Homebuyers survey worrying - should I proceed?(5 Posts)
I'm a FTB buying a 1930s semi-detached home in the North of England for 150k on my own. It was up for guide price 150-160, and had 2 people pull out prior. I've had a survey done which has found that;
There is lead supply piping between the house and water main. The survey says that a section of pipe underneath the sink is of older leadwork and that they believed that older lead piping could be elsewhere in the house.
The electrics haven't been checked since 2008 - the survey says that some fittings are of an older style and that there was no safety certificate. Would electrics likely go too wrong in 10 years?
There were high readings of damp to accessible ground floor walls, especially to the wall between the living room and kitchen, and he thought most likely the rear wall of the house. There's apparently evidence of damp proofing courses, so I've asked my solicitor for copies, but haven't received anything yet.
The roof needs a bit of retiling and backpointing, but a family member is a roofer and he's said that's not a massive job, but I need insulation, and will need to reroof in the future, as it's the original roof.
Valuation came back at 147.5k from homebuyers.
Other bits need doing (lots of decorating, new kitchen in future, gas and boiler checks, new alarm) but I'd anticipated these more.
I'm also a bit worried as it seems the electricity board has run wires up to my land, but it's not within it, and the lease for this runs out next year, so I probably thought it wasn't too much a concern?
I do really like the house, it's a nice location, has some lovely schools in the area, and has room to extend in the future, and is basically the best I can afford BUT I'm worried that with all of the issues above I might be paying over what I should? Does anybody have any advise as it would be much appreciated!
That's not too bad. We had our kead pipes replaced for around £1k. The electrics can be tested before you exchange, if there's a lot of work to be done you can request it's done before you complete, or take money off the sale. The damp is the most worrying - can you get a builder to quote? The valuation is very close. Maybe ask to reduce your offer given the problems, but none of them are insurmountable. Good luck.
I would request that the electrics are properly checked by the vendors and reduce your offer
I'd agree with the above. This doesn't necessarily sound like a catastrophe. Start by asking of the vendor will have an electrical safety test done. Usually costs around £100. That will identify if you're looking at needing significant re-wiring, in which case you can go back to negotiate a reduction in price to account of it. If the vendors won't get the electrics tested you can make a decision to pay to have it done yourself (but bear in mind this will be a sunk cost if the sale doesn't proceed).
With regards to the led piping, you could also ask the vendors to get the waterboard to test the lead levels in the water. This will help identify if replacing pipes is an urgent or an as-and-when problem. In many areas the water suppliers offer a grant to help with the cost of replacement, so you could investigate this also.
The other issues regarding the repointing, roofing and all of the decorating etc issues are standard things that come with home ownership (as turn up in most surveys).
I'd probably try to get the electrics and pipes checked out first, and maybe a builder to look at the damp issues and then go back to the vendors to negotiate on price depending upon the findings and the anticipated cost of works related to these things. You're in fairly strong position really, if they have lost two sales previously, they won't want to lose another.
Lead pipes can be replaced as others have said. If you don't have DC, lead levels in drinking water can be reduced to a level that is not too bad for adults if you run the tap a bit before getting drinking water.
We had our electrics sorted for around 1.5k. Not a full rewire, but a new circuit board. We also got a few extras (mains fire alarms, two new lights, some new sockets, a cooker outlet and a bathroom ventilator) put in for that and it was a bigger house so should be much less.
Damp was found on our survey too but clearing a blocked drain, clearing airbricks and just keeping the pace heated and aired out seem to have sorted it out.
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