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Pulling out of house purchase after the survey

(41 Posts)
Boleto Tue 16-Apr-13 02:17:57

Can anyone offer advice please to us novice housebuyers.

A few weeks ago we found a house we wanted to buy. It clearly needs work and we have enough budgeted for a new kitchen, bathroom, redecoration and our offer, 10k below the asking price, was accepted.

However now we have the results of the survey and further inspections, it turns out there is rising damp affecting most of the perimeter o f the property, penetrating damp probably from the roof, it needs a new central heating system and boiler and a new hot water boiler, extensive rewiring and it looks like there are leaks from the roof which is deteriorating and likely to be coming to the end of its life. The surveyor?s valuation also came in 15k below our offer.

Yesterday we saw another house that had just come onto the market that is the price of the first house plus our original improvement budget. It is beautifully maintained, on a lovely street in a better location for schools and has brand new kitchen and bathroom. It looks like we wouldn?t have to do anything except change the colour of the walls.

Going on the estimates we have so far, the unforeseen work will cost thousands. We have already asked for a reduction on the price of house number 1 to the surveyor's estimate and we are waiting to hear back. We would like to put in an offer for number 2 but feel guilty about letting down the first sellers if we pull out of number 1, I understand how devastating this would be for them, but I?m beginning to get cold feet about the rising costs and scale of the work needed and the realization that the location isn?t quite as good for us as the other property. I realise however, that we also risk losing both houses.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Tue 16-Apr-13 02:45:18

House no 1 sounds like a nightmare of a moneypit. You are able to pull put of the deal, do so.

<business head on>

It's not your responsibility if the vendors feel let down. Perhaps they should be more honest about the condition of the house in the first place.

Disclaimer; I live in Scotland, vendors provide house reports...

MrsJamin Tue 16-Apr-13 07:01:58

Definitely go for house number 2, you don't even know the vendors for house number 1! You are not responsible for the state of their terrible house. Run away while you can!

BranchingOut Tue 16-Apr-13 07:04:29

Sorry, go for number 2.

The vendors of 1 need to sort these problems out or accept a substantially lower offer.

ChunkyPickle Tue 16-Apr-13 07:05:51

NOoooo - that's the whole point of a survey! To find out if the house is actually something you want!

RUN. RUN RUN to the second house! (and get that surveyed too, just in case)

marriednotdead Tue 16-Apr-13 07:11:34

Exactly what ^^ she said!

WeAreEternal Tue 16-Apr-13 07:15:04

I agree with ^ too.

BelfastBloke Tue 16-Apr-13 07:15:32

We did this; the survey revealed too many potential problems, so we pulled out. Very soon after we found a more ideal place.

BrienneOfTarth Tue 16-Apr-13 07:18:14

Absolutely - go for house number 2. A survey like that should be enough to put anyone off and tbh the vendors should either massively drop the price or get the work done themselves before remarketing it.

AliceWChild Tue 16-Apr-13 07:43:01

Go for 2. And I'm pretty wimpy about these things too, but I still think 2 in this case.

dyslexicdespot Tue 16-Apr-13 07:53:02

Run away and don't feel bad about it. You don't have to buy someone else's nightmare!

fuckwittery Tue 16-Apr-13 07:55:44

Pull out! You could send a copy of the survey to the vendors to explain the extent of concerns and the surveyors value, they might think about dropping the price when re marketing and they are not going to hold it against you, nor does it matter. Good luck with house no 2.

Areyoumadorisitme Tue 16-Apr-13 07:57:35

Go for House 2.

Whilst I understand feeling bad about pulling out, at the end of the day you are going to have to live there and deal with all that that entails, so it is worth making someone disappointed for a few weeks to ensure you live in a house that is right for you and your family.

Boleto Tue 16-Apr-13 08:56:46

OP here. Thanks so much for the replies. It looks like a resounding yes for number 2 and we'll go ahead and make an offer.

AliceWChild Tue 16-Apr-13 09:09:52

I agree with giving them a copy of the report. That's the nice thing to do here that would make me feel better as then it's helping them with the situation too.

AnonYonimousBird Tue 16-Apr-13 09:11:27

You will feel bad about it, but you can't commit to purchase something that you dno't really want and which will be a total nightmare and an expensive one to boot!

specialsubject Tue 16-Apr-13 10:05:38

business transaction, not charity. The main thing is to act quickly, dithering is what does mess sellers about.

Boleto Tue 16-Apr-13 12:00:17

I'm writing a letter listing the areas of concern flagged up by the survey and the inspections. I do feel bad letting them down at this late stage and am dreading the call to the EA to let him know. I guess he's heard it all before though.

ExitPursuedByABear Tue 16-Apr-13 12:03:20

Don't feel bad - they have failed to maintain their house properly and must know of the problems.

That is the point of a survey - you can pull out anytime until you exchange.

PeppermintPasty Tue 16-Apr-13 12:06:22

I wouldn't be concerned for a moment. They are not your responsibility. I'm a conveyancing solicitor, and if they have a decent lawyer they will have been prepared for all eventualities. It is a very common thing to happen, I'm afraid.

And yes, the EA will have heard it all before, it's their job to deal with this stuff.

MadBusLady Tue 16-Apr-13 12:08:22

TBH if a house clearly needs total redecoration and new kitchen/bathroom I would always assume some rewiring and new boiler and possibly a new roof were on the cards, so that is something to bear in mind for future properties. If the kitchen hasn't been touched for 40 years, it's highly unlikely they'll have mended the roof and kept the wiring up to date.

The two different damp problems does put it in a different ballpark, though. So don't feel bad. They need to remarket at a lower price, rising damp always sends people running for the hills.

fedupwithdeployment Tue 16-Apr-13 12:11:49

A friend of mine offered on a house recently. The survey was dire. They pulled out. Transpired that many others had found out the same thing....the house was a bargain at first sight, but would require £1000s of work, and would possibly fall down. The house had also been on with all the agents in the area, most of whom had fallen out with the vendor.

Glad to see you're pulling out and have another option.

Boleto Tue 16-Apr-13 13:04:43

That's exactly why I feel guilty MBLady, I wonder whether I should have foreseen this. Actually the kitchen and bathroom aren't too bad, it's just the layouts don't make sense. We were prepared for some other additional problems, including installing a new boiler, but I suppose I wanted reassurance that I'm not being a wimp about the prospect of scaffolding and plaster removal throughout the ground floor as well as other major work, especially having seen something that wouldn't require any of this (subject to survey of course!)

ILikeBirds Tue 16-Apr-13 13:25:00

The surveyors valuation being 15k less than the 10k below asking offer accepted is reason enough to walk away (or renogotiate) on its own.

No reason to feel guilty at all.

BranchingOut Tue 16-Apr-13 13:30:20

Seriously, don't go there unless they offer a huge discount.

A family member of mine had the same situation: huge issues came up on the survey. The owner got 'upset' and tried to minimise it all away.
They liked the house, so went ahead and purchased.

So far they have had to put in new windows and an urgent new boiler because it turned out that the ventilation for the old one was insufficient and probably hazardous. Thank goodness they had been opening the windows due to all the condensation....hmm

I also suspect that the other issues will crop up again when they need to sell.

If you like doing building work, then negotiate a big discount and go ahead. If you don't, then just go for the other house.

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