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Surveyor doesn't think the property i was going to buy is good value
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Sofia109 · 23/09/2022 21:07

Do surveyors often pick apart a house you're planning to buy or are they overly cautious? There were no structural issues, just some snagging, but due to the small plot of land with a very small garden, he thinks the 3 bed detached will be hard to sell. Its a good size inside, but usually families would want a good size garden and this one is really the size of a balcony and with a very small third bedroom. It sat empty for quite a while before i purchased it and the seller had a family member living there for a while too.

I know its not my forever home, and I'd probably be looking to move on in 5 years or less if i meet someone, but im concerned now i might have trouble selling it and there's also a real risk developers may build another house in the space right next to it, extremely close like this one is the the neighbours next door. (roofs are only around a foot apart!!)

Literally have no idea what to do now!

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LionessesRules · 23/09/2022 21:15

Surveyors are paid to pick apart properties, and put a realistic value on it.
Has it been built in the garden of the original house?

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ChicCroissant · 23/09/2022 21:54

It sounds as if you have already bought the property, so what has made you return to the surveyor's report now if you are not planning to sell it? Has something triggered anxiety about this now that you didn't feel at the time you bought it?

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Sofia109 · 23/09/2022 22:01

LionessesRules · 23/09/2022 21:15

Surveyors are paid to pick apart properties, and put a realistic value on it.
Has it been built in the garden of the original house?

Yes an original house sold the bottom of their large garden and a developer built this one which is why its a small plot, although the property itself is not particularly small, the boundaries are very tight around the house and the garden is of course tiny

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Sofia109 · 23/09/2022 22:03

ChicCroissant · 23/09/2022 21:54

It sounds as if you have already bought the property, so what has made you return to the surveyor's report now if you are not planning to sell it? Has something triggered anxiety about this now that you didn't feel at the time you bought it?

I've only just had the survey done so have not purchased the property yet. I didn't not consider the points he has raised about the sellability of the property with the lack of space around it and the tight boundaries and small garden. As this is essentially a family home, but unfortunately it would not suit most families - i had only considered my own personal needs, which wasn't very smart

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LionessesRules · 23/09/2022 22:11

Are you brave enough to put a rightmove link?

There are 4 houses near me built with no garden. They are not selling very fast. I guess it depends quite how small, and where in the country. Big city is probably a different market to places slightly out of town.

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LuluBlakey1 · 23/09/2022 22:12

We have some friends who have a beautiful house in Northumberland in a very desirable village where houses go like hot cakes, and they have exactly this issue - the land around the house (semi) is really tight. Tiny front garden, side of house is literally end of the street and is on a lane and the back garden is tiny- about 3m wide across the back of the house.
They have had 3 offers on the house at asking price and each has fallen through after valuation with the size of plot being given as the reason- despite the fact it's obvious when you view the house. They have offered to reduce the price but each buyer has said no they've had advice it would be hard to sell.
It's in beautiful condition and has decent sized rooms and an extension/garden room- ironically reduced the outside space. They have made the most of the outside space and it looks great but it is small and there is no way of making it bigger out there.

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ChicCroissant · 23/09/2022 22:20

If you haven't bought it (your first post says you have purchased it) then I'd step away. I think there is an expectation that a family house will have some outdoor space. Do you have any parking with it?

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JamesBondOO7 · 23/09/2022 22:28

Forgetting "selling" atm consider if you want to live there and if the price is right.
Then consider if you were to sell, what market would you aim for and is there a market like that there?

Re prices, I've know shit areas to shoot up in price, EG Brixton, Newcrss, Deptford etc in London - prices can go both ways

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Sofia109 · 23/09/2022 22:33

LuluBlakey1 · 23/09/2022 22:12

We have some friends who have a beautiful house in Northumberland in a very desirable village where houses go like hot cakes, and they have exactly this issue - the land around the house (semi) is really tight. Tiny front garden, side of house is literally end of the street and is on a lane and the back garden is tiny- about 3m wide across the back of the house.
They have had 3 offers on the house at asking price and each has fallen through after valuation with the size of plot being given as the reason- despite the fact it's obvious when you view the house. They have offered to reduce the price but each buyer has said no they've had advice it would be hard to sell.
It's in beautiful condition and has decent sized rooms and an extension/garden room- ironically reduced the outside space. They have made the most of the outside space and it looks great but it is small and there is no way of making it bigger out there.

that's useful to know, but this house was already valued by my mortgage company and the valuation came back 'ok' - that's all they tell you. My surveyor did not do a valuation, he just said i think you can get more for your money and it will be hard to sell as its a family house and most families wouldnt choose a garden thats around 3 meters wide at the back of the house

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Sofia109 · 23/09/2022 22:36

ChicCroissant · 23/09/2022 22:20

If you haven't bought it (your first post says you have purchased it) then I'd step away. I think there is an expectation that a family house will have some outdoor space. Do you have any parking with it?

Sorry must be a typo - i haven't got the point of contract signing, so it is not 'purchased' as yet. It does have a drive way the width of the house, for about 2 cars side by side. it has side access but they have boarded it up to make an enclosed alley way for security, and storage which is fine. The problem is my secured interest rate is 2.19 and now it would be 4% if i bought a different property. So id be paying £250 more per month to borrow the same amount of money

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Sofia109 · Yesterday 00:13

LuluBlakey1 · 23/09/2022 22:12

We have some friends who have a beautiful house in Northumberland in a very desirable village where houses go like hot cakes, and they have exactly this issue - the land around the house (semi) is really tight. Tiny front garden, side of house is literally end of the street and is on a lane and the back garden is tiny- about 3m wide across the back of the house.
They have had 3 offers on the house at asking price and each has fallen through after valuation with the size of plot being given as the reason- despite the fact it's obvious when you view the house. They have offered to reduce the price but each buyer has said no they've had advice it would be hard to sell.
It's in beautiful condition and has decent sized rooms and an extension/garden room- ironically reduced the outside space. They have made the most of the outside space and it looks great but it is small and there is no way of making it bigger out there.

Was it the valuation that was the problem where the bank refused to lend the money because it was over-valued? Or did the buyers just change their minds?

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Sofia109 · Yesterday 00:18

LionessesRules · 23/09/2022 22:11

Are you brave enough to put a rightmove link?

There are 4 houses near me built with no garden. They are not selling very fast. I guess it depends quite how small, and where in the country. Big city is probably a different market to places slightly out of town.

I'm not brave enough - as so many people read these threads. The garden is about 3 -4 meters length and spans the back of the house which is not really that big. It has been decked over. and there is side access too.

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Glitteratitar · Yesterday 00:41

Do you know how long it was on the market for before you put your offer in? If you google the address you might be able to find out.

Ability to sell is something you should take into account, and how much interest it had when it went on the market should help inform you of that. We are looking for our 3-5 year home at the moment, and saw a property we really really liked but the garden is on quite a slope. We ended up not putting an offer on because the house had been on the market for a year with still no offers, and we didn’t want to be in that position when it came to selling in a few years.

If you can afford to buy a new house without selling this house should you end up buying it, then ability to resell is less of an issue.

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Sofia109 · Yesterday 01:07

This message has been withdrawn at the poster's request

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Monty27 · Yesterday 01:20

It has 4 bedrooms and ample space for a family. Not many families would settle for that outside space though. I wouldn't touch it.

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Sofia109 · Yesterday 01:22

Glitteratitar · Yesterday 00:41

Do you know how long it was on the market for before you put your offer in? If you google the address you might be able to find out.

Ability to sell is something you should take into account, and how much interest it had when it went on the market should help inform you of that. We are looking for our 3-5 year home at the moment, and saw a property we really really liked but the garden is on quite a slope. We ended up not putting an offer on because the house had been on the market for a year with still no offers, and we didn’t want to be in that position when it came to selling in a few years.

If you can afford to buy a new house without selling this house should you end up buying it, then ability to resell is less of an issue.

It was on the market for 2 years, but the price was much higher, around 40k higher than my offer. He then had a family member living there for a number of months at teh time the price was dropped 25k. I know there were defintely viewings lined up but they were not putting a picture of or even mentioning the dimensions in the advert, and this is what some viewers feedback was, is that the garden was too small

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Sofia109 · Yesterday 01:24

Monty27 · Yesterday 01:20

It has 4 bedrooms and ample space for a family. Not many families would settle for that outside space though. I wouldn't touch it.

It has 3 bedrooms but yes i know what u mean

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Monty27 · Yesterday 02:02

It's what people would pay for it and I wouldn't want it if I had a young family and\or liked outside space and gardening.

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lannistunut · Yesterday 02:08

The surveyor has a point. It will be harder to sell as many families want a regular garden.

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Sofia109 · Yesterday 02:25

Its possible the opposite neighbour may be prepared to sell of 10 foot more of their huge garden, so i could make this garden a more appealing size, but that's a big IF.

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Monty27 · Yesterday 03:23

Why would you want that grief? Omg litigation hell.

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Sofia109 · Yesterday 05:14

Monty27 · Yesterday 03:23

Why would you want that grief? Omg litigation hell.

It's quite simple, you just approach the neighbour and let them know the offer is there - sometimes if they are planning to sell in the future anyway they see an opportunity to make some extra cash, and even with 10 foot shaved off their garden it would still be huge. Everyone wins. It's very straight forward, lots of people do it. Obviously need a solicitor to sign it off etc, but if you have already agreed everything beforehand, that won't cost much

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Houseplantophile · Yesterday 06:17

Hi-
Surveyor here.. our job is to be objective on your behalf. We don't want to put you off a property for the sake of it, but we see A LOT of properties and you really do get to know their value based on many tangible and intangible elements.
Our job is to make sure you know what you're buying and the issues, whether they be aesthetic or structural, that you're likely to encounter...
you can't do anything about the garden size so it's a pretty big deal... please don't gamble on being able to buy a portion of someone else's garden.. not only is it highly unlikely to happen you should know that it's a very expensive process.. the land will be expensive (because what other incentive is there for the neighbour to sell if?!) plus you will need a land surveyor to measure up the two plots, mark out the agreed space to transfer and then draw up plans of each garden. Your solicitor will then be doing a conveyance of the lans- ie much the same job as they'll do for your purchase of the house- and then they will need to register the purchase on Land Registry to ensure it is properly recorded and formalised. You'll likely find yourself paying the neighbour's legal fees too... is the house really worth it?!?! Because the value of the new section of land need added to the garden need to be far greater than the costs associated with the purchase... it's risky and unlikely to have the desired outcome.


5 years is a short turnaround time on a property investment, especially at a time when the country's economy is in a poor state and will take years to recover... when you want to sell you need the widest market possible to sell quickly...
the fact that the property has been on the market for 2 years during what has been an incredibly busy time for property sales is a huge red flag and suggests no one wants the property for reasons other than the price... that garden is too small against the size of the house and you will have the same problems selling it as the current vendors.

Also... re your mortgage valuation saying it's 'ok'- bear in mind they are no confirming the market value of the property, they're confirming that the value of the property exceeds what they are lending on it... so if the property is £300,000 and your deposit is £50,000, the bank ONLY cares that the property is worth more than £250,000... they are only protecting their investment, not yours! They don't care if you lose £50,000.. they just need to know that in the event that the property is repossessed they can immediately put the property back on the market and get their money back. Your mortgage valuation is not a survey and it is not for your benefit...! So tread carefully when taking their advice over another surveyor's who is working for you and looking out for you...

Honestly I think your surveyor has done you a favour by making you aware of this.

Either renegotiate the price WAY way down or walk away... if it was me, I'd walk away. If the current vendors haven't been able to sell easily in the market we're just coming out then this property will never sell easily.

Sorry if that's all a bit blunt! 😬

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Samara26 · Yesterday 06:44

Houseplantophile · Yesterday 06:17

Hi-
Surveyor here.. our job is to be objective on your behalf. We don't want to put you off a property for the sake of it, but we see A LOT of properties and you really do get to know their value based on many tangible and intangible elements.
Our job is to make sure you know what you're buying and the issues, whether they be aesthetic or structural, that you're likely to encounter...
you can't do anything about the garden size so it's a pretty big deal... please don't gamble on being able to buy a portion of someone else's garden.. not only is it highly unlikely to happen you should know that it's a very expensive process.. the land will be expensive (because what other incentive is there for the neighbour to sell if?!) plus you will need a land surveyor to measure up the two plots, mark out the agreed space to transfer and then draw up plans of each garden. Your solicitor will then be doing a conveyance of the lans- ie much the same job as they'll do for your purchase of the house- and then they will need to register the purchase on Land Registry to ensure it is properly recorded and formalised. You'll likely find yourself paying the neighbour's legal fees too... is the house really worth it?!?! Because the value of the new section of land need added to the garden need to be far greater than the costs associated with the purchase... it's risky and unlikely to have the desired outcome.


5 years is a short turnaround time on a property investment, especially at a time when the country's economy is in a poor state and will take years to recover... when you want to sell you need the widest market possible to sell quickly...
the fact that the property has been on the market for 2 years during what has been an incredibly busy time for property sales is a huge red flag and suggests no one wants the property for reasons other than the price... that garden is too small against the size of the house and you will have the same problems selling it as the current vendors.

Also... re your mortgage valuation saying it's 'ok'- bear in mind they are no confirming the market value of the property, they're confirming that the value of the property exceeds what they are lending on it... so if the property is £300,000 and your deposit is £50,000, the bank ONLY cares that the property is worth more than £250,000... they are only protecting their investment, not yours! They don't care if you lose £50,000.. they just need to know that in the event that the property is repossessed they can immediately put the property back on the market and get their money back. Your mortgage valuation is not a survey and it is not for your benefit...! So tread carefully when taking their advice over another surveyor's who is working for you and looking out for you...

Honestly I think your surveyor has done you a favour by making you aware of this.

Either renegotiate the price WAY way down or walk away... if it was me, I'd walk away. If the current vendors haven't been able to sell easily in the market we're just coming out then this property will never sell easily.

Sorry if that's all a bit blunt! 😬

Thank you, it's great advice but the problem is my mortgage was secured on 2.19% rate. Now it would be 4%, so I'd be borrowing the same money for £250 extra a month.

The other thing to consider is, the vendor was advertising this house at 400k, which was expensive. He only dropped the price more recently before I came along by 25k. They were getting plenty of viewings but no offers but I offered a further 15k less, so at some point the price should match what the property is actually worth based on the small garden? I just don't know where that sweet spot is

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Galliano · Yesterday 06:49

That’s a great answer from Houseplantophile. I suppose the only thing I’d say to balance it is the ‘garden’ looks hideous but there are amazing things you can do with small spaces which would make it possibly more appealing to some buyers e.g. young people or downsizers. My mum and dad in their 70s went from massive to tiny garden because they couldn’t manage the garden. It’s never going to appeal to someone who wants their children to be able to play outside though!

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