a year now and have had my heart set on several properties on that time. My personality tends to stray on the simplistic side. I'd rather just get a place with no issues. I suppose your conveyancer should be advising you on the whole about whether these issues are enough to cause an issue.
  • Indemnity policies are often worded so that they protect the buyer, their lender, and any future buyers.
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  • GDB2222
    GDB2222 Posts: 24,319
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    I suspect a timber lintel was used instead of steel or reinforced concrete. Not an issue as far as I can see, and the surveyor said it was 'adequate'.
    (When sil had a structural block wall removed to open-plan her kitchen-living area, the SE gave us the calcs for a number of options, including timber - and he reckoned that timber would be his choice as it's naturally safer in a fire!)
    Masj, what is the worst that could happen?! A wall comes down? Ok, (a) it ain't going to happen, and (b) if it did, your buildings and indemnity insurances would sort it out.
    You are concerned about resale? As said above, the longer the time span between the work being done and the time of sale, the less this matters - until it becomes 'not a jot'. Until then, it's "We were given an indemnity policy for this, but it hasn't been an issue during our time here. We are passing on that same protection..."
    (Our house came with an indemnity for the sewer that runs through our garden, in case a neighbour makes some sort of claim - it doesn't actually make sense, as it's technically a public sewer. But the point is, I'm pretty sure it was the same policy that the previous owner had - it was just passed on to us. Does anyone know if such policies stay with the house?)
    As to why the vendor may have lied about the timescale for these works, I guess - if it's true - it is to avoid responsibility for them. Ie, if the work had been done during their tenure, then they'd expect to be quizzed at some length over the details, and "Why didn't you do this...get that... sort this..."
    Whether to tackle them on it (once you have concluded your evidence), I don't know. If you do, then it gives you the chance to ask for details - how much insulation. Who did the actual work, etc. Not sure there's a negative - you aren't going to be dealing with these folk face-to-face.
    Unpleasant and uncomfortable to be dealing with a potential fibber, but it wouldn't be the first time, and unlikely to be the last.
    Just to be clear, buildings insurance does not cover the house collapsing due to structural defects such as inadequate lintels. 
    No reliance should be placed on the above! Absolutely none, do you hear?
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