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Underpinned property

Would a property that has been underpinned be worth less than one that hasn't? We have found out that the property we have put an offer in for has been underpinned. The vendor was unaware of this as it did not show up on her searches when she bought the property and so the estate agents marketed and valued the property without taking this into acocunt. We have had a structural survey which shows that the property has not moved since it was underpinned nearly twenty years ago and that there is no evidence of the underpinning. The council say it was definitely underpinned so we need to declare this when getting insurance. We have had a reduction on the asking price due to the rise in insurance costs however we do not know whether the property would have been on the market for less had the estate agents been aware of the underpinning. We are worried that this will affect the price when we come to sell. Any advice on what to do?

Asked on Oct 1 2010, House Prices in Bristol | Report content

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  • If a property has been underpinned its normally due to slight movement, this can be caused by defective material used to build the property or incorrect footings laid down for the foundation. It’s very common on older style properties. With that said however, you have done the correct steps by getting a structural survey and if there is no further evidence that the property has not moved in 20 years, I would say that you are good to go for it. I am currently selling a property on my books where the surveyor believes it to have been underpinned, but as it turns out the council re-built the front bay, and that has been classed as being 'underpinned'. Why, I do not know? As for the price, estate agents are not structural surveyors and as such we value property based on what we see and know. If your mortgage valuation has come back with the correct price and it has not been 'down valued' its very safe to say that it is worth what you have offered as banks now days are very VERY careful to what they lend on. I hope this helps and good luck.

    Answered on Oct 2 2010, Report content
  • "Evidence of former building movement even where satisfactorily resolved, can affect saleability and suitability for mortgage." RICS Survey writer Sample phrases for the HomebuyerReport.

    Answered on Oct 2 2010, Report content

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