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Buying a house without a survey.

(10 Posts)
AppleSetsSail Wed 16-Mar-16 21:40:53

Has anyone done this?

We're considering a low-ball cash, sight-unseen no-survey offer for a neighbour's house (mirror of ours) that looks absolutely frightful - drooping in the middle. We'd gut it and put in a basement, probably 350K of work. Exactly how bad can it be that it would cost anything significant in the context of these kinds of works?

We'd like them to not know we're involved (unsociable neighbours), hence the stealth.

Fizrim Wed 16-Mar-16 21:46:45

Well you could buy the house for cash - as you are proposing - like that, but I wouldn't recommend it. Would you need finance for the renovations, because they may not be keen on the survey results either and then you'd be stuck with a difficult-to-sell property?

whattodoforthebest2 Wed 16-Mar-16 21:50:27

The neighbour will know who's buying the house as soon as their solicitor receives the enquiries before contract. They can't draw up a contract for sale without your name for land registry purposes, so they'll need it sooner or later.

On the cost side, if it's drooping in the middle, that may indicate a problem with the roof structure, a reputable builder may be prepared to give you an idea of the cost of replacing the roof.

RaphaellaTheSpanishWaterDog Wed 16-Mar-16 21:59:41

We've bought our last three major project houses without a survey (all cash purchases), but we're experienced DIY renovators and we had a builder friend look two of them over first. We overpaid for one - which with survey probably wouldn't have happened, although it was when prices were at their peak (before last crash) - and lost money when we sold it 3 years later. Otherwise we've been ok. Buying a neighbour's house without them finding out is a different kettle of fish altogether and I can't see how this could be accomplished tbh.

Spickle Wed 16-Mar-16 22:19:41

Whattodoforthebest2 is right. Your name (and current address) and the seller's name will need to be on the contract which the seller will have to sign, so I cannot see how you will be able to purchase without their knowledge.

AppleSetsSail Thu 17-Mar-16 07:17:03

We're thinking about buying it through a company, although we haven't discussed this with our accountant yet. We won't finance the works.

I happen to know they have a new roof, it's terraced to a new development that comes in from around the corner. I believe the builders gave it to them in exchange for the infringement of the building works.

The house is really in deplorable condition, so we'd offer 200K under asking price. They might reject it out of hand, but it's been on the market for a few months. I think it looks so bad that it's carrying a potentially disproportionate discount.

Sunnyshores Thu 17-Mar-16 12:40:48

I assume you've seen it? If not book in a viewing in the name of your builder and at least get some professional view on its state (and remain anonymous).

They're hugely unlikley to accept a £200k reduction, so offer away - use whatever name you want as no checks will be made unless the offer is accepted.

AppleSetsSail Thu 17-Mar-16 12:53:29

I haven't seen it, and there's no way I'd step foot in the house - as far as I can tell they are home most of the day and obviously the neighbours might see me coming or going. I don't need to see it, as I said it's the mirror image of our house and I've seen pictures of the garden on the EA website.

I don't think they're hugely unlikely to accept the offer, actually. By no means do I think it's a sure thing, but I think they've aimed high with their pricing. I have an excellent proxy, by the way; another unmodernised house sold about a year ago.

whattodoforthebest2 Thu 17-Mar-16 13:12:34

I imagine Sunny means get your builder to do the viewing - he can pretend he's an interested party.

AppleSetsSail Thu 17-Mar-16 13:50:48

Ah, I see. Well we haven't sorted a builder yet but we do have a builder friend. Good idea.

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