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    • Soph1988
    • By Soph1988 5th Mar 18, 5:30 PM
    • 36Posts
    • 11Thanks
    Soph1988
    Home buyers survey.... advice needed!
    • #1
    • 5th Mar 18, 5:30 PM
    Home buyers survey.... advice needed! 5th Mar 18 at 5:30 PM
    Hi all,

    My partner and I are currently in the process of buying a 3 bed semi-detached 1950's property.

    All has been going well, no issues were picked up by the lenders valuation survey, but they did state that the property had 'moved' over time, but nothing out of the ordinary for a property of this age - but we felt we should get a home buyers survey done just to be sure. After all - we aren't builders and its our first home purchase.

    Sale / Purchase info:

    £156000 purchase price, we are putting down a 5% deposit and have been offered a 95% mortgage with no problems. We have around 4-6k for decoration costs after our solicitors / purchase fees etc.

    Our survey has come back today with some very concerning parts and right now, we feel we should pull out altogether.

    These are the points that raised the most concern: - in Orange meant need action soon, Red meant action NOW!

    •In Orange "There are some general deep mortar joints and probably loose brick work particularly to the rear stack" - Chimeny stacks

    • In RED "Double pitched and hipped and covered in clay tiles.
    The main roof tiles are showing signs of deterioration and delamination and appear to be
    very brittle. You should expect ongoing repairs and maintenance. It is recommended that
    you have an overhaul carried out by a reputable roofer and all the tiles should be checked
    at close hand.
    There are some general missing and damaged tiles especially to the rear slope. These
    should be urgently replaced. Obtain prices for a full renewal of the roof covering in the short
    to medium term.
    The nature of flat roofs means that they can fail unexpectedly and this applies to the rear
    single storey sections and these require full renewal now. You should consider a
    rubberised solution with a minimum 20 year guarantee.


    • In RED "Quarter square brown plastic guttering is noted which is becoming dated and faded.
    Ideally test in heavy rain and ensure all vegetation / debris is removed.
    Expect to renew all guttering and downpipes in the short term.
    There is also a dated soil pipe that will also require renewal."


    • In RED "Medium to high damp readings were noted to lower walls throughout the property. This is
    border line acceptable but a report is needed from a damp and timber specialist. They
    should inspect all lower walls and floors. Also all internal timbers and roof space in respect
    of any beetle infestation.
    As noted some general redecoration is needed."


    • In RED "The specialist should inspect all floors.
    There is some general unevenness to floors in the kitchen and dining room and due to this
    a red ash / sulphate test is recommended.
    You should seek permission to expose the suspended floors in living room 1 and 2 as
    there is a risk of rot to joist ends.
    There is some general flexible and uneven floors upstairs and you should expect some
    refixing of boarding."



    Needless to say, we are now petrified. We undoubtedly could go back to the seller and ask for a reduced price due to the issues above - but even then we don't have the cash in the bank to do all of these things in what feels like an urgent timeframe (within 3-6 months?!).

    Any advice or guidance would be very much appreciated - we are considering whether or not its even worth getting a damp and timber report or a roof inspection if really we couldn't afford to fix either.
Page 1
    • ashe
    • By ashe 5th Mar 18, 5:45 PM
    • 530 Posts
    • 367 Thanks
    ashe
    • #2
    • 5th Mar 18, 5:45 PM
    • #2
    • 5th Mar 18, 5:45 PM
    Sounds like you just need a few tradesmen to quote you for the work. Homebuyers surveys often scaremonger a bit and just point you in right direction. Re damp, make sure it!!!8217;s not someone that sells remedial solutions or you!!!8217;ll get a 20k quote


    Did the report say house meets valuation?
    • Soph1988
    • By Soph1988 5th Mar 18, 6:40 PM
    • 36 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    Soph1988
    • #3
    • 5th Mar 18, 6:40 PM
    • #3
    • 5th Mar 18, 6:40 PM
    Hi there - thank you for your reply - yes it says house makes house valuation OK
    • Fed
    • By Fed 5th Mar 18, 6:52 PM
    • 79 Posts
    • 38 Thanks
    Fed
    • #4
    • 5th Mar 18, 6:52 PM
    • #4
    • 5th Mar 18, 6:52 PM
    Don't be petrified, these reports often make it sound like the house it about to fall down. Some people will be able to offer more specific advice but just as an example I recently purchased, surveyor told me to get a damp and timber report, that report outlined 5k+ of remedial works. Since moving in many of the areas where damp was detected feel perfectly dry with no signs of damp. In fact I haven't spent a penny doing any of the works the surveyors suggested and now simply view them as on going maintenance which I will attend to in time.
    • juniordoc
    • By juniordoc 5th Mar 18, 7:05 PM
    • 364 Posts
    • 286 Thanks
    juniordoc
    • #5
    • 5th Mar 18, 7:05 PM
    • #5
    • 5th Mar 18, 7:05 PM
    We had a similar report for our flat which we went ahead and bought 3 months ago. Have not had any of the work done since but have been putting money away to get some work done over spring/summer.
    By all means ask for a reduction but you may not get one if your seller is in a strong position (competitive area or not been on the market long).
    Many properties over a certain age will have similar survey reports.
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 5th Mar 18, 7:15 PM
    • 4,363 Posts
    • 6,233 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    • #6
    • 5th Mar 18, 7:15 PM
    • #6
    • 5th Mar 18, 7:15 PM
    It just means that you need to be aware that some maintenance will be needed sooner than later. Some of the roof tiles need replacing. This could happen when you own it over time.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 5th Mar 18, 7:38 PM
    • 25,016 Posts
    • 92,520 Thanks
    Davesnave
    • #7
    • 5th Mar 18, 7:38 PM
    • #7
    • 5th Mar 18, 7:38 PM
    It's a 60+ year old property, not a Grade 2 historic pile which needs specialist tradespeople and materials to fix it. This is bog-standard maintenance.

    Stuff wears out, especially over 2/3 of a lifetime, but it doesn't all break on the same day! You may find even 8 or 10 years on that some of the things mentioned are still functional or causing no real problems. You will just need to prioritise.

    If you want to pay a premium for something that devalues overnight, get a new build. No huge maintenance with one of those for a few years, but I bet in £ per m2 the 50s house is much better value, even with the maintenance considered.

    Edit: If you ring the surveyor and speak to them about your concerns, you may find they're far more reassuring when not committing themselves in printed format.
    Last edited by Davesnave; 05-03-2018 at 8:02 PM.
    'It's a terrible thing to wait until you're ready…..Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.' Hugh Lawrie.
    • betsie
    • By betsie 5th Mar 18, 8:16 PM
    • 404 Posts
    • 395 Thanks
    betsie
    • #8
    • 5th Mar 18, 8:16 PM
    • #8
    • 5th Mar 18, 8:16 PM
    Look at all the other roofs in the street, are they all the same as yours or have they all been replaced? If they are still all the original roofs it can!!!8217;t be a major issue, if yours is the only one not done then i would be concerned. Replacing a few tiles and repointing a chimney isn!!!8217;t a big job.

    I would say most older houses would show slight damp. Does it smell damp inside, look behind furniture which is bagainst outside walls and in corners you will have black inside if there is a damp problem.

    Again with the guttering look to see if neighbors still have the original guttering. It probably will need to be done but I!!!8217;m sure it!!!8217;s not urgent.

    See if any friends or family know a good builder you can take round to look over it and tell you what really needs to be done and what it will cost.
    • Soph1988
    • By Soph1988 6th Mar 18, 5:55 PM
    • 36 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    Soph1988
    • #9
    • 6th Mar 18, 5:55 PM
    • #9
    • 6th Mar 18, 5:55 PM
    Thank you all so much for your advice. We feel much better about it all! We are going to view the property again this week and to have a look at some of the things raised in the survey and I think we will be opting for a damp and timber report - just for peace of mind really. Most of the other houses in the road have old roofs - it's clearly not an urgent issue, other than replacing of a couple of tiles which we can factor in to our budget.

    Something else mentioned in the report was that the extension was built over a drain. Now - its a sealed drain, and the extension has been up for 20+ years without issue, so it doesn't fill us with dread... but do we need drain reports too!?

    Just had a quote for a damp and timber report from Alpine (independent) at £375 for the report.... does anyone think this is royally expensive, or am I living in cuckoo land again?

    If so - does anyone know of an independent damp and timber specialist in the Black Country (Dudley) area?
    • teneighty
    • By teneighty 6th Mar 18, 6:23 PM
    • 1,129 Posts
    • 810 Thanks
    teneighty
    The red ash/sulphate test could be important, if it has it it is very expensive to remedy. Vendors don't like the test as they are very disruptive and messy. You might be able to ask the neighbours as if 1 house has had the test they are probably all the same.

    I would also factor in the cost of a new roof in the next 5 to 10 years.
    • Soph1988
    • By Soph1988 6th Mar 18, 6:35 PM
    • 36 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    Soph1988
    Thank you teneighty... so would suggest us paying for another report for this also? I feel like this could go on forever....

    A new roof in 5 / 10 years is fine with us - we were panicked at the idea of having for fork out 5k for a new roof in the first 12 months!
    • Fed
    • By Fed 6th Mar 18, 6:40 PM
    • 79 Posts
    • 38 Thanks
    Fed
    Just had a quote for a damp and timber report from Alpine (independent) at £375 for the report.... does anyone think this is royally expensive, or am I living in cuckoo land again?

    If so - does anyone know of an independent damp and timber specialist in the Black Country (Dudley) area?
    Originally posted by Soph1988
    Seems on the high side, we paid £225 recently in London and had another quote for £240.

    When you go for another viewing do have a close look to see if there are any visible signs of damp. Check for any evidence of leaking gutters or any objects propped against the external base of the house. There's often a simple solution
    • Soph1988
    • By Soph1988 6th Mar 18, 6:45 PM
    • 36 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    Soph1988
    Thank you Fed - yes, we are hoping that with the bits highlighted in the report in mind we can have a look and I intend on doing some proper digging around...!

    I did feel £375 was expensive! I shall keep searching.... I feel completely lost trying to look for an independent non-focused on profit from selling us damp proofing. I suppose if they were to recommend such things we would just walk away and wouldn't get the business anyway......

    To add to the pressure, solicitors are on the edge of preparing contracts and exchange....! At this point we haven't shared concerns with sellers as planning our next moves.... We are petrified to put it lightly!
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