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Oh dear, pretty rubbish survey :(

(21 Posts)
ComeAlongPond Fri 26-Aug-11 13:12:47

Was talking about this on another thread about another house but decided to start a new one as it's now a whole separate issue.

We've made an offer on a wonderful house - not my dream house, but a brilliant house - that's in a great place but needs lots of work. The vendors took quite a hit on the asking price, because we pointed out that it needs complete redecoration internally, rewiring, new central heating, new windows, etc.

Our plan was to move in, do the rewiring/rendering/central heating immediately, then do the kitchen/bathrooms in a couple of months, and then do the decorating, with the windows being last. Hopefully it will all be done within a year.

Had the survey today and there are more problems than we realised. All fixable, but all at a cost. There are cracks - not subsidence - but cracks all the same, that have let in water, leading to problems with damp and problems with the metal thingos in the wall. The double glazing also wasn't done properly, so the windows need to replaced right now, as well as a few other problems with sorting out the walls.

We won't know exactly how much needs doing until we have a structural engineer and a damp expert in, at £800+ each. And the engineer will only be able to make a calculated estimate as to how much it'll cost.

We can still afford it, we think, but we'd be able to do NO redecoration for over a year because of the cost. And it's vile at the moment. Living with it for a year before we even make a start isn't an option.

We could decrease our offer on the basis of the survey, but obviously there's no guarantee they'd take it as they've taken a big drop already. And if we're not going to get the house, we don't want to spend an extra £1600+ on working out how much it'll cost us.

We've sold ours, so if we didn't find anything else - and there isn't much out there - we'd have to go into rented, which isn't ideal.

Anyone else been in this position? Feeling pretty rubbish atm; this was our second choice house, and there's nothing else on the market that's half decent at the moment sad

cyb Fri 26-Aug-11 13:15:10

I would make loxer offer- thye will ahve same situation with whatever prospective buyer comes along- so you coudl take it off their hands, at a cost to them

cyb Fri 26-Aug-11 13:15:33

LOWER not loxer

ComeAlongPond Fri 26-Aug-11 13:24:59

That's true... do you think we could get the agent to tell them the result of the survey and that we're going to drop our offer, are they prepared take it into account and negotiate further? If they say not, we won't bother with the cost of further investigation. If they accept there's a problem and are prepared to negotiate, we'll find out how much it'll cost. Is that a reasonable thing to do? Just don't want to waste more money, can't really afford it.

cyb Fri 26-Aug-11 13:43:00

(Disclaimer I only watch Location Location, am no expert) but on there they make an offer dependent on what having the wrongs righted would cost.

You know any major structural stuff is going to cost £££'s, windows are costly (we've just had ours done) so I would revise offer lower based on survey results and see what happens, otherwise its just money down the drain. You are still ideal buyers, dont forget, no chain!

Some one else far more qualified might come along and disagree but thats probably what I would do.

snice Fri 26-Aug-11 13:45:56

you can get a free estimate from any of the damp companies round our way so would save that fee

peggy0062 Fri 26-Aug-11 13:51:28

We found a house we liked and had a full survey done on it. There were lots of problems and some seems to be of below standard workmanship. We decided to walk away in the end. You said this is your second choice then it isn't idea. Can you wait for another few months? Something will come up.

Sam100 Fri 26-Aug-11 13:53:22

I agree with cyb! Your offer was made based on the condition of the house at first view (ie needs decorating/updating fittings etc) and the current marketplace but without knowledge of any major repairs required. Now you have additional information and there will be substantial costs to rectify these matters so I would definitely drop the offer by the amount of the works required. The only thing I would say is that the lower offer should not include the cost of the windows as you said you had already factored that cost into your original offer.

I agree there is no point paying out for structural surveys etc until you know they are prepared to accept a lower offer.

ComeAlongPond Fri 26-Aug-11 14:56:29

Thanks for the advice all. That's useful to know about the damp, snice, thank you.

Having spoken to the surveyor again, it's quite possible that much of the work in the walls may be covered by insurance. We've contacted the agent and explained the position we're in, and said we're not going to waste our money on another survey unless we know they are prepared to either use their insurance to sort it out, accept a lower offer that reflects the cost of all this extra work, or do the work themselves. We're happy to share the results of all the surveys with them of course, but we don't want to waste time and money. Waiting for her to ring back now, so hopefully it'll be good news. In the meantime, it's back to Rightmove...

CristinaTheAstonishing Fri 26-Aug-11 21:16:45

Pond - I agree that damp estimate can be done for free and the whole course will be less than £800.

CristinaTheAstonishing Fri 26-Aug-11 21:17:51

BTW - I'd just go with it, it's a shame to live through the uncertainty all over again.

ComeAlongPond Sat 27-Aug-11 13:28:48

Thanks Cristina - good to know that at least the damp won't cost a fortune! It's tempting to just go for it but we couldn't afford to do the extra work as well as the work we already planned, and living with it in the current state just isn't an option. It's pretty grim.

Tbh I'm beginning to feel it's more trouble than it's worth. Am going to ring the agent on Tuesday and say we want a binding agreement that they sort out the structural problems, and we want it right now, otherwise we're backing out there and then. And that's only because there's not a lot else on the market; I'm about ready to drop out whether or not they pay for the problems tbh, and just start trying to find somewhere else. I don't mind a bit of a project, but we've had 3 in a row (in fact, we've only ever had projects) and whoever pays for it, this is turning into a much bigger project than expected.

SpringHeeledJack Sat 27-Aug-11 15:44:37

oh god we're in a very, very similar position to you- after weeks of looking at houses that were too small in an area we love, we found a big 'un next to the area we love but in an area we're a bit <meh> about. The house had obv had no work done to it for years, so in our offer we took into consideration that it'd need bathroom renewal, kitchen, loads and LOADS of decs, central heating, new boiler, rewire, sash window renewal...


...the survey has just come back and it's damp, damp, damp. Rising damp, penetrating damp thro external walls and trapped behind render, condensation, penetrating damp from leaky roof, damp to the party walls. And to cap it all, the other properties on our possibles list have all gone


there are five of us, plus two dogs, and I just can't see how we can sort it out- it's not just the money (we've asked the vendors to knock a chunk off, but even if they agree, from where I'm standing it looks a bit like chucking hods of cash down a great big fuck off well) but the disruption. Am desperately trying to find a plan B, but market seems v v quiet at the moment

...sorry for venting on your thread. I do feel a bit better for it though grin

ComeAlongPond Sat 27-Aug-11 16:29:59

Vent away Jack! I feel less moany if you do, and less alone!

There are five of us too, but only one dog. It IS the disruption as well as the cash! There's no point decorating bedrooms etc until the rewiring etc is done. We can't rewire until the damp is sorted. The damp won't be sorted until the cracks are fixed. And so on and so forth... and even though 'decorating bedrooms' is a relatively small thing, when you're moving into somewhere new, it seems quite important to have your own space to your taste. Especially when they're currently a rather fetching pallette of peach walls and green carpet...

The market's just so quiet at the moment. At first I thought we were being unrealistic about the prices but we've got a decent enough amount to spend and we aren't being particularly picky, and even if you go up a couple of hundred thousand higher, the same houses are just sitting on the market with nothing else really coming on. Ours sold relatively quickly (though we haven't completed, the survey came back fine, and they have no chain, so I'm really hoping it'll all be over in a few more weeks - they seem very keen at least) and so did another in our road, but they've had to withdraw because they can't find anywhere to move to!

lalalonglegs Sat 27-Aug-11 19:05:40

#800 for damp work would be very, very cheap for dpc and remedial work and, anyway, from the sound of it, water has got through cracks and it is penetrating damp rather than rising damp. It depends how much damage it has done but as well as fixing the problem there will also be replastering etc.

SpringHeeledJack Sat 27-Aug-11 20:52:36

Pond we're in exactly the same boat, by the sounds of it- even if we could go up a huuuuge amount (we can't!) we would still be pretty stuck, cos there's nothing about...

we sold ours quickly too, for what I reckon was a realistic price. We don't want to rent, or piss our buyers about...

we're looking at another tomorrow which is at least 10k out of our price range- I think we're going to have to bail on the knacker. I'm a sahm and dp gets nix in the way of hols, so I'd have to manage it myself- although I used to do similar yonks ago for a housing association, I just don't think I could manage it myself- even coordinating the different trades sounds like a nightmare, let alone the cost and crap, and the shunting-stuff-round-the-house business

[too old for this malarkey]

...incidentally the surveyor told us to reckon about 3k for the dpc, and another 2 for the plastering and associated works shock

ComeAlongPond Sun 28-Aug-11 11:44:33

It's rubbish, isn't it? Roughly what area are you looking in? We're on the south coast, and there are places in the millions, and loads of bungalows and new builds for tuppence, but in our price range, the market's dead.

Anyway, we've decided to pull out. We went to see another place yesterday, which isn't in such a nice area but is a bigger, nicer house with no work <happy dance>. We'd want to redo the kitchen and bathrooms etc but it's not DIRE, just taste. And we'd be able to do it in a few months, rather than a few years. We're going back on Wednesday, then will probably make an offer on it.

There's no guarantee we'll get it - it is over budget so we'd have to speak to the bank, and hope they take an offer can afford, but it's sealed in our minds that, whether we get this house or not, the wreck isn't the house for us. It's just problem after problem, and we'd be years sinking money into it before it was what we wanted. So that's that. Feel bad for the vendors, but the house just is in too much of a state for us.

SpringHeeledJack Sun 28-Aug-11 21:16:09

awww, good for you! glad you've got more positive news- we've done the same, and turned our back on the wreck...god, it's a relief, isn't it?

we're looking in south east London- today we found- just on the market- a terraced house that's smaller than the wreck but with a MUCH bigger garden, needs lots of updating but (fingers crossed) mostly cosmetic- you can tell it's been really loved and looked after. It's a bit more expensive than the wreck, and absolutely at the top end of our budget, so will have to be painting only for a while- but it's much better value than the knacker, all things considered. Also it's in a nicer area, near our friends, parkland, shops, buses to ds's school, and the kids love it...

just waiting for our offer to be accepted- estate agent hopeful!

<joins happy dance- a bit cautiously tho grin>

good luck!

ComeAlongPond Sun 28-Aug-11 21:29:59

Oh, good for you - that's great news! Will keep my fingers crossed that you get the house.

Meanwhile, I will continue the (also very tentative and cautious) happy dance that at least there might be a nice house on the market that isn't a wreck and hope that FINALLY we will have found somewhere.

northerngirl41 Mon 29-Aug-11 13:59:00

Good update - for what it's worth, we bought the "house of dodgy DIY" a few years back complete with fabulous features of rot, erroneous title deeds, dangerous electrics, leaking windows, blown plaster, crap central heating etc etc.

Having bitten the bullet and survived it, we have a lovely house. But there is NO WAY I'd have done it without the house being so huge that we could sequester ourselves in different bits of it whilst the work was being done, and also without the vendor dropping the price to accommodate the extra works. After all, no sane person was going to buy it in the condition which it was in and the vendors had had the benefit of living in it for years and years, clearly without spending any money whatsoever on the upkeep - which you need to do with an old house! They had plenty of money stashed in the value of the house to take a hit on the sale price. If you aren't convinced, go look up the land registry and see what they originally paid for it - it makes interesting reading!

ComeAlongPond Wed 31-Aug-11 16:07:59

Exactly, northern - they've let it go to absolute ruin and still expect not to drop the price! And we've had 3 projects in a row, we'd rather not have another one. We went for it because there was nothing else, but it wasn't Plan A.

Any news on your offer, Jack? Hope they accepted it and you have a lovely new house!

We went back to the new one today, still love it. It's not been on the market long though - not even in the paper, no sign outside, only on rightmove - so not a lot of hope of the vendor taking a low offer. We could go fairly close to asking, but not asking, so we're just trying to work out a plan of action. We know he wants to sell quickly and suspect he is selling for financial reasons, so our position might help us. But we have a budget that we simply cannot go over, so... just trying to work out where to pitch our offer, and when to make it: immediately, or just register interest and wait until it's been on a while and see what happens. Any advice much appreciated!

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