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Should we walk away?

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  • Should we walk away?

    Hi guys,

    Just wanted some general advice on our situation. We are FTB's. The property is a 2 bed ground floor flat with garden and cellar, with one flat above. The house is a 100 yr old Victorian place in North East London. Leasehold. It was on for 289k and our offer was accepted at 250k, so quite a substantial discount.

    We got the valuation back from the lender and they asked for a structural survey as there was evidence of movement due to some cracking: "This appears significant and likely to be progressive"
    There was also evidence of damp.

    We got a structural engineer in and our survey is back. The floor boards were deemed in good condition. There is rising damp on several walls throughout the house and they recommend further advice from a specialist damp curing company to confirm the extent and severity of the problem. Consideration should be given for full waterproofing of the walls and the floor.

    The cellar was also deemed as too damp and not suitable for storage in its present condition. If the cellar is required for storage, they recommend that forced ventilation is considered to be installed.

    As to the cracks, they recommend a system of monitoring is undertaken to record movements over a year. If movement is found to be persistent then careful pruning of tree should be carried out(there is a large pear tree in the garden and 2 sycamore trees in the neighbours garden). Underpinning to the rear and flank wall would also be necessary. This would be subject to further investigations.

    Lastly (Phew!) a detailed survey should be carried out on the drains to see if they are defective or leaking.

    Having received this report, we are understandably on the verge of pulling out. We are currently trying to gather as much info about the Freeholder's insurance, tenancy agreement, etc and wait for our Mortgage lender to get back to us about the report.

    It appears to me from research, that if we did decide to continue, we would have to deal with the damp problem mainly, though we could probably knock this off of the price. The subsidence issue would be monitored, and if needed, all works then carried out by the insurance company. Not sure if the drains would be covered by us or the buildings insurance yet. We are also worried about resale, as subsidence issues tend to frighten off buyers, though our plan is to keep this house for at least ten years. There is also the price of fixing the cracks, once the issue is dealt with.

    It is a lovely house, and there is no way we could afford a different two bed with garden in this area as they are all about 20k more. Hence we are a bit emotional about the property and would like some clinical advice!

    What do you guys think?


  • #2
    Re: Should we walk away?

    Personally speaking I would err on the side of caution, there would be nothing worse than buying a home that requires extensive work on it down the line. It might be that the sellers were aware of these issues and hence why they accepted a low offer.
    Northern Ireland Property


    • #3
      Re: Should we walk away?

      I would walk away or make a greatly reduced offer.


      • #4
        Re: Should we walk away?

        It's a lovely property at a cheaper price for good reason by the sounds of it - not least the damp but perhaps more seriously the subsidence issue. If this is caused by trees, it could be affecting more than just the foundations, but also the drainage systems from the property as well. Do you seriously want all that stress and hassle?

        Perhaps more importantly, if you can't afford the market value for a similar value, then can you afford all the redevelopment work required to fix subsidence and damp?