December 30, 2017 at 2:25 pm #388
Long story short, OH and I are finally at a stage where we are seriously considering buying our first home. By seriously considering, I mean we are looking at houses for sale on the internet and driving around the local area looking for places we’d like to live.
There’s one place that’s caught my eye. We actually went to see it two and a half years ago when it was available for rent and we were moving in together. I fell in love with it as soon as I walked in, however through the course of the viewing, two issues became apparent which put me off. The first was the layout of the upstairs which meant that the ‘spare bedroom’ was essentially a large landing (I had envisaged that half of Wales would want to come to visit so I would need a spare room, and it would be awkward having the staircase coming right into the bedroom, and OH and I needing to pass through the room to get to the main bedroom/downstairs), and the second was the rising damp on the one end of the house (by the staircase).
We decided not to rush into going for the place and subsequently ended up renting a beautiful house in a completely different village.
Said house is now for sale, and has been for the last 5 months. There was a price reduction 2 months ago of £5,000 from the original asking price. Out of curiosity I rang the estate agent to ask if the rising damp was still an issue, which he confirmed it was. He sent me the home report which I have flicked through and it refers to the damp and the need for immediate action to rectify.
Now the layout of the upstairs is less of an issue as nobody has come to visit since I moved, and there is an annexe to the main property which has a double bedroom so if anyone ever did, I’m sure they could find a place to kip. But the damp is clearly a major issue.
My question is, has anyone ever bought a property knowing it has rising/lateral damp, and how did it all work out? Or did it not work out?
I’m not rushing into anything, but if in 3 or 4 weeks (once all these festivities are out of the way and our routine is back to normal) the house is still on the market, we are considering going to see the property again and having a chat with the owner. That’s assuming nowhere else catches our eye first.
I guess I’m looking for people to tell me to steer well clear because every possible alarm bell is ringing and there’s red flags waving all over the place. But I can’t stop thinking about it, because it has so much charm and on the face of it it’s affordable and a kind of project (I’m ‘allergic’ to new-build houses as well!)
Leftover mince pies and Port on offer. Help me forget the house people!!
December 30, 2017 at 2:26 pm #389
You need to find out how much it will cost to rectify the damp. You might also find your lender won’t want to mortgage a property with a known problem like that so you could risk having your mortgage offer withdrawn. That said, plenty of people buy wrecks of houses with worse problems and as long as the price reflects the work needed to be done, it shouldn’t be an issue.
December 30, 2017 at 2:27 pm #390
why not take a builder with you to have a look and advise. Certainly damp would never ever put me off buying a place (this one had rising, falling, dry rot, wet rot) if it had that certain something. Dam can normally be solved and a trusted builder will look at it and tell you why its likley to be there. Is it lower than the ground round it, is there a damproof course thats been breached. has the garden been piled up against it. French drains can be laid, or tanking or several other things, but you need to establish why first.
December 30, 2017 at 2:27 pm #391
I’ve been reading up on the general causes etc. and from what I can vaguely recall the damp appeared to be all the way up the wall to the second storey so perhaps connected to the chimney in some way?
The loose plan is to visit the property and meet with the owner, then if the alarm bells aren’t going completely mental I’d like to take an expert with me to assess it.
Originally the valuation was reduced by £2000 in light of the work needed, but subsequently the price has been reduced by a further £5000 and I’m wondering if that’s because the seller has sought a quote for repairs and it’s in the region of £5000 – £7000? What’s annoying me is that the damp was quite evident when we visited the property in June 2014 and the seller hasn’t rectified it in all that time. How much worse will it be if/when I go back for a look?
And yet I can’t stop thinking about the bloomin’ house. It ticks so many boxes for me, and to a lesser extent, my OH (although he would quite happily live in a static caravan at the stables, which I would too, only I’m trying to take steps forward and be a bit more of an adult than I’ve been so far!).
December 30, 2017 at 2:28 pm #392
Are you sure its rising damp. I had damp at the front of my house which appears from the ground up the first floor outside wall, I assumed rising till i actually watched the rain come down, flood over my gutter and bounce off the ground outside and then hit the front of the house. It had clearly been happening for several years. A quick trip up a ladder and i adjusted all my gutter and thats stopped that. Ive got to rip the render off to the first floor level, but thats not a major job as I will rip it off and my builder will re render for me.
As mentioned take a builder and also go on a rainy day and watch carefully.
December 30, 2017 at 2:29 pm #393
Get a quote off a building company that offers a guarantee that it will be resolved. I’ve had damp work done and it’s majorly disruptive. Makes a massive mess and you are advised not to redecorate for months.
It wouldn’t be a deal breaker but I would want a very large reduction in price.
December 30, 2017 at 2:30 pm #394
I would be wary, my son’s owns the freehold for the flats that he lives in.
The top floor flat has damp on the chimney. The pointing has been done, the guttering checked, my husband has been up with the builder and seen everything has been done well. Several builders and roofers have looked at it and everything suggested has been done. However top floor flat is still getting a bit of damp, porous bricks have been mentioned as a cause.
However my son in the ground floor flat has to use a dehumidifier to prevent mould caused by condensation (have had damp expert in) and the upstairs owner users a dehumidifier and no mention of damp now.
December 30, 2017 at 2:31 pm #396
Take a competent builder with you to get an idea of cost to rectify, then add 15% for the unforeseen. I wouldn’t be put off if the cost of works is within your budget. Also, the housing market for flawed properties is in the doldrums, why not put in a very cheeky low offer, they have reduced the price once, why not some more? Good Luck.
December 30, 2017 at 2:32 pm #397
Damp is somtimes it’s easy to fix but it can be messy and leave you needing to do plastering etc etc and because you need to do that it becomes a good idea to do xyz and so on .
This place is old and we live with a degree of rising damp .as long as non of the walls turn black with mould as long as I practise good housekeeping ( opening windows often and heatingnthe place ) it’s not a huge issue .
Try to find out if a buyer has had a survey done if so you may be able to get a look at it .
Going round with a builder is a good idea .
Get a good idea of what’s needed and the costs and see how you feel .
There’s always money to spend on a old place don’t be afraid to make an low offer .
December 30, 2017 at 2:33 pm #398
We bought a house with two different causes of damp. One was easy to fix as it just involved guttering though that still involved sending my husband and his mate up ladders. I would not have done it for anything as scared of heights (so were they!)
The other involved digging up a concrete path that was not allowing free flow through the air bricks. It was hard work and cost a lot in terms of skip hire. Again my long suffering husband spent days with a breaker I could not even lift up to break the concrete we then spent hours loading it onto the skips. We still have more to do. The surveyor made all this sound so simple! (It is simple just time consuming and physically hard work).
I still love the house but my husband was rightly wary as it has been him that has had to do the hardest bits.
I still don’t know if this has worked yet and there are times when this coupled with everything else that needed fixing and the time it takes up I could have done without.
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