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Scary survey report. How much should I renegotiate?

(19 Posts)
dewdrop68 Tue 27-Sep-16 21:23:16

I offered below asking price on a house, because it really was over priced, needs lots of cosmetic work, gas fires and heating systemvas it has a back boiler and old gas fires which are very old. Lots of other things need doing, kitchen, bathroom etc. It belonged to an old lady and hadn't had anything done since about 1975. The surveyors report has come back with new roof, damp proof, rewire. It is very damp in the cellar, the walls are wet and there is green and black mould that he thinks may have affected the joists. It's beginning to feel a bit overwhelming as I'm buying it on my own. I'm thinking of asking for quite a substantial amount off. Another 15k as this is approximately the price of everything. Am I being cheeky?

lalalonglegs Tue 27-Sep-16 21:30:51

If you think it will only cost £15k to reroof, rewire and damp proof then ask for that amount off - I would have thought it would be considerably more than that.

As a general rule of thumb, you can ask for money off if a survey shows up problems that need immediate attention you couldn't have been expected to detect yourself and/or if the surveyor values the house at less than the price you have offered. Given its poor state of repair and the visible mould, I think you could have made an educated guess about the damp issues and it needing a rewire - the joists and the roof, perhaps not. Has the surveyor down-valued it?

sentia Tue 27-Sep-16 21:32:57

With problems like that to sort out £15k isn't going to go far. I'd walk away if I were you.

dewdrop68 Tue 27-Sep-16 21:43:35

The surveyor valued it at 2k under the price I'd offered. Doesn't make sense after all he said needed doing.
I know that once it's done it will be lovely. It's in a great location, wonderful views. Two years ago, the house next door went for 6 k more than what I've offered, but it was finished to a very high standard, they had renovated the cellar into a room with an ensuite. They also have a huge garden, which I have the chance to buy for a further 9K. Wish I'd looked on the previously sold section on rightmove before!

dewdrop68 Tue 27-Sep-16 21:45:22

I've got a damp and timber expert going to look at what needs doing this week.

bibbitybobbityyhat Tue 27-Sep-16 21:48:59

Well it depends ... was the original asking price already a lot less than similar properties in good condition?

Generally speaking, properties that need an awful lot of work like that get snapped up by professional developers or owner occupiers who are in the building trade and can do the work themselves. There comes a point where it becomes uneconomic for an amateur to do up a house themselves.

TheCrowFromBelow Tue 27-Sep-16 21:52:16

You can ask for whatever you want off but surely when you offered it was with the expectation of having to do most of this? If a property hasn't had anything done since 1975 then it will need some money spent to get it right.
Personally I'd ask for the extra £2K off, but bear in mind that the surveyor has valued it in its current condition ie requiring work. If you can't afford the work then this isn't the property for you.

LyraMortalia Wed 28-Sep-16 08:33:16

the survey has valued it at £2,000 less than you offered then you can go £2,000 less but you are asking for £15,000 off the value your surveyor has set. Sounds like the agreed price is about right, you need to negotiate based on what the house will be worth done up to the nines less cost of doing it up not what it worth now in this state (surveyed value) less the cost to do it up. It's usual for the seller to ask to see a survey if they buyer asks for a further discount. On the other hand if it's in really poor condition and no one else seems interested you are in a strong position.

whatsthecomingoverthehill Wed 28-Sep-16 09:51:06

If you are unsure about the offer you have put in then there is nothing to stop you changing it. But be prepared to lose the house if you do. I'd look at it as dispassionately as you can, try and work out how much the work will cost, what the value will be afterwards, remember to price for your time too (people often seem to ignore the 100s or even 1000s of hours they put into renovations).

You say the other house sold 2 years ago for only £6k more, but prices have generally gone up in the meantime (about 10% where I am). Oh and watch out for the damp specialists, they are generally from companies who do the work so inevitably seem to recommend lots of work. Can still be a reasonable bargaining tool though, depending on what the sellers are like.

Panicmode1 Wed 28-Sep-16 10:07:59

As the owner of a Victorian house, £15k won't get near those renovations. It cost us almost that to re-roof it 3 years ago.

Prices where we are do seem to be slowing a bit - people are asking crazy money (i.e. £300k more than something sold for 2 years ago) and there are a lot of 'reduced' stickers on RM so depending on your local market, I would get the information you need on how much all of the renovations are going to be, and negotiate from there. However, as someone else said, you were obviously aware it was going to cost you money - it's just a question of how much you are willing to pay, and how low an offer the vendors are willing to accept.

namechangedtoday15 Wed 28-Sep-16 10:29:17

I agree that you don't have a strong position if the valuer has only valued it £2k less than the price you've agreed, even with all the issues.

As the seller, I would say that most of what you've flagged up is to be expected - if you knew that most things hadn't been touched or updated since the 1970s when you offered, you can't start jumping up and down now. I might agree to the £2k reduction, as it is likely that if you pulled out and another buyer stepped into your shoes, they'd have a valuation around the same level, but agree to a £15k reduction? Unlikely. If I;'ve agreed (say) £300k with you, and valuer says its worth £298k, why would I agree to sell it for £285k?

As everyone says, you need to decide whether the numbers stack up and whether you're prepared to take on the work.

anotherdayanothersquabble Wed 28-Sep-16 11:03:37

I would be thinking that value of the house is similar sized properties minus the cost of work to be done. Not original marketing valuation minus cost of work to be done, assuming the marking valuation took into account the state of the house. Given what you said about the neighbouring house, either the marketing valuation is way off or the neighbouring property was a complete bargain.

Do you have the funds to renovate the house? How much would you be prepared to pay for the house in good condition? Do you have the motivation to carry out the renovation work. Wet walls in the cellar may take a lot to fix.

shovetheholly Wed 28-Sep-16 12:48:06

You're doing absolutely the right thing. Get the experts in, get quotes, and get a REALISTIC figure for what it will cost to sort this out. The damp would be my major concern, because this could mean a bill of anything from a couple of grand upwards to some scary figures - this is where you need proper investigation/quotes. (Roofing, while expensive, is usually fairly straightforward to work out costs; ditto for rewiring). My guess is that a £15k ballpark figure might cover it, but it depends where you are in the country (it doesn't seem to cover repairing a tap in London!) and how bad the problem is.

We had damp problems in the house before we moved in - it sounded scary, but it was actually only £2k to sort. However, the problem wasn't even visible - my guess is that with wet-running walls, and green mould, you might be looking at a more substantial job.

specialsubject Wed 28-Sep-16 13:12:28

offer what you like, this is business.

but with water actually in the house you are looking at a major money pit. Was the surveyor paying attention?

dewdrop68 Wed 28-Sep-16 22:05:16

It's over priced if you compare it to other houses, and that would be even with all the work done! I asked the surveyor to talk me through the work and he estimated all the work to be twice the amount I'd already had knocked off. I'm not emotionally attached anymore. I'll tot up the prices, including what they've already knocked off and then see what happens. I'm a cash buyer and can afford to do the work, but don't want to feel as though I'm paying too much.

Dozer Wed 28-Sep-16 22:07:54

Sounds like you want to pull out.

brodchengretchen Thu 29-Sep-16 09:10:43

The property will be a money pit, there's no two ways about that. Are you sure your sticking with it is not a triumph of hope over experience, OP?

MontePulciana Fri 30-Sep-16 22:20:44

I'd walk away unless you can get at least £15k knocked off. Sounds like a money pit for sure. We bought a 1950s house last touched in 70s 8 months ago and it has cost us stupid money (much more than we ever thought). We only wish we had negotiated harder. Keep negotiating

ImperialBlether Fri 30-Sep-16 22:34:20

I think they're taking you for a ride and would back out asap. Find a house that's more manageable in terms of doing it up - you're a cash buyer and in a really strong position. This isn't the only house for sale!

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