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  • Property-a-holics

    RICS Homebuyer report notes some issues

    Hi All,

    I made a cash offer for a house which was recently accepted at market value. The seller asked for a completion date which I verbally agreed to based on having a RICS home buyers report. The seller stated he would prefer the survey be taken out before our solicitors are involved which was fine for me.  When I looked at the house it was evident that the bathroom needed replacing, and the house had been neglected and needed updating.

    However, today I have received the report and their are some issues, the ones which I think are the most concerning I have noted down below,

    ROOF - "We also noted some bowing and deflection of structural timbers indicative of minor distortion of the roof frame, albeit that this appears longstanding with no evidence of recent movement having taken place. Whilst this is not considered an immediate repair, in order to minimise the risk of progressive lateral movement the provision of propping, collaring and reinforcement of structural timbers as necessary would be a prudent improvement "

    Secondary Rain Barrier - "The sarking felt underlay is beginning to break down and offers a limited secondary defence against driving rain or snow. The only effective remedy is to strip the existing roof covering in order to provide new underlay. This would not be economic unless combined with the renewal of the covering itself and you should consider the additional cost of replacing the roof. "

    Floors -  "The solid flooring to the kitchen is damp to the substructure (0-20%), indicative of a leak in hidden pipework or failure of the damp proof membrane. However, the most likely cause, is interstitial condensation within the concrete slab, as it is unlikely that the flooring is insulated. The floor remains functional at present, with no evidence of surface moisture present. "

    This is the first time I have been involved in purchasing a house so am not sure how to go from here? As solicitors are not involved yet I am not sure what to do, ideally if there were I would have asked for there advice.

    If you were in my situation, please could you provide some advice on what you would do? Should I get these items looked and get a quote for them? Then try to see if the seller comes down on price or not?

    When  I was originally making an offer on the house, the seller was quite adamant that he did not need to sell this house as he also had it up for rent and that he only would consider close to the selling price.

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    Hi Landlord 123 can you tell us a bit about the house, when built, terrace, semi etc, even better a pic of the front. Some of these issues are very common with some house types of certain ages to be honest you would expect them but in a more modern house could be of concern.

    As said a bit more info before I comment. The point that sticks out is potential roof spread can you please say whether roof tile (concrete or clay) or slate

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    Hi,


    Its a terrace house, with approx. build date of 1968 according to the report. I have taken the following from the report,


    "The roof frame is pitched and covered with interlocking concrete tiles. We noted some deflection although this appears long standing and non-progressive as far as could be ascertained from a single inspection. The coverings require repair/maintenance including verges, ridges and cracked and missing tiles. These types of tiles become brittle and the surfaces granular as they age. The edges are also prone to cracking, under the action of frost, and an overhaul of the roof covering may be anticipated within 10 – 15 years. In the interim, repairs and maintenance will be required to suit. ""

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    Hi Landlord 123,

    These problems are usually more associated with a pre 1930's house. Here are my thoughts

    Surveys, even a simple Homebuyer, tend to go over the top, to cover themselves. I am increasingly finding they offer less useful information and always go for the nuclear option

    The roofing felt deterioration the felt will be bitumen based, as common for era. This does deteriorate if it gets exposed to elements. Commonly it will do so at the eaves (by the gutter), water splashes back and erodes it. Over time this will cause wooden fascias and rafter ends to perish. This can be solved by inserting eaves trays under at gutter level and would cost about £300-£400. It is very common but over a long time period can cause more serious issues if left unchecked. The felt can also deteriorate elsewhere if there are cracked or broken tiles as your report indicates. However this can be repaired in the local area from inside the loft. The roof tiles that are broken or cracked are easy to repair. Expect about 1 days work to do both jobs

    The floor really does not appear to cause concern, especially as there is no visible damp. I agree interstitial condensation is the likely cause and would add that if it was a break in DPM or leaking pipe, damp would be more evident. My advice nothing needs to be done, not really a problem and very common

    The roof bow potentially could be of more concern. Basically what is described is roof spread. If you imaging the structure of the roof is made as a series of triangles: called roof triangulation. Each piece of timber keeps the others in place under load. If roof tiles that are too heavy are used for the roof it can cause the points where timbers join to separate and then force is put on front and back walls causing them to bow. This can be a problem and the roof members all need tying back in. However this problem occurs in older houses. They have what is called a cut roof, separate pieces of timber put together on site to make the roof. It is far more likely that this house has a trussed roof. Basically calculated and ready made triangular frames which are made in a factory and set side by side each other on site. I would be surprised if these are coming apart at the joints. What I suspect is: Trusses were just coming into regular use at the time of your property build and there was overconfidence in the loading the could support. The tiles are very heavy and over time this has caused a bit of a sag in the trusses. This fits in with the belief that the sag is historic rather than recent. Likely you just leave it, worst case some additional timber support is added to middle of rafters bearing down on a supporting wall.

    Hope of some help. Personally nothing here would give me any undue concern. Although I have experience in this area please do not take what I say as gospel just my opinions formed without inspecting the property


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    If you can get an estimate of the cost, show the owner the report and negotiate the price down. You are a cash buyer Smile

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    When I bought my house and had a full survey the solicitor asked for it. Acully she seemed a bit irritated that I had not given it to her right away.  But I didn't know and she did not ask though I was a cash buyer. She then went through  various of the issues with the vendor asking them what they would do then asking me if it was acceptable.  So I would suggest after your negotations and if you agree an offer that you mention yu have this survey.

    As has been mentioned,  I also read somewhere  that surveyors act for themselves as in they write surveys defensively so as not to get taken to court.

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    Thanks for all the advice.


    I  going to have a think tonight and tomorrow and mention to the estate agents the issues that have come up.

    I will then see if I can find a builder who could advise a rough guide on how much it would cost to rectify these issues and see if I can offer a lower amount.


    My original offer was accepted a number of weeks ago so will see what happens over the next few days.

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    I rang the estate agent this morning and told them some of the issues. They said the seller wouldn't come down on price as he would simply go with the other person who placed an offer in. The seller went with my offer as it was a cash offer and the other person who put an offer was with a mortgage.


    I told the estate agent well surely when someone else gets their report done it might put them off and by then they would of had the solicitors involved so would have cost them. Ive told the estate agent I will send them an email which highlights my concerns and will see what happens.


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    Hi All,


    Just after some advice, the seller wont budge on price at all even with some of the issues I've highlighted above.  The estate agent asked for a copy of the home buyers report  and has spoken to the seller and has told me he is not bothered, if you don't buy it then he will see it to the other person who was interested in it. The estate agent also seems to be more on his side trying to persuade me why the sale is still a good sale rather than go back to the seller and explain to him the issues etc


    Both the estate agent and seller seem quite cocky with the stuff they are saying and its putting me off buying the house!  I am purchasing the house for 137k and it does need a lot of renovation work to get it in a good sate for rental, including new bathroom, repaint, carpet, new doors, replacement windows etc it is just the above stuff is extra stuff that I will need to spend money on.


    The house price I am paying is 137k (3 bed terrace) and as mentioned above will need some extra money being spent on it. When I look on Zoopla for past house prices on the road they are,


    March 2017 - £133k

    June 2017 - £142k

    Oct 2017 - £130k


    With this in mind, would the house renovated be hitting the ceiling max for the street? My aim is to do it up to a good standard and rent it out. Then start looking for my next house....

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    You would do better to walk away from this property.

    Just buy one for the same price that doesn't need any work

    The vendor is a dream world if he believes he  can sell for the same price as a house that doesn't need any work

    You need at least £20000 off the price

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