Buying a house with old electrics

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in House Buying, Renting & Selling
21 replies 11.5K views
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  • G_MG_M Forumite
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    marieidat wrote: »
    I'm expecting the EICR to be my "leverage" to persuade the vendor to drop the price to cover the rewire cost though. Is that wishful thinking on my part?

    He's already disagreed with the surveyor's recommendation (to get an electrician in to test) saying it's standard wording.
    Fair enough. Then either get the sparkie's report and hope that that persuades the vendor to agree a drop in price,or just budget to do the work when you move in.

    Do NOT spend £ before Exchange on this. Vendor may say "thanks for re-wiring my house - changed my mind about selling now".

    And doNOT get the vendor tore-wire. Do you think he'll choose the best sparkie he can, or the cheapest? Add in extra sockets where needed,or not?......?
  • marieidat wrote: »
    Okay, great. That makes a lot of sense, Werdnal. Thank you.

    So my next step is to commision an EICR from a local electrician, and hope the vendor will allow the electrician access and keys.

    I can complete, and exchange, and then look to complete the work (likely a full rewire - which may delay moving in.)

    Thanks you so much for your help. This is great. Two more questions, please -
    Is there an electrical equivalent to a "write off" for the EICR check? Could the electrics be condemned?

    Honestly, I can't imagine there is an equivalent to 'write off' because electrics can always be brought up to date. I imagine the worst they'd say is 'This is dangerous and you need to get the work done ASAP'. Which is basically what the electricians have said for our property, and we're still allowed to live here until we get the work done :p

    Agree with G_M, don't let the vendor do the work and don't do anything before you have completed!
  • I will go ahead and pay for the report before exchange. I've already paid much larger sums for surveys and searches already. Going for a period property, I've signed myself up for this, I think. I won't spend any on actual work though - it's not my house yet, you're right.

    I'm hoping it will persuade him, but if it doesn't I'll probably still go ahead with the purchase, and after exchange and completion, delay moving in for a few weeks to allow for the work.

    You're definitely right to advise against the vendor rewiring too. I wouldn't have thought about it without your post. But definitely judging on his painting and decorating skills, I wouldn't trust his electrics handiwork, or his choice of tradesmen! And it would be good to design and plan the sockets myself, too.
  • Poppy9Poppy9 Forumite
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    marieidat wrote: »
    I'm expecting the EICR to be my "leverage" to persuade the vendor to drop the price to cover the rewire cost though. Is that wishful thinking on my part?

    He's already disagreed with the surveyor's recommendation (to get an electrician in to test) saying it's standard wording.

    Tbh most house surveyors now cover themselves by saying you need to get a specialist inspection for gas and electricity. Sometimes even the roof or damp if the meter twitches! Oh an if he house has a chinmeny and it's an older house then that will be mentioned too. With a basic survey they are just going to point out very obvious faults and establish a price, which is usually based on how they rate it compared to houses that have sold recently. Their chief purpose is to tell BS/Bank the value if you can't pay your mortgage and they have to repossess and sell your house.

    Re the price you pay and work needing doing. Whether the seller reduces depends on whether the price already reflects it's need for some updating and if demand is strong. With my house we knew work was needed, the price reflected it and if we asked for a discount after survey there would have been a buyer behind us ready to pay the original price because demand for these houses is strong. Our neighbour sold up a year after we moved in (nothing we said or did, honest) and the first buyer asked for a reduction due to the surveyor saying a tree was too near the garage and the roots would affect it etc. They refused and the same day someone else made them an asking price offer and proceeded. I knew the original would be buyer and they were gutted but my neighbour refused point blank to negotiate and didn't want to proceed with them anymore.

    marieidat wrote: »
    Going for a period property
    Ooh I feel quite posh now as I live in a 1950s house and I've never heard my house called a period property!! I'm going for it now though -gonna go with Elizabethan MkII:rotfl:
    :) ~Laugh and the world laughs with you, weep and you weep alone.~:)
  • martinsurreymartinsurrey Forumite
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    I cant agree with GM more,

    dont waste your money on a test of 1950's wiring!

    if the vendor knows they are 1950's, they know they need replacing and showing them another bit of paper wont change anything, but will cost you money...

    can I ask, did the homebuyer survey valuation come back at offer price?

    if so, and since the survey picked up the old wiring, If I was the vendor, I would not drop the price based on this, its already factored into the sales price.

    FYI, I'm in the middle of a full rewire of a 3 bed victorian semi in Surrey, and its costing £3k + me supplying the face plates+ lights (about £500), cheaper becuase I removed all the furniture and exposed all the floor boards + havnet asked for them to reconnect anything at the end of each day.
  • Thanks martinsurrey. I suppose that does make sense - it is a good price for what you get with the house, and I'm sure there'd be other buyers in line.
    Maybe instead of an EICR, I just get quotes for the full rewire? It's inevitable really.
  • DKLSDKLS Forumite
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    Dont test it, just knock off 5k off your offer.

    That should then cover not just the re-wire but cat 5 and a wall mounted TV install or three and a few extra sockets and lights.
  • martinsurreymartinsurrey Forumite
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    DKLS wrote: »
    Dont test it, just knock off 5k off your offer.

    That should then cover not just the re-wire but cat 5 and a wall mounted TV install or three and a few extra sockets and lights.

    it isnt a new build, the OP has to accept that things will need doing or are not up to current standards, but its about, is the asking price inline with the amount of work required.

    I understand that some things are unexpected and not reflected in an asking price, but just because something needs doing does not automatically mean the OP should reduce thier offer...

    Luckily the OP is on the ball and understands that.

    Marieidat, a rewire cost at this stage will be a real guess, until you';ve speced what you want and the electrician gets dirty, you wont get a realistic cost.

    for a bells and whistles rewire in an empty house (3 bed), £4k, if you're living there and want the electrician to move everything and make your life easy, £7k (it'll take twice as long).
  • Mallotum_XMallotum_X Forumite
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    I doubt the seller will drop on a rewire but worth a try.

    For a 3bed house you are going to be looking at 2,500 - £3,000 for the rewire plus plastering.

    At the same time you can get them to put in tv points, wired smoke alarms and phone/internet points , it will cost extra but all this can be hidden at the same time.

    We are in the process of renovating a 1930s house. Having it fully rewired. It is very messy and disruptive. But by doing it at the same time as other works it keeps overall costs down. Only down side is we have limited power for a longer period - electricians are waiting on builders and plasterers before doing the second fix.
  • DKLSDKLS Forumite
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    it isnt a new build, the OP has to accept that things will need doing or are not up to current standards, but its about, is the asking price inline with the amount of work required.

    Regardless of that fact its an opportunity to sweeten the deal. Whether the vendor goes for it or not is a different matter.
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