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Grade 2 listed house - new roof?

(8 Posts)
CrabbyAnn Sat 29-Apr-17 08:12:30

I viewed a house yesterday, a grade 2 listed beauty. It's been on the market for over a year but is reasonably priced which immediately made me suspicious. I strongly suspect it'd be a money pit.

The local planning portal shows that the current owners submitted an application to replace the roof tiles in 2010. There's a copy of a surveyor's report attached which says the roof is nearing the end of its life and probably has 5-7 years left. This application was withdrawn before a decision was made which I assume means they never did the work.

The owner has apparently turned down offers and is in no hurry to move but they clearly aren't spending the necessary money to look after the building. It's tempting to just walk away but it would be an honour to live in the house.

Any ideas on order of magnitude for a new roof?

We don't need to move and would be putting the house on the market solely to buy this other house. I'm tempted to offer full asking price with a caveat that this would be reduced by whatever amount a survey said was needed for the roof and any other repairs that ought to have been done already. That will obviously cost me a fair bit to get to that point, is it reasonable though?

There's another withdrawn planning application to replace the sash windows with double glazed sash but I think that's terrible and would want to keep the originals. The application states that the windows cause considerable heat loss but I would not want to change a thing about the house other than making sure it was kept in good repair.

DancingLedge Sat 29-Apr-17 09:26:52

The applications could have been withdrawn because the vendor changed their mind, but my money would be on them being withdrawn because they were opposed, by a planning officer, or a conservation officer ( they deal with listed buildings). This does not mean those officials don't want any work done to the house, it would mean they were opposed to that particular application, possibly for very good reasons- like the use of unsympathetic modern materials.

I would phone the conservation officer, and see how forthcoming they're willing to be. They do have quite a bit of power over what happens to listed buildings, rightly so IMO, and you will therefore have lots and lots of people on here saying don't touch with a bargepole. But many people live in and restore listed buildings, and are not only happy, but are making a sound financial investment. Yes, deep pockets are needed.

If a listed building is need of reroofing, the conservation officer will welcome an owner who will work with them with open arms, and may even point you at grant money, ,although like much else, this may have gone by now.

There is a paper file in the planning department, with more info than you find online, for every planning application. A public document, open to all. Make an appointment to see it. Take notes of any useful info, you're not allowed to take copies.

Make a friend of the CO. Make a very, very careful budget.

DancingLedge Sat 29-Apr-17 09:39:54

As to offers, the general consensus is that survey reductions are for things you can't have foreseen, rather than things you could see when you view. You fall between the two, because it sounds like the roof you only know about because you've done your homework .

You absolutely must get a full structural survey. Many would say, make a reasonable offer, subject to survey, and then, armed with this evidence, start negotiations. Talk to the CO about the kind of builder you'll have to use. They certainly won't be the cheapest.

Talk to any mortgage provider at an early stage.

All your costs of living there will be somewhat higher. Heating, insurance, maintenance. Would I do it, for a house I loved? Without hesitation, provided my pockets were deep enough.

Bluntness100 Sat 29-Apr-17 09:50:35

I live in a listed building which I quite simply love and it is unique. The issue with the roof will not be the buider you use, but the materials, it has to be like for like basically and in keeping with the property, that's what bumps the price up,

The current venders may have priced it allowing for the roof, as in if the roof was done it would be priced higher. All you can do is put an offer in and negotiate. A structural survey is a good idea, but also consider does it really need a new roof, can it not be repaired and if so why does it need a new roof? Is there leaks?

CrabbyAnn Sat 29-Apr-17 11:06:02

Their application proposed using modern slates based on lack of availability of genuine replacements. Their asking price is £55k more than they paid in 2009 and equal to the zoopla valuation. I think it's reasonably priced for a house in good condition, not one needing a new roof.

Littlecaf Sat 29-Apr-17 18:41:28

Composite slates or fake ones? You are like to need to place with genuine slate from the same area (i.e Welsh not Chinese). Some authorities accept state from the same seam. The local conservation office will have come across this before so ask them. Ring or email is probably best.

CrabbyAnn Sat 29-Apr-17 19:03:15

I think they proposed fake slate. Off for a second viewing tomorrow so will ask about the roof.

CrabbyAnn Sun 30-Apr-17 12:07:41

Decided not to ask after all. Took a knowledgeable friend (trained electrician but very handy with all building matters) and he pretty much said we shouldn't touch it with a barge pole unless we could get it for around half the asking price.

The stone work needs significant restoration, new roof slates (at least), full rewire (last safety check certificate was for 1994!), new windows (estimated at £2k each at least), drainage looked dodgy, visible damp in the cellar, and so on. There's also a lot of internal work that isn't original so we'd need to be sure it had been given the relevant approval.

It's a shame the building hasn't been looked after better as it's beautiful. The owners have already turned down offers below asking price so I doubt we'll bother but I can't see them ever selling it for anywhere near what they want. I'd like to think no buyer would be so stupid, but they apparently were to buy it for so much in the first place.

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