Our last move, a review on buying
a bungalow for our retirement
Independent Building Surveyors
Free phone 0800 298 5424
Why should you have a Building Survey carried out?
Our clients were looking to move house for the final time as they were retired. They wanted to find the perfect house that was in a quiet village location but not too far away from local amenities. The property that they found seemed perfect for them but it turned out it was too good to be true.
Caveat Emptor, Buyer Beware
A little bit about the property.
This particular property was a large detached bungalow built during the War Years. The bungalow has good sized gardens and had been finished internally to a very high standard. It had also been altered and amended considerably to provide more space. As we said it initially looked perfect! Our client needed to be extra careful with any property they bought as they were purchasing as a cash buyer.
Structural problems in the roof
The purlin is the horizontal timber member usually running from gable end to gable end and parallel with the walls which supports the jack or common rafters (the angled rafters forming the slope to the roof).
Alterations to the property
Walls have been removed
Further meeting and discussion with our client
Interestingly the owner had not been keen on either us or our client looking at the right hand side of the property. We decided to get up on the roof so that we could look down at this area but unfortunately it is not the same as being able to inspect it closely but we suspect that there were structural problems in that area as well.
We later had a further meeting with our client and the architect who had drawn the original design alterations only to find that the architect had not drawn up some of the alterations that had been carried out.
You may find our surveying articles on property problems helpful.
How the removal of trees can cause problems
Heave is an upward movement caused by activity in the ground. When water is not taken away by the roots of trees the water gets back into the clay soil and effectively expands.
We decided to investigate the removal of the trees further and obtained images via Google Earth that showed how the property looked a few years ago. We were surprised to find that there were extremely large trees to the front of the property that had since been removed. The owner or the Estate Agent did not mention these trees to us or our client!
High risk purchase, is it worth it?
After our client had discussed our report with both the owners and the Estate Agent about the lack of Building Regulations regarding the alterations and how to resolve the problems they were basically told that if they did not go ahead with the purchase quickly then they would put the house back on the market.
Our client told us that alarm bells were ringing and so decided to do the sensible thing and pull out of the purchase. At the end of the day our client felt that the owner was not being honest about the alterations that had been carried out and as such they were not prepared to take on a property with this level of risk.
Our circles, ovals and sketches in our reports?
Within our reports we utilise a system of ovals and circles to highlight problem areas or characteristics within a property to better explain the issues. If this does not explain the issue completely then we can also use one of our sketches that have been commissioned exclusively for us for use in the reports.
Our Good, Bad & Ugly surveys!
If you are in the process of buying a property we would like to tell you about what we call our good, bad and ugly survey. This is a Building Survey also sometimes known as a structural survey. We have developed this over many years, in fact several decades. We have listened to feedback from our clients and amended and altered our survey reports to make them easy to read and describe issues clearly. The key factor we believe is our Independent Surveys are easy to understand and written in plain English.
We have many other surveying articles for you to read, have a look at our website
Please have a good look around our website to see how much detail we go into regarding property and its associated problems in our articles. We go into this much depth and detail within our reports as well.
We trust you found the article of use and if you have any experiences that you believe should be added to this article that would benefit others, or you feel that some of the information that we have put is wrong then please do not pause to contact us (we are only human). Your comments will be appreciated.
The contents of the web site are for general information only and are not intended to be relied upon for specific or general decisions. Appropriate independent professional advice should be taken before making such a decision.
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