Evidence of movement - what does this mean?

(9 Posts)
iheartshoes Wed 26-Mar-14 16:40:21

I hope someone can help me.. We are in process of buying a two bed 50s bungalow , it does need some work but we thought it was mostly cosmetic. We had the survey done by out mortgage lender on Friday and our mortgage broker has told us this "I understand that the valuer found evidence of movement but this does not appear to have influenced his opinion of the value of the property"

What does evidence of movement actually mean? Is it a deal breaker? Do we need to get another survey done and how do we go about doing this? Any advice very gratefully received.

Lagoonablue Wed 26-Mar-14 16:47:21

Most houses move. However are you having a full survey? Homebuyers report or just the valuation? I would at least go for the middle one and ask vendor to pay for more investigation if necessary.

iheartshoes Wed 26-Mar-14 17:53:10

I think we will try and get a homebuyers report done then - didn't realise you could get vendor to pay ! Thanks for your help

MillyMollyMama Wed 26-Mar-14 18:32:33

Vendor probably will resist paying as the valuation has not been affected and you will still get a mortgage. Depends how desperate they are to sell.

Evidence of movement means that there could be slight subsidence or heave BUT this might be HISTORIC. Do not panic. It might have happened a long time ago. A Structural Engineer, not a surveyor, can tell you about "movement" and whether it is happening now or is historic. Subsidence is where the ground has shrunk and the foundations have moved so the walls have cracks in them - on the outside. Heave is where the ground is saturated and, especially on clay soil, the ground has expanded pushing the foundations and walls out of alignment, also producing cracks on the outside. If there are just minimal cracks on the inside, this is not an indication of movement in walls.

Can you visit the property again and check the external walls for cracks? Do any bricks have noticeable cracks in them? Are they split in half? Is mortar falling out and are all the bricks solid and in line? The surveyors report will look at all sorts of things but they are notoriously wary of making judgements on movement. They are not qualified to do so and will tell you to get a Structural Engineer's report anyway. I would get the homebuyers report as well though as the work may not just be cosmetic. You really do need to know all the pitfalls.

Viviennemary Wed 26-Mar-14 18:35:46

I would take that to mean subsidence. And would be wary of buying it.

KissesBreakingWave Wed 26-Mar-14 18:43:22

"Evidence of movement" means the surveyor saw cracks and put that in his report to cover his arse against the relatively rare case that it's actually subsidence.

MillyMollyMama Thu 27-Mar-14 09:20:51

Viviennemary. You would be wrong then! This could be something totally minor.

Spickle Thu 27-Mar-14 14:09:50

Agree with MillyMollyMama. We bought a 50s bungalow and had the full structural survey. There is evidence of movement (what property doesn't have this?), but was considered to be historic and no further surveys were necessary. When inspecting the property closely, we found it to be a couple of cracked bricks (all patched up), no reopening of the cracks and not showing inside the bungalow. I would be worried if the cracks were big (i.e. you can get a finger inside), or if it was thought that it was recent and getting worse. That's when you walk away.

Roseandmabelshouse Thu 27-Mar-14 15:35:13

I would run away. Thus is the problem with the word movement in a survey. It doesn't mean it is a problem. Bit but does put a black mark against a house, one which will often result in many buyers running. Obviously you need to consider resale in the future.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now