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(11-07-2012 06:19 PM)john_corey Wrote: Angela,
I have no direct experience.
If I were you, I would definitely go for a structural engineer. It is encouraging that even your builder is saying this is the right path.
What you really want is a solution from someone with the property training, certificates and insurance to back up their decision on the 'correct' solution. You need a specialist to 'bless' the solution so the next buyer, the neighbor and others do not continue to hold you hostage. That is also the reason council is involved. Once you have the 'all clear' and the documentation to share with future buyers, you should see the property stops having an impaired value. It might take some time so proof accumulates.
Now that you are more aware of the general issue, is there anything that should be done before buying in the future? Is there a step missing in the due diligence? Or is this just one of those things that could not easily be spotted so a hidden risk for any deal?