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Should I Pull out after a bad survey

Trying to buy my first house i have already pulled out of one sale after a level 3 survey showed major roof problems and subsidence. Just had the same survey done on another house which has come back with lots of areas needing urgent attention such as major cracks in the wall between house and extension as its suspected it wasn't tied in properly when added on, Damp in multiple rooms due to problems with extension roof, deteriorated mortar joints, wall connection issues and sealant issues with doors, Full rewire needed, leaky pipes causing bulging in the ceiling of a room which is suspected to have asbestos in ceiling etc. The property needs further electrical, plumbing, damp and structural surveys to assess cost but don't want to spend further money on tests just to end up with a money pit. Seriously considering renting after these experiences. 

Comments

  • pinkshoes
    pinkshoes Posts: 20,006
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    What sort of houses are you looking at?!?

    Surveys tend to over-exaggerate quite a bit to cover their own back sides. They'll then suggest further surveys in other areas to cover their own back side again.

    The cracks were surely visible when you viewed? In fact lots of the things you've mentioned (rewire, potential asbestos etc...) are probably normal with the age of house. Is it 1960s or 1970s built?

    I'm thinking buying an older house might not be for you. Have you considered a new build??

    Next time you view and like a house, do a second viewing, but this time take a checklist for the sort of things a survey might pick up. 
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  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 9,364
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    It would depend on how the survey is worded.  If things sound quite certain "evidence of subsidence as shown by extensive cracking in the following locations..." then I'd be running away.  If it's a bit vague "there might be X which might warrant further investigation" then there may still be hope.
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  • grumbler
    grumbler Posts: 58,629
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    edited 4 December 2023 at 9:17PM
    House2023 said:
    ...major cracks in the wall between house and extension as its suspected it wasn't tied in properly when added on,...
    IMO, this may suggest something worse -  inadequate foundations, as no ties can hold a wall if it subsides. Ties support walls from falling, not from moving apart.
    Plumbing and wiring problems can be solved. Structural  and damp issues is a far more serious problem.
  • Sistergold
    Sistergold Posts: 2,011
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    The above sounds a lot for a first time buyer I think? Would be inclined to walk away. Rather not spend more. 
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  • Doozergirl
    Doozergirl Posts: 33,725
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    grumbler said:
    House2023 said:
    ...major cracks in the wall between house and extension as its suspected it wasn't tied in properly when added on,...
    IMO, this may suggest something worse -  inadequate foundations, as no ties can hold a wall if it subsides. Ties support walls from falling, not from moving apart.
    Plumbing and wiring problems can be solved. Structural  and damp issues is a far more serious problem.
    To statement that “no ties can hold a wall if it subsides” is correct, as wall ties are not designed to compensate for foundation failures. However, the part that suggests wall ties are only to support walls from falling and not from moving apart is inaccurate. Wall ties play a crucial role in keeping the walls of a structure from moving apart.
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  • grumbler
    grumbler Posts: 58,629
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    edited 5 December 2023 at 7:47PM
    Well, if the foundation is good, walls don't go apart. Otherwise the ties are simply incapable of keeping the walls from moving apart.
    High walls are unstable by their nature - that's why they need lateral support. Common wall starter kits are designed to support walls in lateral direction, not from moving apart. With good pliers you can easily pull ties from the rail and even the rail itself flexes in this direction.
  • Albermarle
    Albermarle Posts: 21,225
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    With an older house, you expect quite a lot of 'comments' from the surveyor, but normally it is pretty routine stuff and usually nothing is flagged as really urgent.
    This sounds quite a bit more serious and surprising that some of the issues were not obvious during viewings.
    Walk away time, unless maybe the price is seriously discounted.
  • @House2023 have you spoken to your surveyor? Often they’ll be more chatty on the phone and can clearly explain what they mean. 
    Just like humans, British cows moo in regional accents.
  • LHW99
    LHW99 Posts: 4,070
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    damp issues is a far more serious problem

    Can be - but depends exactly what they are talking about. One surveyor went on about water coming down a wall due to a poorly bonded perpex roof over a porch / shelter - then suggested the wall therefore needed a DPC. Not impressed.

  • stuart45
    stuart45 Posts: 3,839
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    grumbler said:
    Well, if the foundation is good, walls don't go apart. Otherwise the ties are simply incapable of keeping the walls from moving apart.
    High walls are unstable by their nature - that's why they need lateral support. Common wall starter kits are designed to support walls in lateral direction, not from moving apart. With good pliers you can easily pull ties from the rail and even the rail itself flexes in this direction.
    Although this is basically correct about lateral restraint being the most important part of a starters job, walls that are butt jointed against a wall with a mortar joint will move away due to thermal expansion. As the wall heats up and expands it can't go any further against the wall, but when it cools down it moves away from it. In time a gap appears which people often repoint. This in turn causes the wall to move even more.
    Wall starters tend to hold the wall enough to restrict thermal movement, which is why when in certain cases when a small amount of movement is allowed for an Ancon 36/8 or similar is used, which has slip ties.
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