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Roof survey on period house

(7 Posts)
Thepinkcricket Thu 19-Nov-15 10:45:59

We are (hopefully) buying a 100 year old house, almost ready to exchange. The survey recommended we have someone look at the roof, which we did.

He has told us that the roof is fine at the moment, but any repairs needed will be expensive (it's a very tall house so would need scaffolding for any repairs) and we would probably need to replace it in 10 years or so. He was suggesting we would be better getting a new roof (for say £25k!) than spending a few thousand every time a repair is needed, as this would obviously start to add up.

This is not going to put us off buying the house, but I don't know whether we should negotiate with our vendor or not? The survey supported the value we have agreed for the house. It's pretty obvious that it's the original roof, and we are fully aware that there will be maintenance with an old house, and there are no actual problems with it at the moment (no damp, no leaks). And the roof has lasted 100 years so far! But we stretched to buy the house and want to do other work on it, spending £25k on a new roof would scupper our medium term renovation plans.

Would we be reasonable to negotiate some money off for the fact we will probably eventually need to do the roof? Or is this something that should be obvious from the age of house and is therefore effectively included in the price?

We are hoping to sign papers next week and we need to move in early Jan so I don't want to risk delaying the sale

AnonymousBird Thu 19-Nov-15 11:47:54

You are buying an old house, and as you recognise, there will be "issues" and to my mind, this has probably been factored in to the price (especially as the survey supported the value). The price they expect to get from you has no doubt entirely supported their own onward purchase so to be down by several thousand could scupper their own purchase. If I were your seller, I'd be really unimpressed to be hit with this at this late stage TBH!!

The report will be erring on the side of caution, so replacement in ten years = him protecting himself against a future complaint if it needed replacing sooner, so no doubt it will in fact last longer than that.

Lulabellarama Thu 19-Nov-15 11:50:19

I don't think you can legitimately reduce the price based on something that doesn't currently require repair. I mean you could give it a go, but as a vendor I would be pissed off and if the market was decent I'd tell you to shove it.

It rather depends whether you're prepared to take that risk?

MaggieMcVitie Thu 19-Nov-15 12:01:10

4 years ago we replaced the whole roof on our 100 year old 3 story house. Including bringing roof insulation up to modern standards which you have to do if replacing more than a third (I think) of the roof. We have two dormers up there and a couple of odd little aspects. It came in at 12,000 but that didn't include the scaffolding. Hth.

namechangedtoday15 Thu 19-Nov-15 12:49:20

Seriously, you think the vendors should be knocking money off the asking price for something that will probably need replacing in 10 years?! I'd tell you to take a running jump to be quite honest.

I don't think there is any remote possibility that the vendor will reduce the price a week away from exchange. Worst case scenario they pull the plug thinking you're playing a game and you lose the house. Even if they don't, chances are you'll scupper any goodwill there might have been between you and the seller (e.g. sorting out instruction manuals, cleaning the house properly before they go, etc etc).

Thepinkcricket Thu 19-Nov-15 13:57:18

Thanks all. You have confirmed what I was thinking anyway. I tend to err on the side of negotiate nothing and keep everyone happy, just wanted to check I wasn't being naive or silly on this one! And I think my dh would be tempted to try and negotiate....
We will crack on with the exchange and hope the roof lasts another 100 years

OliviaBenson Thu 19-Nov-15 13:59:21

The future liability of any repairs in an old house is with the owner. I'd be very unimpressed if you were buying off me and tried to negotiate a reduction on future work. You've had a builder around as well, and not an additional roof survey. It's in their interests to say a replacement as they can make money from you, so I'd be very wary as a seller on this point as well.

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