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Survey- woodworm, damp, valued £2.5k below

(47 Posts)
WaddleWaddleWaddle Thu 31-May-18 13:39:34

Looking for help as a clueless FTB.

We have just had the survey back on our house, which we offered at £120,000. It has been valued at £117500, so £2.5k under.

Reinstatement costs are £155000

There are various category 3s, the ones which are most worrying to me are damp and the windows.


Electrical safety test requires to be carried out.
Gas meter and pipework safety tests require to be carried out.
The central heating system requires to be safety tested.
Appliances require to be safety tested.
Penetrating and rising damp and rot and woodworm infestation requires specialist
Glazing should be formed in safety glass for safety reasons.
The windows are formed in PVC double glazed windows. A number of the windows
do not open and close. A number of the windows have misted up / failed which
would be an indication that the remaining windows will mist up / fail in due course.
The windows require to be inspected by a competent contractor and necessary
Electrical safety test requires to be carried out.
Gas meter and pipework safety tests require to be carried out.
The central heating system requires to be safety tested.
Appliances require to be safety tested.
Penetrating and rising damp and rot and woodworm infestation requires specialist
Glazing should be formed in safety glass for safety reasons.
works carried out.

Some comments- roof
Access to the main roof void is accessed via a hatch in the second floor landing. A
head and shoulders inspection of the attic was carried out only due to head height
restrictions. Gaps in the party wall in the attic were noted which require to be filled
in for fire safety reasons.
The attic is insulted. The insulation is below current standards and additional
insulation should be provided. There is no ventilation in the attic. Adequate
ventilation is required to prevent the build-up of condensation and damp thereof.
This is of particular importance when improving the insulation.

The walls are plastered and painted. Some of the walls are papered and removal
of the paper finish is likely to damage plaster surfaces. Test were carried out at
random locations to walls throughout the property and evidence of damp was
noted to ground floor walls. A number of the walls have been battened out which
may mask further defects. Timbers in contact maybe affected by rot. The damp
was mostly found adjacent to the bay window to the separating wall between the
front and rear living room and to the kitchen walls, to the rear elevation walls in the
kitchen and underneath the sink in the kitchen. Other areas maybe affected.
Evidence of penetrating damp was noted to the bay walls to the front elevation
and to the separating wall between the living room and the entrance hall at the
front elevation area. Evidence of severe penetrating damp was noted to the
kitchen wall adjacent to the rear door, this goes right up to the ceiling. Evidence of
penetrating damp was noted to the landing wall above. The cause of the damp
ingress should be ascertained and necessary repair works carried out. Timbers in
contact maybe affected by rot.

The chimney breast to the rear part of the living room has been removed. There is
no obvious signs of any support to the removed chimney breast. You should
instruct a structural engineer to inspect same and advise on any necessary work.
There are none. The chimney breasts have been blocked up. Adequate ventilation
should be provided to same to prevent the build-up of condensation and damp

There is also issues with the removed chimney breast in that there's no evidence of any support.

Do we need to walk away? This house was a bargain to us but we can't afford to do loads of work on it.

Many thanks

RatherBeRiding Thu 31-May-18 13:42:23

Walk away. Unless you show the estate agents the report and put in a really cheeky offer low enough to enable you to get the work done! (My partner did that - they accepted!)

Otherwise - it won't be a bargain if it costs you 50k to fix!

penguinsnpandas Thu 31-May-18 13:57:27

Our house had no support on chimney when we bought but we got a very high discount on because of it as survey said a bank would not lend on it and we were paying in cash - we had chimney and fireplace put back in though you can just have a support put in. Think a support is 1k ish, our redoing chimney and fireplace several thousand. But without that part of the house is at risk of falling down we were told.

If you still want the house I would negotiate a discount based on cost of works. We got 35k off original asking price, which had already come down 125k from when first on market, and then a further 10k after survey. It is a lot of hassle though to do work but our house is now worth a lot more so financially its been great, stress wise not so great. Depends on what would be worth in perfect condition, how much stress you want to go through and cost of works. Normally in houses like that you find hidden extra problems too with lots of corners cut, some in our house could have been fatal so get gas / electrical safety checks with had both left with potentially fatal issues.

NotDavidTennant Thu 31-May-18 14:01:03

All the stuff about safety testing is completely routine, you will get that on any house you have surveyed.

The damp sounds like more of an issue and will probably need looking at by a specialist and some remedial work doing. Likewise it sounds like the windows are on their way out and will need replacing.

The chimney breast could be something or it could be nothing. It's quite common for alterations to have been made to old houses and for their to be no record of what was done due to it happening decades ago. You would have to open up the wall to see if the required support was put in correctly. But if it was done long ago and the house is still standing that's probably a good sign.

WaddleWaddleWaddle Thu 31-May-18 20:09:24

Thank you everyone. I spoke to the surveyor who said he thinks the damp might be significant. He also thinks the roof is in very poor condition. He advised us to see if the vendor would negotiate (if so what should I do here? Share the survey? The estate agent said there'd been a structural survey before the refurbishment but that was clearly bullshit!) and if not walk away.

This is very outing but fuck it here's the house

penguinsnpandas Thu 31-May-18 20:15:24

In our case I asked the surveyor for a very rough cost of the works which he estimated at 20k and asked for that off and we agreed to halve it at £10k. Maybe ask surveyor for a rough idea of cost and ask for that off.

WaddleWaddleWaddle Thu 31-May-18 20:17:24

I did ask that and he said it was best to get a quote myself through a timber and damp specialist. He said the roof could be OK for a while yet.

The house is in the land registry at £120k which means it has dropped £3k on this valuation which isn't great is it.

wowfudge Thu 31-May-18 20:20:39

What did the sellers pay for it? Can you find out in NI? Strikes me they've polished a turd, i.e. done a cosmetic refurb instead of the work that was really needed.

WaddleWaddleWaddle Thu 31-May-18 21:12:35

No, I can't find out unfortunately.

amigagal Thu 31-May-18 23:50:38

There's a pdf of a previous brochure, but no idea of date.

PickAChew Thu 31-May-18 23:52:56

£2500 is nothing for that lot!

PickAChew Thu 31-May-18 23:56:30

Though it would be nice to have it to spend on replacing that migraine inducing carpet.

MyKingdomForBrie Thu 31-May-18 23:57:57

Wow that was a bit of a wreck before! Ours dropped by 15k after survey but there was no sign of damp - that one would bother me and definitely need investigating, as will the chimney. Definitely lower the offer if you o ahead.

penguinsnpandas Fri 01-Jun-18 00:02:15

Online it mentions an offer of 81,000 being received for it in a previous sale.

Glitteryfrog Fri 01-Jun-18 07:13:27

Damp and wood worm is an easy one.
We had an injected DPC and wood worm treated for £1500. We split the cost with vendor. Get this investigated properly and a quote.

Windows being misted up, you can replace the glass relatively easily without replacing the frames. Have a proper look at what needs to be done about windows not opening.

The chimney breast is interesting. Any idea when it was removed? How old is the house. It might be totally fine?

Chickencellar Fri 01-Jun-18 07:58:33

I'd walk away , looks as if they have done a quick refurb , ignoring the serious unseen issues. You would be hacking away at newly plastered walls and the new kitchen and or bathroom.

Imchlibob Fri 01-Jun-18 08:16:43

I'm not disagreeing with the above but you do need to understand surveyor-speak. A lot of what you list above is going to be in every survey - surveys always specify an enormous list of things they haven't done/couldn't do/aren't qualified to do because if you go ahead and purchase a property anything that needs doing that they didn't mention could be a cause for you to sue them. So if you want to know about the state of the eldctricity and heating/pipework when you put in an offer you commission specialists to assess them at the same time as when you commission the survey (obviously this will cost you a few hundred).

However just focusing on the things that are mentioned as actual problems rather than indicators of other investigations needed that doesn't look like a great house. The damp and woodworm, and windows issues will be expensive and unpleasant to sort out. I agree with pp that this looks like a cowboy builder bought a rotten hulk and did a cosmetic refurbished lick of paint on the surface in the hope of making a quick buck. The problems you will face getting it actually a safe and sound home will be legion. It will not be a bargain in the end but a money pit.

Nearlyhaveahouse Fri 01-Jun-18 08:23:38

You'd be better off buying what looks like a wreck. As someone else said they've made it look lovely but covering up problems. You'd end up stripping whole house apart. Better to buy a wreck and see what you're e dealing with! Or, if you like the house get proper quotes an deduct that from asking price. We did that recently and we're right!

WaddleWaddleWaddle Fri 01-Jun-18 08:35:28

I think I agree with PP that this is a tarted up money pit. I should have known because the garden was wrecked and untouched, even shoddy blinds were left on. And we should walk away. Just a bit sad about it because I know in the long run it would cost us hugely but getting anything with our tiny budget is going to be incredibly difficult.

Mrsmadevans Fri 01-Jun-18 08:52:27

OP have you looked at this one

WaddleWaddleWaddle Fri 01-Jun-18 09:05:14

That is a really bad area. Donegall Road is pretty bad too (not the end this house was on however).

ImPreCis Fri 01-Jun-18 09:26:58

Decide if you want to continue with the purchase IF you can get it for the right price. Get all the work costed and then decide what you want to do and negotiate hard on the price, some of that work will be disruptive, and it may need redec afterwards.

Alternatively (and from what you have said about area, I think this is what I would do) walk away now and find something smaller but in a better area. Remember, you can do lots to a house, but you can’t move it to a better location.

Do you have children, or a need for four bedrooms? If the former then think of schools, or the latter you could consider doing a loft conversion at a later date.

It’s very sad when this happens, as on the face of it it looks like a lovely house. I can’t trace a sale price on Land Registry, is there a NI version?

WaddleWaddleWaddle Fri 01-Jun-18 09:36:24

Yep, we have children and we want to have more. Every other house we've seen has an absolutely tiny third room which means that hard. The area on the face of it is not great but it's also near my entire family and support network so has a lot going for it too!

halesie Fri 01-Jun-18 09:49:11

OP sorry, agree you should walk away. Sounds like the damp is pretty bad and that's what would put me off.

I would send a copy of the worst parts of the survey to the estate agent so they are fully aware of the issues. We had an issue with our old house which we told the EA about upfront as we wanted potential buyers to know it was a risk before spending on a survey. EA said he would be obliged to tell buyers once we'd told him in any case. That's in England, NI may be different, but it might save other potential buyers spending on surveys like you and only realising then that there's a problem.

penguinsnpandas Fri 01-Jun-18 10:13:19

Could you ask surveyor what it would be worth if corrected issues to find out if would get a lot more than money back. We took on a house like this in England and whilst it did need a lot of work we will get a lot more than money back on it but market has been good here.

What I would say is we lived in house whilst work being done with small kids, that was an absolute nightmare, do not go there, periods with no electricity, 2 months no kitchen, one point they said kids bedroom may collapse. Kids loved it but never again. Factor rent in as a cost if needed. If you are out of property and can just pay someone to come in and do everything its not too bad, maybe can add amount to mortgage. Beaware though you can end up having to rip out kitchens etc to repair things so need to add costs for that. I would ask for a big discount. Quotes would help your case. Maybe ask your family what they think as they are local.

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