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Thread: House Structure

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
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    York
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    House Structure

    The missus is getting nervous, the Cobra was sold and the house is looking shaky due to a structural issue and I may have mentioned Cobra's once or twice. Remind me why I sold it! SO, I have question if we have any resident experts. House we are looking at has a few cracks, mortgage company wants a structural report, vendor agrees to pay. I ask estate agent for as copy and they decline because the vender paid for the report!!! I thought this would fall under the 'full disclosure' rule. I'm now told the cracks on the upstairs walls were investigated for localised movement and some roof work is required. Unknown to the agent I worked next door and found a foot of water under the floor. My question is, how can a requested structural report be confined to just one aspect of the property and other potential causes of cracking be over looked. That's like booking your car in for a suspected front puncture and the mechanic saying £50 please mate, we checked the tyre and it's okay. But it's still flat, erm yeah the inner tube is knackered but you didn't ask me to check that! Anyone in the know on here that knows the ins and outs of the situation, I know we should walk away but we love the house
    AK SOLD, gutted!! Wonder if I can get my fat a** in an Ultima

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Finchampstead, Berkshire, UK.
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    3,599
    Your estate agent is a dick!

    Just tell him that no report = no mortgage = no sale = no commission.....he should then get the message.

    You may find that the visible cracks can be traced to loadings from the roof structure, hence that is the cause/fix and anything else in the house is irrelevent from a structural point of view.

    Is your solictor asking pointed questions about subsidence past/present etc as the impact on Home Insurance can be pretty horrific for about 20 years post the issue being fixed!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    cheshire
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    1,237
    Best to walk away, you may end up with more problems than just the cracks!
    .............never drive faster than your guardian angel.

    cobraclub.com/gallery/showgallery.php/cat/633 - this is the link to my build photo's you have to put w w w . h t t p : / / in front of it!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
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    York
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    2,088
    lol, Hi Jim, no disagreement there. I finally lost the plot and had a very 'direct' convo with surveyor & agent. I pointed out that with the river in the back garden, ignoring it whilst studying the roof was akin to commenting that it looked like rain whilst having your ski poles rammed up your a*** during the avalanche you were experiencing. And on the same subject, has anyone had a glance at the 65 foot tree next door..............ffs, is it me? As a buyer you want to know that any potential cause of damage has been investigated and not just the single missing slate my 6 month old grandson could have pointed out. I also think it's wrong that the onus should be on the buyer from a cost perspective you could pay for several surveys, potentially several structural and still not buy because of something the vendor was well aware of. Meanwhile the banks, have their cut for the valuation, the homebuyer surveyor has his cut for his wander round and commenting that a particular crack could do with having a structural report done on it, your structural report looks at the crack and says it's fine, takes his cut and six months later the house falls off the edge of the cliff no one saw because there was a fence in the way.... About time vendors had to pay for a report up front and make it available to all potential buyers. You would also benefit from better valuation rather than chancers that stick their house on the market every 6 months asking 40K too much in the hope of finding the village idiot then do the same thing every year until they locate him!...Rant over
    AK SOLD, gutted!! Wonder if I can get my fat a** in an Ultima

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    West Midlands UK.
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    2,987
    Warren,

    seriously take a step back and look at the situation afresh.

    The roof has gone and the upstrairs has cracking and movement issues.

    With your own eyes you have seen a foot of water under the foundations and floors.

    I hope that the first floor joists are ok because that is the only part of the house not experiencing serious problems.

    If you still love the house why not get your own structural survey done and knock shedloads of money off the asking price ( and then a bit more) to cover the remedial works needed.

    Sounds to me that you are getting sucked into a money pit on an emotional level.

    Everyone knows that that should only happen with cars.


    Cheers,

    Tony
    Supply by blagging, engineering by bodge......

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Northampton
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    As an outsider reading this - and I realise this isn't what you want to hear - it really reads like you need to walk away from this property..

    A little story that may or may not help:

    My ex boss had four full structural surveys done on a house they wanted to purchase - beautiful home that was part barn conversion part period build, pool in the grounds, big conservatory, beautiful structure, small brook behind the house. Everything looked perfect and the surveys (all four) spotted nothing amiss so they dropped £850k on the house back in 2002ish.

    A few months or so go by and they get a letter from the environment agency that reads something like the following:

    "The monitoring stations in your grounds have shown significant slippage of the land into the river behind your property. Since your property boundaries include the banks of said river you are liable for the cost of our remedial work which we estimate to be £4,000,000. Work will commence on Y date."

    As you can imagine, many months of legal wranglings followed in which the following things became clear:

    All four surveyors missed or failed to mention the monitoring stations in the garden (white poles you tripped over sticking up out of little manholes!).
    All four surveyors had watertight legal indemnities that meant they were untouchable for any kind of compensation.
    Their insurance company washed their hands as it was an undeclared previously existing condition.
    On further investigation a string of previous owners of the house had sold up and emmigrated to the US making them untouchable legally as they had no remaining assets in the UK.

    When I stopped working for them the last news I heard was that the environment agency had offered to reduce the costs to ~£1,500,000 as long as they let them demolish the house as part of the process to make access to the bank easier!


    All in all this lead me to believe that:

    Surveys aren't worth the paper they're written on and 90% of surveyors are about as useful as a glass hammer.
    Buying a house near water is a bad idea unless you are made of money..

    </glass half full mode>

    Hopefully you can sort it all out to satisfaction, anyway!
    My DeDion build diary..
    Hon Sec of the Digidash branch of the Unpopular Kit Car Design club

  7. #7
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    blackpool lancs.
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    As above, sounds like you need to walk away from it, one of the main reasons why ive not moved is all the crap with home buyers reports, and surveyors reports that surveyors wont stand by ect ect, the whole set up is a scam imho, if it looks wrong it probably is, you dont need a surveyor to tell you that

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Finchampstead, Berkshire, UK.
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    Warren,

    The reason you should be paying for some form of survey is that if it all goes pete tong and you can prove that the surveyor was negligent then you stand a chance of being able to claim off his professional indemnity insurance (assuming he has some), if the seller pays the fee then that's who has the contract with the surveyor...not you...therefore you will get told to "do one" in the event of a claim.

    Aarons happy tale above is because the surveyors will have been "building" type buggers, rather than a geological survey...and in fairness, who the hell would order one of those!

    In my case I bought a shed of a house, had a cursory cheapy survey done (because I had to) and then did my rebuild.......and then the drains collapsed, all of them V old, but no reason to suspect that anything would have been untoward....£10K later and I've got a shiney new drain (and a very grumpy house insurer!!) - the only way I could have aimed off for that would be with yet another bloody survey I don't think there is any way that you can get a cast Iron guarantee before you buy any house that there won't be horrors along the way, what you can do though is take a step back and weigh up the evidence and decide if you are willing to take the risk for what you get.....only you can decide that.

    Best of luck in your decision

    Regards

    Jim

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Am a spec builder developer so here goes, you are the buyer so demand to see the survey if its good they wont mind showing you if they refuse in my opinion means there are issues, secondly you will have to have a valuation done anyway for a mortgage, most likely they will insist on a survey amongst other things but will be by their appointed surveyor, thirdly what do they want for the property what cost is the work that needs doing dont underestimate add 50% to this as you will always find further problems as you go, if financially you are getting a good deal go for it, if not walk away
    Dax 427 kit collected end april 2012, IVA pass first time 6th May 2014.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Bristol
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    785
    Ever seen the film "The Money Pit"...?

    Alarm bells are going, jog on mate if you want to keep your sanity...

    My parents went through roughly what you did, but the loons bought the place! I told them not too, it was too obvious, but they got all excited and I'm sure a bit of Dutch bidding was going on via the Estate agent. 10 years later and the house is 3/4 done, no money, and the place is still a sh*t hole... Now my Dad has reached 63, all he is interested in is sitting and sleeping and watching TV, and on top of that his dodgy health of late..!
    I cannot believe what the survey didn't pick up... must have done it from the car...

    So don't buy any houses older than 80 years old in North Devon carved into the side of a hill and especially where holiday makers come to visit because it will drive you round the twist!

    Next is the Asbestos tiled roof problem...
    Last edited by karl_tanner; 14-06-13 at 06:00 PM.
    I'm just making this up as I go along!

    http://cobrakarl.blogspot.co.uk/

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