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Buy to run away?

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  • Buy to run away?

    Any and all advice would be most welcome. Sorry for the novel, but want to be as complete as possible. My husband & I each own a house in a market town in East Anglian/Midlands area. We're looking for a larger house, and have looked at 20+ properties in the same town. We both love one particular property, which is a brick chalet style built in the late 1960's, early 1970's. We would sell my house to finance the move (and to take advantage of moving my superior mortgage offer to the new house). We would like to put an offer on this new house but….

    1- When we looked at the house, the Estate Agent told us that there had been subsidence issues with the back extension of the garage, but said it had all been put to right.
    2- Being a small town, my husband has 'heard' that there have been problems with this house before. Specifically, the last person who wanted to purchase could not proceed because their mortgage company were not happy with the house structurally, and would not proceed.
    3- We went to speak to the Estate Agent, who then provided us with structural survey (done in April 2008), and copies of insurance papers. These papers show that there have been (2) separate subsidence issues with the house. The first being the back of the garage which were caused by roots of a hedge. The hedge was chopped down, and the back of the garage was rebuilt with a new slab. The second being a willow tree which caused subsidence of the main house slab. The tree was cut down, and the main house slab was shored up using a resin epoxy system. There were no foundation issues in the main house. The April 2008 Structural Survey says that all issues have been put to right, and that there are no further pending issues. However, it does say that because the house is on a hill, and the soil is clay, there may be future issues.

    Where do we go from here?

    1- We have not specifically asked the Estate Agent if any previous buyers have not been able to complete because of structural issues with the house. Can we?
    2- Should we trust the April 2008 Structural Survey? Because we didn't commission it, I don't trust it completely. Should we pay for our own survey - if so, how much would with cost? Or could we contact the original surveyor (from April 2008), and ask for a reevlatuion?
    3- Could we get a consultation with a surveyor? Provide them with all the insurance papers & surveys and ask for an educated read & advice? We don't feel confidence interpreting these papers without advice.
    3- We would like to change this chalet style roof to a conventional pitch roof. We've obtained pre-planning approval, but are worried that these subsidence issues could make this impossible.

    Unfortunately, none of the other houses we've looked are even come close to this house. We both love it, but am scared about a money pit!

  • #2
    You sound right to be concerned, but I'm surprised - you seem to be considering putting all your money in or nothing - considering the sums involved, just how much will a proper structural survey carried out by yourselves really cost?

    When you consider the amount of money you want to put in, you're not really looking at much of a cost at all.