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Would you buy a house that had had subsidence fixed?

(9 Posts)
Canklesofglitter Mon 29-Aug-16 19:44:35

We have seen a lovely house - great location, good schools, nice character features, on two great train lines etc.

However...the vendors disclosed at the viewing that there had been some subsidence in the mid 2000s due to shrinkage of clay soil caused by a large tree. The tree has been removed and the damage has been repaired.

Would this make the house hard to sell on? Should we run for the hills keep looking?

Stumbleine Mon 29-Aug-16 22:11:01

We withdrew our offer on a house in the exact same circumstances. We were of the opinion that it we were having collywobbles, then so could our potential future buyers. We just didn't want the associated hassle.

SpaghettiMeatballs Mon 29-Aug-16 22:13:58

Maybe.... I would guess your bank will want a structural engineer's report so I'd have to see what that said. Trouble is that will cost about £500 so I'd have to be thinking 'I'll definitely buy the house if it's structurally sound' before shelling out.

It can make insurance harder to come by as you have to disclose it.

sorenipples Tue 30-Aug-16 07:59:15

I bought a house with historic subsidence. The subsidence was more than 20 years ago which made some mainstream insurers viable and the area was prone it would have been an issue for most houses.

You need to get appropriate reports and check you can get insurance.

It will put future buyers off and make it a little harder to sell, but if you can get a great house that would otherwise not be possible and you are not planning to sell on soon it is IMO worth considering.

JT05 Tue 30-Aug-16 08:02:48

No, but I'm paranoid about subsidence! In a previous house, surrounded by trees I lay awake if the weather had been hot and dry, worrying about subsidence. The house never had any in many years of living there!

SouthDownsSunshine Tue 30-Aug-16 08:19:02

It would depends on the reason for subsidence. If it was due to dodgy drains that have been fixed, and I was planning to stay for a long time, then it wouldn't put me off. If it was due to underlying soil type/ground then I wouldn't buy.

The current insurers are obliged to offer you insurance as long as you renew before the contract ends.

Millionprammiles Tue 30-Aug-16 10:01:25

It isn't necessarily a problem (we bought a house with underpinning). The key is assessing the risk of subsidence returning.

Ask for written confirmation from the sellers solicitor that the cause was identified and removed (if you haven't already). You might want to get an independent assessment from a surveyor of risk of future subsidence (though in my exp the surveyor will hedge their bets).

Check there is something in writing from the builders that carried out the rectification works, confirming what the works were and whether there's a warranty.

Get a full structural survey, asking them to look out in particular for signs of subsidence.

Find out whether your insurer will insure the property - if they won't, the sellers current insurer is obliged to continue insuring the property. The premiums will be higher than regular insurance but we were able to change insurer after 5 years.

In certain parts of the country subsidence is very common. Many houses will have it, you just won't know it. Sellers paint over cracks etc to hide the signs. A property that has been underpinned is often more structurally sound than one that has had no work.

If subsidence is unlikely to re-occur and you plan to stay in the property more than 5 years, selling is unlikely to be an issue. We sold after 8 yrs within a week and at asking price. Noone was remotely bothered about the past subsidence.

seven201 Tue 30-Aug-16 10:12:55

Our house had subsidence way before we bought it. Something to do with a drain. Didn't put us off. Only thing is you need to go through a broker for insurance but it wasn't expensive. It's very common really.

YelloDraw Tue 30-Aug-16 10:35:40

Maybe. Depending on time since subsidence, full structural survey and a discount to the market price of a non subsided property.

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