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Issue with structural survey

(21 Posts)
OhEmGee24 Fri 21-Sep-12 18:46:24

Had an offer accepted on a house. To be honest we've offered just £8k under the asking price and it's nearing £400k so the vendor has done well out of us. Estate agent insisted on a survey as part of their protocol, great we'd have done one independently anyway. So paid £600 for a structural survey by a chartered surveyor. The house is Victorian and been totally refurbed from the heating, plastering, flooring, kitchen, bathrooms, front and rear garden, windows. You name it, it's brand spanking new and in great order. Except, which the survey has found, the roof. It is in total need of a replacement and full insulation. the estate agent was embarrassed they were unaware of this. We have stipulated we won't proceed unless the vendor pays for the new roof. Is that reasonable? Or is it up to us to replace once completed?

AlexanderS Fri 21-Sep-12 19:00:16

You are better to replace it yourself once you've exchanged contracts, then you can choose the builder and make sure it's done right. You should ask for a further reduction in the price to help cover the cost - the offer you made was based on there being no problems with the house. The seller may refuse but if you don't ask you don't get! Or they may be prepared to negotiate. Your solicitor will be able to advise you further.

tricot39 Fri 21-Sep-12 19:02:07

are you a cash buyer?
what has the valuation survey come out as? or what valuation does your surveyor put on the property?

if the valuations reflect the condition of the roof then YABU. If not then you can negotiate but you might have to settle for half of the cost off- or less if the seller doesnt want to drop the price.

you have to decide whether you would walk because of the roof which may not need doing for years. a roof came up on dh's survey when he bought his first flat. he and his neighbour spent a couple of hundred quid over the 5 years he was there on minor repairs and then he sold it. the roof condition was accounted for in the price he paid and the price he sold it for. when his buyers raised the idea of a discount he offered 1k off because there was a real chance they would also not have to do the roof which was old but sound. they accepted because it was a great flat and a good price.

doing well out of you at 8k under asking is only the case if the house was slightly overpriced to start with.

TirednessKills Fri 21-Sep-12 19:03:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OhEmGee24 Fri 21-Sep-12 19:13:34

We've offered £382k as the accepted offer. We are cash buyers with no onward chain. Surveyor says based on the roof he'd value it at £365K.

MKP1 Fri 21-Sep-12 19:24:12

Have you talked to a good builder yet? When we last sold the survey said the flat roof needed replacing. The buyers then sent round a builder (who was lovely) who said that actually it would need replacing at some point in the next 10 years, but not to touch it unless/until it started leaking. Didn't stop our bastard buyers trying to "negotiate" a 20k reduction by having their lawyer tell ours they wanted that 30 mins before close of business on exchange day. They didn't other to talk to us, or show us the survey or anything.

And I don't think it even had affected their valuation survey either!

Get a quote from a builder as to how much it will be then go back to the vendors and talk to them. Presume they are nice honest people who aren't out to rip you off and see what they say. Then decide whether you want the extra cost/hassle of replacing the roof. But find out how much it actually will cost first.

OhEmGee24 Fri 21-Sep-12 20:24:28

The estate agent is going/has relayed the results of the survey to the vendor. Plan of action atm is for us and the estate agent to both get quotes for a new roof + insulation. It's only a two bed cottage so the roof itself is relatively small and surveyor said a lot of the roof tiles could be reused as they're fine. Then just wait and see what vendor says. We've found out on the offer acceptance notice that it seems the vendor is actually the solicitor representing him as "John Smith" is also on the form under vendors solicitor: "John smith solicitors". He is a property developer on the side so we'd have hoped a thorough job would have been done from the outset.

VerityClinch Fri 21-Sep-12 21:42:42

If no insulation in the roof at all you should be able to get a grant for it and it will be free.

Repairing the roof, probably not, wink but £1k should get you three days labour and 100 tiles and a bit of chimney repointing and that should sort most defects out.

OhEmGee24 Sat 22-Sep-12 09:45:44

No insulation, no. Ive researched the insulation grant and that's music to my ears! Organising for a few quotes for the roof now.

OhEmGee24 Sat 22-Sep-12 10:26:32

Just had a little cry sad We want this house more than words can say. We've offered every penny we can and were delighted it was accepted but could just not afford to pay for a new roof. Please cross fingers the vendor agrees to reduce the asking price to cater for the works stated in the survey sad

bacon Sat 22-Sep-12 11:56:41

Insulation isnt an issue with a surveyor I'm confused as to why this is an issue. Its more of a recommendation as insulation has changed over the years with the thickness.

As for a new roof - really? Does he mean that it doesnt conform with todays B-Regs? Unless its rotten through I dont see what issue there could be. I would get a quality roofer in and have a look it could be he means the felt needs patching up and the odd tile.

A victorian house should have good timbers.

OhEmGee24 Sat 22-Sep-12 12:42:46

Surveyor says there's 120 years worth of rubble up there, ie it's never been looked at since it was built. It needs complete new felt, tiles, insulation (there's none). The timbers are ok I think.

pchip Sat 22-Sep-12 23:24:45

That's odd. We sold a Victorian and our roof is fine but we had it flagged up red in the survey with all sort of potential problems. Typically, the survey will state you need an xyz specialist to do a more detailed quote. (which is what our buyer did). Does yours not suggest you get x and y specialists to look at the timber, damp, etc?
Also, surveyors must out down every potential problem to cover themselves. It often reads much much worse than it is.

EdgarAllanPond Sat 22-Sep-12 23:35:44

to point out the obvious, people live in that house now, it evidently is liveable.

get a builder to quote for works. is there actual evidence of leakage?

120 years of rubble - what? a working roof isn't rubble.

EdgarAllanPond Sat 22-Sep-12 23:36:15

that said, get money off if you can...

nocake Sun 23-Sep-12 09:17:43

He's valued it at significantly less than you've offered. If you were relying on a mortgage you would now have problems. You're not so in your position I'd get a builder to give you some quotes for the work then renegotiate the price.

OhEmGee24 Sun 23-Sep-12 10:38:14

Nocake - we've now had the full surveyors report following the summarised version. The decreased valuation is to account for every tiny thing to bring the whole house up to "impeccable". All those things are trivial (ie adding sockets) so the cost of the roof we estimate at £9k. Awaiting quotes from roofing contractors

tedglenn Sun 23-Sep-12 18:22:08

Surely if the surveyor values it at £365, that's how much the house is worth (and as you suspect, your offer was too high!). As nocake says, if you were a mortgage customer, you would now be in a lot of trouble (and if you pull out, chances are their next buyer, who is likely to have a mortgage, will have the same problem with the valuation).

OhEmGee24 Thu 27-Sep-12 18:08:08

Getting so frustrated. Surveyor did his report on Friday, 6 days down the line and no decision from the vendor. Roofers quotes have gone through. Any contact with agents results in "we'll get back to you soon".

OhEmGee24 Fri 05-Oct-12 16:56:31

Well an update: After a few roofing quotations and an extensive electrical survey flagging up necessary works, the vendor has knocked £10,000 off our asking price to cover the entire costs of a whole new roof, insulation and electrics. It pays to be bushy grin.

OhEmGee24 Fri 05-Oct-12 16:57:51

NOT bushy! *bolshy

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