Want to buy a house, please see what surveyor has said and advice

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    Prefer to take your advice, just domt understand what you mrsn by photostat, in paper or email ?




        Photostat dropped with agent, will not call them again. Enough said, I dont want to look desperate.


          This is no reflection on the advice posted so far. Did you not think to speak to the Surveyor about the contents and consequences of their report?
          There is always scope for misinterpretation.

          If my posts can be interpreted in two ways, one that makes you feel angry and one that doesn't, I meant the latter.

          Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new.


            I spoke to the Surveyor about it last week, and technically he said the fact that the house had been underpinned is a good thing in a way i.e its a lot more solid. However the cracks he saw outside, he said he wasnt sure whether thats new or longstanding and that since there was a claim for subsidence 5 years ago, why is it that the cracks outside were not rectified and made good ? Is there still a case of movement hence the reason for the cracks ?
            He wasnt going to let is pass, so he included it in his report so that myself/solicitors can raise queries on it. I guess the answers may lie in the claim/insurance
            paperwork, i.e why were the cracks not fixed ? Floor not levelled etc ?

            On the damp situation, he said a damp company should be consulted, and that since new steps were constructured for disabled access the level of the floor had been raised slightly. He also said in his report that since the house was rendered all the way to the ground level, this could affect the DPC.

            Also said that since broken drainage caused initial subsidence, he would recomend that the drainage be checked and fixed.

            On the roof situation, he said its just a case of old age of the roof, just needs a bit of looking at. On the floor, he said he noticed that the floor in the bay room & kitchen wasnt very level, so the joists might need levelling/looking at.

            I asked him on costs, he said he's not allowed to comment on that. He said if I wanted piece of mind, get a strucural surveyor out, the reason why I am voicing concerns to the agent now is to let them know early on that I'm not ready to pay how much I offered in view of what I now know of the property and the fact that the underpinning wasnt disclosed to me initially.

            Lastly, the house next door has some patched crackwork out the outside of the property repaired and its visible as they have not painted it yet, I'm thinking of going there to have a chat to them, as I often find that local knowledge is very useful, 3 doors away property is owned by a builder as I noticed that he has done some extensive renovation on his property, maybe worth a char as well. As he will be familiar with the area.

            If one can get it 10-20k cheaper depending on how much it costs to put the works right, then in my view it will be an absolute bargain, as once the works are done, it will
            further improve the value of the house, with the extra land to the side of the property, I'm thinking in future one can do a side extension and include Garage,
            the advantage of this in my opinion is that the extension can be built in such a way that it will also provide extra support for the main building.

            I'm not a builder and I will welcome the view of other pros out here.


              This particular EA is being an A**, he told me that he has seen my report and that there is nothing wrong with the house since the valuation the surveyor gave is thesame as what I offered.

              I have a mortgage in place, when is a good time to corner the seller and say that reduce the price or I'm no longer interested ?

              Also, I have not seen any other info from my solicitors, he also said that he has comissioned a damp report and that report should be coming back next week.

              Now whilst its a bit dodgy that EA is comissioning a report, as I dont know if he's asking his mate to do it and put in lower estimates and also I dont know how independent he actually is.

              The detail I'm waiting for is with the sellers solicitors as in details of the subsidence claim etc.


                Just heard from my solicitor lately and according to them, the vendors solicitors has returned some documents relating to a questionnaire they had to fill in or something like that. In that questionnaire, they didn’t state that the house had any subsidence problems nor underpinned. Also, I also found out from neighbours that the next door (mid terrace) was severely underpinned at around the same time. In fact a week apart, the neighbour who has lived on same street for 40 years did point out that some other houses on the street had been underpinned. They also said that the mid terrace house next door subsidence was so bad that during the week they underpinned it, the street had to be closed to allow the concrete machine pump concrete into the foundation of the building after they dug up the bay room floor.

                Rang up a few insurers, I found out they were quoting me about 3 times the normal cost of a house had it not suffered from subsidence, the helpful chap from bureau insurance also said that it would be up to about 20 years after underpinning before mainstream insurers start to take a look.
                What I also noticed is that whilst using normal comparison website, they would typically ask if there had been any claims in the last 6 years, does this mean that after 6 years they would start to ignore it ?


                  It sounds to me like the mother of all risk profiles, and that you might have an emotional commitment after spending so much time.

                  If it's like most of London, houses were made with cookie cutters by speculators, either well or badly depending. For context,what were the last 10 sale prices for identical ones in various condition, after you have allowed for market movements since then?

                  You sound to be looking at a top to bottom normal refurb, possibly needing to go back to the brick on most of it, and potentially replacing floors, and the roof in fairly short order (<10 years), and maybe needing to do something with external render. Plus boarding ceilings etc (artex/asbestos).

                  That's ignoring any subsidence gotchas.

                  If you aren't a pro, that's the thick end of £20-£30k (more in London?) to bring it up to scratch if it *was* in decent conditon, before you do any floor/roof structural stuff or external works that you don't really know about yet.

                  What about double glazing (£6k?) and insulation works (external? - 8-10k more) to bring it up to a 70% EPC or so.

                  Plus you have a vendor who is being economical with some bits of the actualite.

                  I'd want to have headroom to spend £50k, maybe £60k, to bring it up to a price 10-15% below my estimate of the value afterwards, or would walk away, unless I could do some magick on the hidden risks (eg fixed price all-in renovation contract signed first), or if there was a goldmine hidden somewhere (building plot, room to add a bedroom or two at low cost).

                  In London I'd also want to know about Council admin buggeration during refurb (Scaffolding? Skips? Licenses for these? Closing off a parking space for a month?) and potential Licensing Costs.

                  Indemnity policies from the vendor may help, but all the shenanigans make me wonder if they think they saw you coming, and are trying to play you like a fish.

                  Refer Mad Regulators to Arkell vs Pressdram.


                    Double glazing is in good condition here, looks fairly decent. EPC was like 68% or so, to make it 75% or so, it will just need a new COMBI boiler and changing the bulbs to be energy efficient ones.

                    I got a chap who is a builder, was already planning to gut the whole thing anyway so its economical to re-level the floor, plaster in & out at the same time instead of doing it seperately.

                    The roof, we found out that just a handful of tiles need replacing, and a new gutter. This is what next door neighbour done. Prices paid within last 2 years is within 200 - 220k. I offered just above 190, this was without knowing about the underpinning.

                    So if i were to knock something off, trying to think of how much here and how to negotiate it.


                      I wonder if there is a way of finding out if the houses which sold for within 200-220 have had underpinning done? If not, I'd knock 20 to 25% off the lower value or walk away. In fact, I think I'd rather walk away.

                      The thing not in your favour is that the estate agent now has a copy of the survey which confirms the house value as your agreed price. I don't know if you would still have the weight to negotiate a further discount.


                        I dont think they have been underpinned, one neighbour pointed out to me the houses that have been underpinned. Bottom line is that I knocked off 25k (12% or so) off asking price, and the offer got refused and they kept saying that my surveyor valued it up.

                        Issue is that 2 months afterwards the property is still for sale, just annoying that after I have shelled out for a survey, they are now telling potential buyers about the previous structural problem, I wasnt given that privilege.

                        Its a probate sale, so I guess they are not motivated to sell.

                        I have cut my losses short and walked away.


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