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Buying a house with subsidence

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  • orraloonorraloon Posts: 8,255
    Do you want to take on someone else's problem?
  • shirley_bassoshirley_basso Posts: 4,412

    The stress involved will take over your life and no house is worth that much.

    But maybe that's me, every time I see Grand Design I feel for those people...

    It's not a grand design, I assure you.
    ... but it might end up being equally stressful...

    Think like a French, you don't want that shxt in your life, what you want is cassoulet and Beaujolais Nouveau
    I am a bit more ambitious than cassoulet and beaujolais. It's this^ attidute that has led to the french having no word for entrepreneur
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 26,136

    elbowloh said:

    Thanks for all your comments.

    All I know at present is it has subsidence and needs underpinning The quote has been £5k to resolve but I don't believe it. I've read it can cost £6k-£20k to fix and has a 20-25% impact on value.

    So do you think I should look to get work / insurance covered then sort mortgage?

    It cost our insurer £10k just to remove tree, repair internal/external cracks and redecorate. That's without underpinning!
    Ha. I didn't think £5k was realistic!
    It isn't, we had a £ 8.5K quote to remove a square meter of internal supporting wall and fit a couple of steel beams
  • shirley_bassoshirley_basso Posts: 4,412
    elbowloh said:

    If the the seller has insurance, i would get them to instigate the claim process now?

    Good thinking
  • shirley_bassoshirley_basso Posts: 4,412
    orraloon said:

    Do you want to take on someone else's problem?

    At the right price, yes.
  • TrickyTreeTrickyTree Posts: 6

    The work has not been done - it needs doing. Estate agent has said so.

    Ok so all banks will instruct a surveyor to carry out a mortgage valuation.
    The surveyor will want a structural engineers report to determine what needs doing.
    If structural work is required, most banks will want the work completed before they will lend.

    Has the owner had a report carried out or is the estate agent guessing?
    From what you have said I don’t see you getting a mortgage or buildings insurance.
    Thanks Tricky. I think you're right and I understand the reason it hasn't sold is because of inability to get a mortgage. I'm keen to find a way to make it work and cheaply.
    So first thing is to find out the exact problem.

    If it’s current structural moment then the only way you can buy is for you to be a cash buyer.
    You may be able to obtain bridging finance secured on your house but that is v expensive.
    You would need to know exact problem, to get cost and timeline for repair and then factor in at least 20%+ saving (you won’t be able to sell for 2-3 years after work)

    The increased financed costs for you, cost of work, cost of risk is prob much greater than what the seller will reduce by.

    Surprised they aren’t selling via auction.
  • shirley_bassoshirley_basso Posts: 4,412
    edited 16 April
    Thank you. You're no doubt right, but with lockdown, there's not much else I can do with my weekend so going to look anyway.

    I wouldn't be looking to sell for at least 5y at minimum

  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 26,136

    Thank you. You're no doubt right, but with lockdown, there's not much else I can do with my weekend so going to look anyway.

    I wouldn't be looking to sell for at least 5y at minimum

    I would only consider buying a house with problems if it's your "forever home", dream property, call it what you want... even if you fix the problem, majority of potential buyers would never want to have anything to do with it, or even worse, would pull out at the last minute, wasting months of your life
  • ProssPross Posts: 27,049
    elbowloh said:

    I'd also say the flat I sold (after 4 years of trying) had "historical movement" identified in one survey commissioned by my first buyer and they pulled out.

    We had our insurers investigate and they said there was some minor cracking most likely caused by tree roots. They had the tree removed and the cracks repaired and all seemed ok - all done on the insurance. However, over those years I had 4 other buyers all pull out before completion, all were aware of the issue from the start and where given certificates of completion etc. I don't know why any of them actually pulled out, but it could have been a factor.

    Didn't they do any other work after the tree was removed? Removing trees can lead to even more problems due to heave in clay areas.
  • elbowlohelbowloh Posts: 5,680
    Pross said:

    elbowloh said:

    I'd also say the flat I sold (after 4 years of trying) had "historical movement" identified in one survey commissioned by my first buyer and they pulled out.

    We had our insurers investigate and they said there was some minor cracking most likely caused by tree roots. They had the tree removed and the cracks repaired and all seemed ok - all done on the insurance. However, over those years I had 4 other buyers all pull out before completion, all were aware of the issue from the start and where given certificates of completion etc. I don't know why any of them actually pulled out, but it could have been a factor.

    Didn't they do any other work after the tree was removed? Removing trees can lead to even more problems due to heave in clay areas.
    Nope. Nothing groundworks related, only repairs.
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  • shirley_bassoshirley_basso Posts: 4,412

    Thank you. You're no doubt right, but with lockdown, there's not much else I can do with my weekend so going to look anyway.

    I wouldn't be looking to sell for at least 5y at minimum

    I would only consider buying a house with problems if it's your "forever home", dream property, call it what you want... even if you fix the problem, majority of potential buyers would never want to have anything to do with it, or even worse, would pull out at the last minute, wasting months of your life
    Don't worry, you don't have to buy it.
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 19,769

    20% off value if it's been underpinned - a bit like a repaired insurance write off?


    I'm surprised it's that much. I'd certainly be looking for underpinned houses to buy if that's true.

    Would be very sceptical of that if the work is properly designed and executed.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
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  • TrickyTreeTrickyTree Posts: 6

    Thank you. You're no doubt right, but with lockdown, there's not much else I can do with my weekend so going to look anyway.

    I wouldn't be looking to sell for at least 5y at minimum

    Good luck.
    Hopefully not as bad as the agent has said.

  • singletonsingleton Posts: 1,917

    The stress involved will take over your life and no house is worth that much.

    But maybe that's me, every time I see Grand Design I feel for those people...

    It's not a grand design, I assure you.
    ... but it might end up being equally stressful...

    Think like a French, you don't want that shxt in your life, what you want is cassoulet and Beaujolais Nouveau
    I am a bit more ambitious than cassoulet and beaujolais. It's this^ attidute that has led to the french having no word for entrepreneur
    :D
  • yorkshirerawyorkshireraw Posts: 1,445
    edited 16 April
    This has got a Channel 5 Programme 'Homes from Hell' written all over it.

    (I actually thought I was making that up, but Google suggests it is / was a real series).

    Also, don't be this woman (apologies for the source but bl00dy hell - did she view at 3 in the morning or something? How do you not notice a pseudo motorway out the back?):

  • yorkshirerawyorkshireraw Posts: 1,445
    Please take some of the thoughts / advice here on board - it 'may' turn out to be shrewd bargain if you can get the price down and the work is not too costly. There 'may' also be a reason no one else has bought it either.
  • Stevo_666Stevo_666 Posts: 45,397
    SB, if I were in your shoes I would walk away. There are - or will be - plenty of other houses available that will fit the bill if you are patient. Ones that don't have all this aggro. We're looking to move house in the next year and no way would I want all of this hassle and uncertainty on top of what is usually one of the more stress-inducing events in life.

    It's not often that I agree with Ugo but he talks a lot of sense here.
    "I spent most of my money on birds, booze and fast cars: the rest of it I just squandered." [George Best]
  • surrey_commutersurrey_commuter Posts: 13,622
    Stevo_666 said:

    SB, if I were in your shoes I would walk away. There are - or will be - plenty of other houses available that will fit the bill if you are patient. Ones that don't have all this aggro. We're looking to move house in the next year and no way would I want all of this hassle and uncertainty on top of what is usually one of the more stress-inducing events in life.

    It's not often that I agree with Ugo but he talks a lot of sense here.

    Just to add to the surreal nature of people agreeing with each other I would strongly advise you not to even view it in case you (or the missus) starts getting emotionally attached.
  • Stevo_666Stevo_666 Posts: 45,397

    Stevo_666 said:

    SB, if I were in your shoes I would walk away. There are - or will be - plenty of other houses available that will fit the bill if you are patient. Ones that don't have all this aggro. We're looking to move house in the next year and no way would I want all of this hassle and uncertainty on top of what is usually one of the more stress-inducing events in life.

    It's not often that I agree with Ugo but he talks a lot of sense here.

    Just to add to the surreal nature of people agreeing with each other I would strongly advise you not to even view it in case you (or the missus) starts getting emotionally attached.
    I agree with you as well SC. What is the world coming to? :)
    "I spent most of my money on birds, booze and fast cars: the rest of it I just squandered." [George Best]
  • yorkshirerawyorkshireraw Posts: 1,445
    edited 16 April
    Stevo_666 said:

    Stevo_666 said:

    SB, if I were in your shoes I would walk away. There are - or will be - plenty of other houses available that will fit the bill if you are patient. Ones that don't have all this aggro. We're looking to move house in the next year and no way would I want all of this hassle and uncertainty on top of what is usually one of the more stress-inducing events in life.

    It's not often that I agree with Ugo but he talks a lot of sense here.

    Just to add to the surreal nature of people agreeing with each other I would strongly advise you not to even view it in case you (or the missus) starts getting emotionally attached.
    I agree with you as well SC. What is the world coming to? :)
    Agree with your agreement to the agreement. Strange indeed.

    The house we bought recently had a covenant placed on it in 1961, about not extending or adding sheds / garden buildings etc, without permission of the people who sold the land for building. Despite the fact the person who had owned it since it was built had done just that in the 70s and 80s that without seeking agreement, nor in having any enforcement served. Even getting to the bottom of this was painful & long winded.

    As others have said - there are other houses.
  • Stevo_666Stevo_666 Posts: 45,397

    Stevo_666 said:

    Stevo_666 said:

    SB, if I were in your shoes I would walk away. There are - or will be - plenty of other houses available that will fit the bill if you are patient. Ones that don't have all this aggro. We're looking to move house in the next year and no way would I want all of this hassle and uncertainty on top of what is usually one of the more stress-inducing events in life.

    It's not often that I agree with Ugo but he talks a lot of sense here.

    Just to add to the surreal nature of people agreeing with each other I would strongly advise you not to even view it in case you (or the missus) starts getting emotionally attached.
    I agree with you as well SC. What is the world coming to? :)
    Agree with your agreement to the agreement. Strange indeed.

    The house we bought recently had a covenant placed on it in 1961, about not extending or adding sheds / garden buildings etc, without permission of the people who sold the land for building. Despite the fact the person who had owned it since it was built had done just that in the 70s and 80s that without seeking agreement, nor in having any enforcement served. Even getting to the bottom of this was painful & long winded.

    As others have said - there are other houses.
    True, there is some weird stuff in deeds, we found some in ours which fortunately didn't affect us but will definitely take an interest when we come to buy whatever new place we decide on.

    But don't want to derail the thread with that - hopefully SB is listening to the main message.
    "I spent most of my money on birds, booze and fast cars: the rest of it I just squandered." [George Best]
  • shirley_bassoshirley_basso Posts: 4,412
    I'll keep you all posted! Haha
  • pinkbikinipinkbikini Posts: 744
    I’d say find out all you can and go and have a look. If it’s an existing and untreated subsidence issue then I’d bet they’re looking for a cash buyer, prob a builder to repair, renovate and flip (although it sounds like the type of property that would go to auction really).

    Like you say, if you’ve nothing else to do at weekends why not take a look and find out more. As shown on various threads on here, people have vastly different appetites for risk.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 26,136

    I’d say find out all you can and go and have a look. If it’s an existing and untreated subsidence issue then I’d bet they’re looking for a cash buyer, prob a builder to repair, renovate and flip (although it sounds like the type of property that would go to auction really).

    Like you say, if you’ve nothing else to do at weekends why not take a look and find out more. As shown on various threads on here, people have vastly different appetites for risk.

    Big risk for big reward... if you are taking a big risk to save 20%, I'd say it's not worth it.
    I'd be all for taking a punt on a boarded terraced in a dodgy area for a grand... you never know, 10 years down the line might be worth 100 times more... but a wounded house at best will become a mended house... just a lot of risk for not much reward, regardless of the outcome
  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 6,115
    This thread should be called, "I've decided to buy a house with subsidence, advice to save me from financial ruin please."
  • shirley_bassoshirley_basso Posts: 4,412
    I haven't looked at it yet!

    Surely if the price is low enough, it's worth it?
  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 6,115

    I haven't looked at it yet!

    Surely if the price is low enough, it's worth it?

    No idea. What sticks out for me is that you are only considering it because you can't sell your current house.
  • shirley_bassoshirley_basso Posts: 4,412
    Not really. I'd happily buy something else on budget which isn't falling down.

    This seemed like a nice opportunity this morning but now less so.
  • TrickyTreeTrickyTree Posts: 6

    I haven't looked at it yet!

    Surely if the price is low enough, it's worth it?

    Quite possibly yes.
    The problem will be trying to get a mortgage if you need one.

    I’m guessing the current owner isn’t insured otherwise they would surely claim and get the issue rectified.
    Once you know the specifics give a few insurance companies a call and see if they would cover you.
    I suspect none will and without buildings insurance you won’t get a mortgage.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 26,136
    Why is your property not selling? Is it dull and boring and like any other property in your area?
    Sometimes inexpensive updates can make it stand out from all the other houses with beige carpets, plastic windows, Ikea kitchens and white walls
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