Building survey on house purchase - help!

(8 Posts)
Bumblebee1812 Thu 03-Sep-20 20:51:14

We have had a full building survey on a house that we are due to exchange on imminently.

We know the village well and we are aware that this development has had issues with subsidence, but we love(!!) the village and when the house in question came on to the market it became apparent that it was built on a float (due to being on a hill) and had no signs of subsidence in the house. We felt like it was our lucky day. We knew the house required a full refurb, as it had almost zero work completed on it since it was built in the 70's. When we made an offer we did so on the basis that we were expecting this work to cost £60k and on this basis we would essentially break even on what the house would be worth upon completing the work. Having now had quotes the work is coming in closer to £120k. The estate agent at the time intimated that they were concerned our mortgage valuation would not be approved at the price we had offered if it was not a desktop valuation, but it did actually get approved (I think because although we offered on the house just after lock down the valuation didn't take place until after the stamp duty holiday was announced and the current market madness had begun).

Fast forward to today and we have just received our building survey back. This was delayed due to how busy they have been post Covid. We weren't too worried about this knowing it was a full refurb and so we naively agreed to exchange and completion in the coming week prior to receiving the report.

The report is not good. It highlights an additional £30k of work needed to the house in relation to some pretty big things:
- signs of subsidence on the drive
- signs of subsidence in the back garden, which is on a hill
- signs that tree roots have broken through drainage underground and the surveyor has highlighted the need to have a huge tree taken down
- roof repairs to include asbestos
- likely asbestos elsewhere

This was our dream forever home, however being in a house surrounded by subsidence and having so many issues just sounds too much. Especially when thinking about the stress of potentially high insurance premiums and issues selling the house on (if we ever wanted to do so). Some people have said to cut our losses. Others have said to renegotiate the price. I actually think someone who didn't have all the facts would make an offer at the price we have offered, so the seller may simply wish to relist.

It is also worth saying that we are keen to move. We have a lovely home, but unfortunately it doesn't work well for us now we have a family. We enquired today about another house that has come on to the market. We expressed to the agent that it seems to have been put on about £75k over where we would expect it to be and they said "we expect to sell the house to someone from outside the area who is relocating" i.e. someone who does not know the housing values in the area. Surely people will not get mortgages approved at this level? The entire market has gone crazy!

What would you do?

OP’s posts: |
isseywith4vampirecats Thu 03-Sep-20 22:27:33

as you havent exchanged i would seriously pull out qoutes are already double what you thought they would be and the report has brought up major expensive works on top of that the drains alone can be major expense add to that subsidence all round i would just lose the money you have so far and go for sunk costs this house sounds like a major money pit and thats without doing any work inside the house

isseywith4vampirecats Thu 03-Sep-20 22:29:03

and yes though it will mean losing the house we once had someone pull out on exchange day so it happens there will be another house for you

Bumblebee1812 Thu 03-Sep-20 22:56:07

Thanks @isseywith4vampirecats you are of right of course. I think it just helps to be reassured when you have such a huge decision to make.

OP’s posts: |
cabbageking Thu 03-Sep-20 23:23:05

Sensible people have a survey and find this info out. But many do not and would buy a house like this with only a quick mortgage price inspection which is often a 3 minute walk through the house. Luckily you were sensible and can either renegotiate or walk away.

badacorn Fri 04-Sep-20 07:59:29

This is a good reason to pull out I think. If they were pressing you to exchange ASAP after the survey report it suggests they knew it’d be a shocker and they want to lock you in.

user1471538283 Fri 04-Sep-20 15:44:08

Definitely pull out. Subsidence is bad enough but tree roots in your drains is a massive and ugly job. The house would he unlikeable during treatment so that's more money. You will find something better soon

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Lolalovesmarmite Fri 04-Sep-20 17:31:27

Definitely pull out. It sounds like a money pit. It’s a shame for the vendors, and we’ve been on the receiving end of something falling through just before exchange, but it’s hundreds of thousands of pounds you’re committing.

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