Owning your own home

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  • Thanks for the input. The surveyor sent a lot of photos of the property in a doc but I’m on my phone so it’s quite hard to access properly. When I spoke to the surveyor he seemed fairly relaxed about it, that was before he sent the survey through but after he’d completed his report; I can give him a call tomorrow.

  • Arse covering. Maybe it's nothing. Post a photo and @leggy_blonde will comment

  • Ok. So it’s your decision where to go.

    With this survey you’ll not [easily if at all] be able to legitimately get buildings insurance as you’ve been made aware the house is already falling down a bit so you can’t insure it against falling down. Your mortgage company will require buildings insurance.

    To get past this you’ll probably have to pay for a structural engineer (maybe £500) to give a definitive view on what’s happening rather than the conjecture a surveyor provides. If the engineer says it’s finished moving around you just fill the cracks and away you go, if they say they’re not sure or it’s definitely a problem then walk, it’s not worth the heartache and effort trying to fix someone else’s subsidence to end up with a house that’s tough to sell because it’s previously subsided.

    You could try to get the seller to pay for the engineer. As it stands if you back out, without an engineer’s report saying otherwise they’ll have to put on the brochure that the house might well be subsiding. They really won’t want to do that.

  • Where is it, and how old? This summer was nuts for causing Victorian buildings to settle a bit more. Cracks galore.

  • After hart v large, your surveyor either is very relaxed about the "defects" he has found (based on the extract you have included) or he has been negligent in not flagging how serious they are and how seriously you should be taking them.

    I've sued 2 surveyors in the very very distant past, and after hart v large, if he didn't want you to buy the property he would make it very very clear.

  • Thanks for the above thoughts.

    @TW it’s in Cornwall and is a mid-terrace early 1900s property. All of the houses in the terrace have been extended on the backs between 50s-80s.

    The previous owner bought the property in 2018 and did so with a mortgage. We will give the surveyor a call about it tomorrow morning to talk it through and also check with our solicitor to see if they can find out what kind of survey the previous buyer had.

    @princeperch I’ve shared pictures with a number of builder friends and I also have quite a lot of experience of working on old properties and my sense after multiple visits (as well as my friends’ who I shared the pics with) was it was something to keep an eye on rather than to be unduly worried about. But obviously nothing will compare to actually getting an engineer to have a look and sign it off. My partner and I are both on the same page about not jumping into a bad situation unnecessarily.

    The surveyor is very experienced and I am hopeful that his optimism is due to not seeing it as a concern rather than negligence. Like I say we’ll have a chat with him tomorrow.

    If it comes to having to pay for an engineer visit I’m sure the seller will be accommodating - we previously had to get a mundic survey unexpectedly and they were very helpful and open during all of those hijinks.

  • Our 1930's house has developed a couple of cracks in the internal walls at the end of the summer. Cracks are about as wide as a finger nail. The builder doing some work didn't seem too concerned.

    Our house is built on quite a clay soil, I guess that might be the cause....

  • Residential Surveyor in ‘fucking useless’ shocker

  • Using the word "subsiding/subsidence" will mean that you won't be able to get insurance until you have had a structural engineer's report, it will be interesting to hear what the surveyor says after your chat.

    For the record there is no such thing as a

    RICS Level 3 structural survey.

    A RICS survey is a general building survey which isn't carried out by a structural engineer.

  • You're right - I didn't mean to write structural survey.

    Spoke to the surveyor this morning and he suggested a CCTV drainage survey as a first port of call and then following that scheduling a structural engineer to visit. Spoke to the EA as well as the solicitor and are currently waiting to hear if the vendor is up for shouldering the cost of the surveys - the drainage one is only around £200.

  • fingers crossed for you

  • Spoke to the EA as well as the solicitor and are currently waiting to hear if the vendor is up for shouldering the cost of the surveys

    An alternative strategy would be to wait until you have a full picture of the issue, remediation cost etc and present a full and final price chip that you would be prepared to move ahead with.

    Are you a unicorn buyer (i.e. pre-Truss mortgage offer in place)? If so, you obviously have mega negotiating leverage for as long as you can keep the mortgage alive.

    Alternatively alternatively, would it be a better idea to get a cheaper survey from a less diligent surveyor to supersede the overly cautious one you have now?

  • Cheers @leggy_blonde

    @NickCJ I’m not so sure about going ahead with another less diligent survey when we know about the issue and want it resolving. In response to your question about the mortgage, yes we are, kind of. We had a mortgage for another property pre-Truss but then it fell through two days after the mini-budget. We were able to keep the offer alive for this new place but as it was more expensive we needed an extra bit of mortgage to cover that difference which was approximately 10% of the original mortgage price; this extra 10% was at the new rates of over 5%.

    The seller seems pretty legit, if a little naive, and the estate agent is a sole trader. It’s in a really small town where everyone knows one another which is in our favour as it feels like there is accountability and consequently, one would hope, good practice and behaviour.

    There’s so many cash buyers due to the student and tourist nature of the town that I have no doubt the seller could always just flog it to a cash buyer but as we’re all quite far along in the process I’m hopeful we’ll find a resolution. Also, we know what they paid for it when they bought it in 2018 and they’re already making a pretty decent profit having done nothing to the property, so I’m hoping they might not mind a little bit less.

  • I’m not so sure about going ahead with another less diligent survey when we know about the issue and want it resolving.

    Whether or not you get a price chip from the seller it will make your life easier to have a clean survey. However, this is delicate and you can't lie to your insurer.

  • they’re already making a pretty decent profit having done nothing to the property

    If they're planning to move to another property this may not mean much though.

  • They live abroad now and as I understand it are pretty comfortable. They’re not in a chain, just want to sell the house to raise some funds

  • Using the word "subsiding/subsidence" will mean that you won't be able to get insurance until you have had a structural engineer's report

    How is this the case when your insurance provider won't see the survey?

  • As it stands if you back out, without an engineer’s report saying otherwise they’ll have to put on the brochure that the house might well be subsiding. They really won’t want to do that.

    Likewise this... Is this assuming you make some sort of formal declaration to the seller that you think the house is subsiding?

  • Not doubting you guys, just curious.

    My survey came with a 'this is for your eyes only, highly recommend you don't share it with anyone' type warning, and neither insurance nor mortgage provider nor anyone else asked to see it. They never even asked if we had a survey done at all.

    (In case the FBI / Nationwide are reading this - it also said my house was in tip top condition)

  • Failing to declare subsidence is likely to invalidate the insurance, there is bound to be a clause in there somewhere!

    If I put in a structural report that a property is affected by subsidence, I also write that they should notify their insurers.

    If a claim isn't made then maybe the insurers will never know about a report but that's insurance fraud....

    I know less about the selling side of things but I know that once a claim has been made, it goes on a register which is checked during the searches.

  • 5year Mortgage agreement on house is ending in March another 24 on it. Sadly gf’s mum died last year which could put us in a unwanted but position to pay off the mortgage. Is there any reason to not pay it off completely? I know things like credit is I think set on having debt,but feel something sad could in some way be positive.

  • The utilitarian answer is if you can gain interest on it as an investment greater than your mortgage rate, then do that and you are in profit at the end of the 24 years.

    Obviously this places zero value on the psychological benefit of being mortgage free. (Which in turn is a fallacy if you have accessible liquid funds to pay it off at any point.)

    You won’t struggle for credit with a steady income that is enough to (theoretically) pay a mortgage and a home that you own.

  • If I was in your position I'd pay it off.

    Keep credit cards going and your score will be fine

  • Another vote for pay it off. It's hard to find guaranteed gains and you need a place to live. Well, you don't need one but it's a nice thing to have.

  • Plus, owning your home outright seems like a nice legacy.

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Owning your own home

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