My feed

to access all these features

Join our Property forum for renovation, DIY, and house selling advice.


House for sale with foundational instability, historic movement, underpinning. Will this cost more to insure?

8 replies

purepurple · 11/10/2009 08:41

Have found 2 similiar houses at reasonable prices.
4 bedroom, detached dormer bungalows for under £190,000.
One is described as having been underpinned for foundational instability.
The other is described as having historic movement.
They both mean the same thing, don't they?
We live in an area where there is lots of subsidence.
What I want to know is, will it make it harder to get a mortgage or insurance?
Will it be harder to sell in the future?
Any advice greatfully received.

OP posts:
Hassled · 11/10/2009 08:54

When we were selling a house with a history of subsidence (we'd had it underpinned), the purchasers took over our insurance, which meant that the policy had some sort of continuity and their mortgage providers were happier. I wish I could remember the specifics, but check out how/if taking on an existing policy for a house would help.

In theory, the underpinning of the first house should mean that any subsidence has now been sorted out. I don't really know what historic movement means, but it implies there has been no work done to resolve whatever's causing the house to move.

HerHonesty · 11/10/2009 08:57

from what i recall when we insured our house they ask you very specific questions like has there been any subsidence in the last 10 years or something like that andy when i said (according to the survey and fairly obviously) that there has been movement they said that wasnt the same. you will have to tell them it underpinned though.

regarding your mortgage, depends on what comes up in the mortgage company survey.

harder to sell? well in some ways you are answering your own question. its soemthing that concerns you, so will concern others, but if you can demonstrate it has been dealt with properly and it is a desirable property in itself then it should cause no problems.

purepurple · 11/10/2009 09:02

Thank you for your replies.
I am thinking that we need a bigger house, but I don't really want a huge mortgage.
Lots to think about.

OP posts:
TDiddy · 11/10/2009 09:04

Historic movement usually means that the surveyor is highlighted the fact that the house has moved but is code for thinking that it isn't moving anymore. You have to monitor it to 100pc certain. Many Edwardian houses in London have historic movmt as the foundations are very shallow. If you are uncertain then it is definitely worth paying for structural engineer.

Taking over the existing insurance is a very good idea.

However, you might want to negotiate the price further to account for the fact that you have less insurance options. Hiscox offer some of the best and value for money insurance so you could try sending the surveyor's report to them as a test to see whether they would insure it. Then compare the cost of insurance with Hiscox's insurance quote.

Historic movement does cause some nervousness among some buyers so discuss with your surveyor/structural engineer - I am not a professional but been involved in one such transaction.

Has the seller done any monitoring to prove that the movement is NOT progressive?

purepurple · 11/10/2009 09:07

I have no idea what has been done by the vendors. I have yet to view the housrs. I am just trying to weigh up the pros and cons before I arrange viewings.
Fore-warned is fore-armed and all that.

OP posts:
TDiddy · 11/10/2009 09:07

Correcting typos above.....I believe that historic movement usually means that the surveyor is highlighting the fact that the house has moved but is code for saying that it isn't moving anymore. You have to monitor it to 100pc certain......

TDiddy · 11/10/2009 09:11

Whatever the papers say, it is/will be a buyers market, in general, although there will be exceptions based on location and specifics. So take your time and don't get sucked in.

If you are buying any of the houses above then ensure full disclosure of the surveyor's report to insureres even before you exchange contracts. That way, you will flush out any insurability problems.

Happy hunting.

Scottie22 · 11/10/2009 20:36

We bought a house which had historic movement and needed a full structural report before we could get a mortgage - can't remember about building insurance I don't think it was any more than usual...

Agree with TDIddy to be careful as if you are concerned - you can guarantee any future buyers will be. We had difficulty when it came to reselling our house and had 3 buyers pull out!

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.