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Buying a house, no building regs, problem with seller

(14 Posts)
SS75 Thu 01-Nov-12 12:33:59

I'm currently looking to buy a 1950s semi-detached in Welwyn. On the surface all looked fine when we went to view, hence put the offer in. The accepted offer came up to several grand over the asking price.
Now after having a survey done, we found out that what they sold to us as a 'family room' has actually been done not up to building regs standard ie. totally no insulation, roof so worned out that it needed replacing, walls only half a brick thick. We had a builder and roofer in and the works are coming up to about £8k. We have asked the seller to consider reducing the price but they are adamant that they are not.
Is there anything else we can do? Considering that we went ahead with the process ie. paid mortgage fee, paid solicitors fee, survey etc. based on what they led us to believe, that it was a 'family room'. We thus had not seen this extra hefty cost coming and of course not budgeted for it.

Any help would be much appreciated. I have a toddler and we are in a short rem let and this is really really winding me up.

RedHelenB Thu 01-Nov-12 13:27:53

Is it a deal breaker? If so, say you want the price reduced by x to reflect the state of the garden room if not you will pull out. If it isn't , then there is nothing you can do other than swallow it. A year from now if you are in the house you really weant 8 grand may not seem like the end of the world.

nocake Thu 01-Nov-12 18:45:35

The only money that will be wasted if you walk away will be the cost of the survey. The mortgage offer will stay open until you find somewhere else and the solicitor should keep your file open and not charge you extra.

AlexanderS Thu 01-Nov-12 19:16:19

This happened to me. We made up our minds to walk away from the sale and told the seller; the next day I had a call from the estate agent saying the seller was prepared to drop the price and do some other work that needs doing to the house. She really didn't want to lose the sale! We're going ahead and will do the work to bring it up to standard ourselves. To be honest, whilst I don't know much about the market in Welwyn specifically, and I'm a first time buyer so all this stuff is quite new to me, several thousand pounds over the original asking price sounds like a lot in a recession and a buyer's market. I would call their bluff, say you're going to pull out and see what they do (but be prepared to walk away).

wendybird77 Thu 01-Nov-12 20:18:00

I'd be worried about what else they've not done / lied about. Tread carefully with this one.

tricot39 Thu 01-Nov-12 20:29:23

Have you looked at how they describe this family room in their sellers questionnaire? If they have been economical with the truth over this, i imagine the 8k could be the tip of the iceberg......

discrete Thu 01-Nov-12 20:50:23

I would be walking away from this one I'm afraid. I know it's painful to be in short term accommodation, but this house could end up costing you a lot of money.

LIZS Thu 01-Nov-12 20:59:59

If that is the only issue have you compared the price to similar houses without such a room ? Did the valuation come through ok ? How long ago was the room done ? It may have met regs at the time but not now or it may not and not have been built as a "habitable" room. The vendor will come across the same issue with any future potential buyers so narrowminded not to at least meet you half way but that is their choice. However you presumably don't have to do the work imemdiately but it is up to you whether you are prepared to take it on longer term.

frostyfingers Fri 02-Nov-12 09:47:46

Walk away - they may well reduce the price once they realise you are serious. I suspect they are banking on the fact that you don't want to lose the money you've spent.

SS75 Fri 02-Nov-12 11:00:13

Thank you so much all.

I think what's really winding me up is that first they misled us, so didnt see this extra cost coming. Quote came up to £8k - totally no insulation. Roof totally gone which obviously we couldnt see when we viewed. Roofer said needed replacing as already some pooling and damp could get into the room soon.

Then when we tried to be reasonable and ask them to go halves (£4k), they absolutely refused. I think it is being totally unreasonable as they had marketed the extra space below as a family room, and this extra space was what prompted us to make the offer in the first place. The offer we made was £3k above asking price, and I personally feel that as a goodwill gesture, they could easily say, we'll do down to asking price, forego the £3k (which isnt even half! But out of goodwill) I'm just pissed off that we have wasted our time and ££, as they didn't declare all these when they filled in the property info form initially.

Agent has said that they will simply put the property back up on the market. You would think they would have the same issue with any other prospective buyers - I dont know many people who would be not raise this as an issue - that it is 'not what it says on the tin'.

Pandam Fri 02-Nov-12 15:25:33

I don't think they have necessarily misled you. It is likely they had no idea the room didn't meet building regs (happened to us recently). But they ARE being unreasonable in not now dropping the price. OF COURSE it will come up again with another buyer. I'd walk tbh.

poppyboo Sun 04-Nov-12 13:39:32

What are you going to do ss75

Northernlurker Sun 04-Nov-12 13:43:30

I know of a house which was valued at 0 on survey because it had so many issues. Yep that's right - 0. That was put back on the market at the same price after the buyers walked away too. Has this house been on the market long btw? You may not be the first buyers to walk.

Walk away. This house is not what you thought it was and it's owned by greedy, grasping people. You're buying trouble when you buy a house with red flags like that.

ecuse Mon 05-Nov-12 16:59:04

Reasonable doesn't come into it if it's a negotiation. Even if they misled you. If they refuse to drop the price you either want to buy it anyway or you don't (/can't afford to). Would you kick yourself if you walk away from this? If you threaten it you might be pleasantly surprised if they capitulate, but you probably have to be prepared to follow through.

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