Owning your own home

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  • You could ignore it too, I'd have thought. They could alsways pay for one themselves.

  • They’re having a full survey done next week so doubtless something about electrics will come up (we haven’t got a modern RCD for starters).
    May be a danger of being too honest...

  • I would say if they want it then they need to pay for it.

  • I think this is a pretty standard request, along with things like recent boiler service record, where the answer is often "don't have one". Then it's up to the buyer whether they organise and pay for it.

  • Generally what comes up in the full survey is "I didn't check the electrics, you'll need an electrician for that".

  • Cheers - I’ll hang tight then

  • Our seller also seems the type who's more nice guy than property shark. Probably could have worked this out from the Morris Minor in the garage. He requested a completion certificate from the council for the extension as it was never granted/lost. Now we're worried he's not going to be able to get the indemnity insurance. Kind of wish he wasn't so honest. Why is it these things seem to come up the week before completion...

  • The house we're buying had some velux windows put in the loft when they had the roof done and they "might" not have permission. Our lawyers obtained an indemnity insurance for £80 which we suggested we just split as (a) in the grand scheme a tiny amount and (b) matter of principle. Husband of vendor said "No" but as the boiler hasn't been serviced we agreed that we'd pay for the insurance and they'd get the boiler serviced before we exchange and complete. I'm pretty happy with that and fingers crossed for a clean bill of health for the boiler. Service is Tue and due to complete and exchange on Wednesday!

  • When we sold our place in SE23 we were initially a bit pissed off to find that the building regs approval our builder assured us he had got for our extension could not be found on the council’s system but it was all resolved by cheap insurance and didn’t mess up the sale at all.

  • The house we're buying had some velux windows put in the loft when they had the roof done and they "might" not have permission.

    You can do this under permitted development rights anyway (except in a listed building / conversation area with an article 4 directive stating otherwise).

  • The current owners have had the house for 6 years and it wasn't done in their time. They don't have the documents to say the work has been done but know that it has been. Should I be suspicious of that?

    Wary. Our seller had all the documents - except the Building Control sign off but that was in the property searches so that's OK.

    As before, if you can find out exactly what was done and why that's a fair start. If the documentation that describes what was done is missing, then you are a bit stuck.

    We were supplied with:

    • Warranty for the work (expired 2013)
    • Engineers initial report from monitoring works carried out 1988-1991 (how much movement, what will happen if ignored, and what is causing the movement)
    • Design specification for remedial works
    • Tender documentation for contractors

    Because I do generally technical work, I could process this and understand it. And this allowed us to view the information from our survey through a new lens.

    I can't believe the one I'm looking to buy would have been the only one in that block to receive the treatment.

    Depends on the street and reason for subsidence. You can cause subsidence by have a big fuck off tree in your back garden, or by having a waste pipe that constantly leaks. It can be limited to a single building. But there are are streets where every place will have been affected in some way due to a dramatic change in the water table. The 'why' is really important as you can then see if the reason for subsidence has been dealt with (pipes), managed (trees) or still lurking (dry clay soil due to water table changes).

    As you seem to be able to generate a fair BI quote for the postcode, that might indicate that the issue was specific to the property.

  • Cheers.

    Our doors are pretty shit and we've recently 'discovered' 4 panel 1950s doors (which would be period with our place). I assume we'd paint, but if they need stripping first I'm not sure it's a job I want to do bearing in mind how tough the OG paint could be.

  • Mine is definitely subsiding. Unbeknown to me on purchase, but later told by a neighbour there was a big Plane Tree in front of our house that was removed by the council 2-3 years ago and there are also very large trees behind the house but are at least 10m away.

    If you walk up the road every single bay window has cracked some more than others so I suspect there is also a water table issue at play. I'd welcome the house being underpinned. I suspect that under pinning will become more and more common as not only do houses age but get heavier as extensions go on upper floors. It might be seen as a positive in circa 10 years.

  • Does underpinning require BC sign off? If so could you ask the council if they have any record of when it was done?

  • I agree with this.

    Some underpinning can be a real warning sign but if there is some movement which is fixed by underpinning and there is obviously no further movement, how is that a negative?

    Clearly it needs to be documented correctly to prove it was done properly.

    We've had some movement in our house since we had a French tray installed last Christmas. It's probably the water table readjusting but if there is further movement in the next year we will have to have the house monitored by our building insurers.

  • We had lots of inspections done on our house when we were refurbing around under pinning, as the gable end was in effect falling off, in the end we (in consultation with structural engineer of course) decided not to underpin, instead tied the house together with lots of steel in resin. one of the reasons the SE recommended this approach is because some houses move a lot due to lack of proper foundations and clay soils (we have 4m deep of clay then greensand here), and if you were to underpin one end of the house, you stop this end moving, and run the risk of making an even bigger problem, and potentially splitting the house in 2.

  • Sale completed this morning. Almost exactly 3 months since we accepted an offer on the house.

    Cash offer of asking, freehold property, no chain.

    Covid aside, I'm surprised it took so long.

  • @Colm89 - Congratulations!

  • Congrats!!

    It seems like a lot of people on here are moving at the mo!

  • Speedheater Cobra is the cheapest infra red stripper. It's not really designed for doors but it does the job well enough that it's just boring not boring and painful. It's also not cheap but there should be a healthy second hand market.

    Otherwise Metabo make a machine called the LF724s. It's a proper handful, probably the most dangerous tool I own. Has a habit of eating it's own safety guards. Basically an angle grinder with tungsten blades attached to a wheel. It ejects tiny sharp bits of paint at around 1000mph, they are all aimed at your eyes. Anything it touches is reduced to fragments. Everyone who trys it is simultaneously frightened and impressed :)

  • Now the exciting part, congrats!

  • potentially splitting the house in 2.

    Slap a bit of studwork in the middle & sell it for flats?

  • Re: underpinning - I've asked next door's builders to underpin our bay window, which dropped when the drain outside backed up.

  • It seems like a lot of people on here are moving at the mo!

    In 8 years on this forum and probably 5 years monitoring this thread it seems like the same group are constantly buying / selling!

  • but if there is some movement which is fixed by underpinning and there is obviously no further movement, how is that a negative?

    Yeah, we were happy to proceed on this basis. Took a lot of hours and a lot of phone calls to get there though. It requires sophisticated and committed buyers to reach that conclusion.

    Randomly I was doing some hobby work for a fella who runs an underpinning company. I asked him, and to be fair, it was context-free, 'should I buy an underpinned house?', and his response was 'short answer: no'. The long answer was if you can find out what caused it, what was done to remedy it and when it was done, and then if you can rule out any further movement (hard), then you should negotiate.

    Other people who worked in property mirrored that. Our solicitors shit the bed when it came up on the property searches. Really felt like proceeding (without an allowance) was like trying to swim up a waterfall.

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Owning your own home

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