Owning your own home

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  • Anyone recommending injecting anything into the walls should probably be entirely discounted too.

  • You appear to be assuming a certain level of competence in estate agents ;)

  • On leasehold extensions, I've commissioned these guys, purely on the basis that they're the cheapest I could find at £350+vat: http://www.hetts.co.uk/

    Maybe they'll be crap. But I'm in no real hurry.

  • The damp specialists are a reputable company we've used before in this house, when the estate agent offered a damp report by them at no cost it seemed sensible.

    Their works only adds up to about £3,000 including an estimate for a roofer they'd subcontract, and the damp removal just involves investigating where the DPC hasn't worked/has broken down on one section of wall, and fixing a gutter causing damp elsewhere, so that's not our main concern really.

    The thing that annoys me is that they have said they recognise the house needs rewiring - which we didn't know before we made the offer - but they don't see why this has made us concerned.

    Another thing that annoys me is that the estate agent made it clear before we made an offer that offers were subject to survey, and then when we sent them the report they said they would speak to the vendors about a reduction before we even mentioned one. I feel like they led us to think it was something the vendors would be more receptive too. Maybe we were just asking for too much off.

  • Tough one, I'd be tempted to walk away...

    Our house needed a bit of work doing to it, EA told us his estimate of what the work would cost, we got our own estimate and some money was knocked off the sale price... In the end we were all wrong and the work is actually gonna cost three times the initial estimate... Gah!

    I know you've got a buyer waiting but I'd be tempted to walk away... Can you afford to play chicken with them a bit longer?

  • I feel like they led us to think it was something the vendors would be more receptive too.

    Yeah this is the standard way of doing things but ultimately the EA works for the seller and if the seller is saying they won’t negotiate the EA will report this back to you.

    Take control. Tell them what your revised offer is for the house based on what you now know. Make it clear that anything beyond that is extremely difficult to consider.

    This tells them two things:

    • you understand the process
    • your new offer is very, very near to the figure you will accept - so there is small wiggle room, enough so that there’s a possibility of you both feeling like you got what you wanted.

    They have your telephone number.

  • Is the rewire definitely needed? I think it's pretty standard to flag it in the survey if it's more than 30 years old, but in practice you could probably leave get away with leaving it.

    Could also just get a new consumer unit and leave the rest- but this might throw up hidden issues as they're more sensitive than old fuse boards.

  • A new consumer unit is major works. The sparks will retest all the house electrics and give the same report. They may well condemn some of the circuits as unsafe rather than remedial works.

  • I'm in a Victorian terrace that has solid floors at ground level. The pier wall at the junction of hall and two receptions has been getting steadily more damp since we moved in. I'm guess moisture is either wicking up the wall or through the slab then up the wall. What options should I be exploring other than chemical injections (which I'm not convinced of)? I guess ventilation could be improved, it's pretty draughty already, but that's not a substitute I know. Probably replacing floors at some point in the next year so fairly invasive is an option, though we do have to live here.

    Will dehumidify the room tomorrow and see how much that helps.

  • What options should I be exploring

    Looking under the floorboards & finding out what is going on should be the first action, before considering a solution. How is the water getting in, how is it spreading etc....

    (But yeah - injection is probably a waste of money).

    [Edit] solid floors? Is that a more recent change? What are thye made of?

  • Concrete? At a guess I imagine it was done by the owner before last but I'll confess I didn't give it enough thought or investigation at the time of purchase.

    I'll try and lift a bit of the laminate at some point and have a look. What would I be on the look out for? Cracks?

    Another option I'm considering is the quite drastic one of structural remodeling of the space to make it open plan to the hallway, doing away with this wall completely. Would require extending an RSJ insulating the end wall (end of terrace) but I want to do the latter anyway.

  • Concrete flooring in a period property sounds like a recipe for trouble. Funneling moisture underneath the property through to the nearest escape point, the surrounding walls

    Would it have had a suspended timber floor previously do you think?
    Or if it was a solid floor before it would have most like been breathable.

    The plaster on the walls - lime or cement/gypsum ?
    The latter plaster might exacerbate the issue caused by the flooring

    Ventilation sounds like it's satisfactory by your account but condensation damp is always possible

  • Lime plastering due to commence in April ,
    In living room and master bedroom which have been largely unused since we moved in July time. Should hopefully start to feel like habitable spaces after.

    Decided to replace the shitty PVC windows whilst we're at it.
    Currently getting quotes from joiners for timber sash. First quote = £4000 all in (vat+fitting etc) for two (reasonably large) windows which seems steep, but you get what you pay for and there's a lot of labour involved I guess
    Going to get a few more quotes and pull the trigger.

    In future when we get the rest of the windows done would seriously consider the Polish sash windows route Eurostyl etc (assuming sash windows won't be subject to 1000% tariffs)
    But on a limited timeframe so local joiners for now


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  • Lime I think, it was on the other side. There were timber floors at one point for sure as there are air bricks front and back.

  • Concrete?

    Ugh.

    As @Vesalius says, a recipe for trouble. If it's limecrete, it may be more forgiving, but if it's cement, ugh. That probably depends on when it was laid.

    Removing the wall would certainly stop the wall from being damp - but there would still be damp in your floor. Whether it would still be a problem or not is another thing.

    Lifting flooring, digging holes, stripping plaster to the brick - Edges and corners are the likeliest places to look. Tells are damp underflooring, blown / fluorescing paint & plaster, rusty nails, crumbling / peeling etc...

    Re: ventilation. If it were a suspended floor, then more airbricks could help (allowing the brick / ground below the DPC to dry). As it is, additional ventilation would probably only make the symptoms less visible.

  • Still in the process of selling. Buyer's solicitors want to see the electrical certificate following installation of a new consumer unit 2 years ago, which we were never provided. Electrician keeps delaying with rubbish excuses and I've got a dodgy feeling about it all.

    I've just contacted NAPIT to see if they have details of the works. Is there anything else I can do?
    If all else fails, would some form of indemnity insurance cover it?

  • There will be an indemnity policy to cover this stuff. However as it will be a policy to cover the buyers, it will be their solicitor who will need to get a quote and make sure you are happy with it.

  • I bought a house at the top of the market which needed money spending on it back in 2006. Needless to say I regretted that decision for the following 10 years. You're in a far stronger position than the seller right now. If you really want it that bad i'd tell them its 18k off the original offer price or no deal.

  • Any recomendations for a solicitor/ conveyencer in the north / east london area? Cheers

  • In the end we were all wrong and the work is actually gonna cost three times the initial estimate...

    Trying to catch up with this thread and this seemed to be the essence of the last week's discussion. And the only certain thing when you move into a house of any kind.

  • ok, i'm new to this, but allow me to have a small vent probably much in the recurring vein of this thread. we're selling our boat and buying a house. i cannot get my head around the machiavellian level of bullshit that goes on with estate agents and them trying to get information out of you that they shouldn't really be privy to. UGH

  • Anyone bought through purplebricks? What’s the process like - buyer wise

  • i cannot get my head around the machiavellian level of bullshit that goes on with estate agents

    Hah yeah it’s intense

  • Assume they are all lying

  • also, its amazing how much they will try to worm their way out of proving something is real/true/legit. A genuine skill, if only it could be used for good...

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Owning your own home

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