A review of a first time buyer who is a
cash purchaser of a Victorian property
Independent Building Surveyors
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A cash buyer and a first time buyer
Our client was a cash buyer, and a first time buyer. He was moving to his barge boat to this riverside property, which was an early Victorian property that sat beside a canal and felt a million miles away from the busy city that surrounded it. Currently he lived on an amazing house boat.
First time buyer – caveat emptor
Whether you are buying your first property or are an experienced purchaser always remember ‘caveat emptor', which translates as buyer beware.
The onus is on you to find out everything you need to about the property before you commit to purchase, otherwise once you have purchased the property all responsibility falls on you. It is therefore very important, we would say essential, to have a survey carried out by a chartered surveyor before you buy the property.
Interesting and informative articles about first time buyers
You may be interested in the following articles we have written on the subject of first time buyers:
Meeting the surveyor at the property during the survey
Our client met us at the property and was able to explain exactly what he wanted from the survey and we were able to answer any questions that he had.
Problems with the roof, amongst other things
The house had problems, including the slates from the roof that had come away and had what is known as nail sickness. This could only be seen properly when standing on the opposite side of the canal bank, although there were indications there were problems from going into the roof space and having a good look round. We also noticed many of the tiles had lead tingles on them where they have been repaired.
Slates coming away
Nail Sickness Defined:
The weakening of the fixing nails to slates or tiles due to the nails which fix them to the battens rusting. This is normally attributed to problems with slate roofs.
Lead Tingles or Lead Slaps Defined:
These are strips of lead usually about 25mm wide which are used to secure slates where they have slipped.
It had also had what we would term as a lightweight extension many years ago and was not up to the standard of the rest of the building.
Gutters sitting on walls
Probably the next biggest problem after the roof was that the gutters sit on top of the wall. This is a system we sometimes come across and it works very well until the gutters leak and generally we find all gutters leak.
Problems are often caused by
gutters on walls
Dampness in the brickwork
We found dampness throughout the property and the Flemish bond brickwork had been repointed wrongly with cement mortar. Cement mortar causes deterioration to brickwork and does lead to the face of the bricks deteriorating, which in turn leads to dampness. We much prefer to see the use of lime mortar every time.
Cement pointing problems
Lack of trickle vents in windows cause condensation
The windows didn't have trickle vents, therefore there was lack of air circulation in the property, leading to condensation problems within.
Trickle Vents Defined:
Small vents to the windows to allow air movement inside the property to stop/reduce a build up of fumes or humidity.
Air movement with trickle vents
Reduction in the purchase price, was it agreed?
Having said all of that, we looked at the costs and the first time house buyer was still keen to go ahead but at a suitability reduced price which would allow for him to pay all the different items of work that were needed.
However, our client then advised us that having spoken to the estate agents with our survey findings they were reluctant to reduce the purchase price and our client made the decision to walk away from the property and continue with his search for a house as he felt this would inevitably be a money pit.
Our client met us at the property and was able to explain exactly what he wanted from the survey and that because he was buying at auction in two day's time he needed to know all about the property very quickly to make an informed decision as to whether to buy or not.
What do the circles and ovals mean in our reports?
In our survey reports we use red ovals and circles. These are a system that we use within our structural surveys and building surveys to help explain to you or highlight problem areas or characteristics of a property. If the report, along with our photos, does not explain the problem or characteristics of a property enough then we also have a vast range of sketches that we have had commissioned exclusively for us that we can use in our reports.
Radiators should be positioned under
windows to provide good air flow
around a room
A radiator on an internal wall does
not provide a good air flow
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