Review of a Grade II Listed property building survey originally built as a Dovecote
A review of how having a full structural survey on a residential property is a must before putting in a bid at an auction.
The reason for the house move
Our client's husband had sadly recently passed away and she was looking for a fresh start. She decided she wanted to move nearer to her children and was not only wanting to move house but also counties, from one end of the country to the other, so this was in all ways a momentous move.
Grade II Listed property
Our client knew that the property had to be something special to make her want to uproot and move so far away and when she viewed a very unusual 17th Century Grade II property she knew it was the one for her.
What was it about the property that appealed so much to the client?
The property was built originally as a dovecote, though we are led to believe was never used as such as was previously used as a grain store. It was then converted into a house and obtained Grade II status in the 1980s. The property had exposed timber ceilings all the way to the roof, which was a feature that really appealed to our client and was a major factor when deciding to purchase the property. It was also decorated to a very high standard internally, which also appealed. Our client also loved the fact that the property was set in large gardens with stunning views beyond.
Why have a building survey?
Our client sensibly realised that it was very important to have an independent building survey, which was formerly known as a structural survey. She knew that a Grade II Listed property of this age will have certain problems and potentially more hidden away and she knew that a simple mortgage survey, which consists of a quick look around with a check list, and often carried out by a surveyor who is not chartered, was simply not sufficient for this age, type and style of property.
Why choose our surveyors?
She chose our surveyors because we are independent surveyors, which means we are not affiliated with any banks, building societies or estate agents, and therefore are only working for you the client, with your best interests at heart and have nothing to gain by the sale of the property and will give you independent advice, whether it be good or bad, about the property.
Our Surveyor met the client at the property during the survey
The client met the building surveyor at the property during the survey report. We always recommend all our clients do this as not only is it good to meet you personally, but we can get a full understanding of exactly what the client requires from the survey and answer any questions they may have.
We can also talk you through any issues, features and characteristics we find with the property.
High risk purchase
The surveyor deemed the property to be a high risk purchase due to a number of reasons: There was a single storey building built along side the original building, linked to the main building by a walkway. The surveyor was concerned that this may not have had Planning Permission, which is very important, as the property is Grade II Listed. The nibbed tile roof had many displaced and spalling tiles and much of the roof was covered with a mass of moss and lichens. To re-roof the property would be very costly, especially as scaffolding would be needed to access it, which can prove to be expensive. There were numerous other costly problems with the property too, i.e. spalling brick walls, wrong mortar used (they had used cement mortar when an old property like this needs to breathe otherwise there is a greater risk of condensation, so a like mortar is always advisable), leaking gutters and downpipes, signs of woodworm and a possible septic tank which had not been drained for many, many years.
The Chartered Surveyor recommended the client meet with the Local Authority to see if the amendments to the property had been made to Listing Building Standards and whether Planning Approval had been gained for the link property. The surveyor recommended to the client that her solicitor should seek a reduction in the purchase price due to the amount of major problems with this property..