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garybug

Advice Requested: Buying, But Boiler A Bit Dodgy

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Hi all

The numbers involved here are not massive, but advice would be appreciated.

A bit of background..

I have had an offer of 177k on a 185k 3 bedder (just outside Cambridge) accepted. I'm an FTB, no chain, moving quickly etc. They accepted two previous offers of 180k, but both fell through as they couldn't get funding. No such problems for me ;)

I got a homebuyer survey done (wich stated the valuation as 177k, so I got that bang on!), and it's come back with a red '3' against the boiler, as it appears to be old & not recently certified.

The house itself (1978 build) is in nice enough condition and the owner is a plumber & they are a nice family, so doesn't seem the type to leave his own (& his wife & kids) with a botched job.

My question is, given the 8k they have already knocked off, would it be reasonable to:

  • ask for a further 1k off for a new boiler?
  • ask them to get it certified / fixed before I move in?
  • accept the fact that the 177k valuation already takes into account the state of the boiler

TBH, it's not a 'deal breaker' as such, but then again that's £1k I could be spending on something much more interesting.

Comments much appreciated.

gb

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Hi all

The numbers involved here are not massive, but advice would be appreciated.

A bit of background..

I have had an offer of 177k on a 185k 3 bedder (just outside Cambridge) accepted. I'm an FTB, no chain, moving quickly etc. They accepted two previous offers of 180k, but both fell through as they couldn't get funding. No such problems for me ;)

I got a homebuyer survey done (wich stated the valuation as 177k, so I got that bang on!), and it's come back with a red '3' against the boiler, as it appears to be old & not recently certified.

The house itself (1978 build) is in nice enough condition and the owner is a plumber & they are a nice family, so doesn't seem the type to leave his own (& his wife & kids) with a botched job.

My question is, given the 8k they have already knocked off, would it be reasonable to:

  • ask for a further 1k off for a new boiler?
  • ask them to get it certified / fixed before I move in?
  • accept the fact that the 177k valuation already takes into account the state of the boiler

TBH, it's not a 'deal breaker' as such, but then again that's £1k I could be spending on something much more interesting.

Comments much appreciated.

gb

New boiler will be more than £1k. The guy selling it could probably get it done cheaper than you as he's in the trade, so them getting it done before hand might be the best bet, and you wont have the disruption when you move in. You can always state that the offer was made before you were made aware of the boiler, which sounds as if it is the case, so a slight reduction would not be ridiculous to ask for. At the end of he day it depends on what you are prepared to pay and what they are prepared to accept.

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Thanks Worzel.

I did make the offer before knowing about the boiler, but I am assuming the surveyour valued it at 177k knowing the state of the boiler, so took that into consideration when coming to that 177k figure.

I know it's all a matter of semantics, but I agree with what you say about him probably being able to get it done cheaper. Hadn't cosidered the disruption aspect. Out of interest, what would I expect to pay for a decent boiler, including installation? Would it be the type of thing done in a day? Anything else I should take into consideration.

Any useful links much appreciated too...

Ta

gb

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New boiler will be more than £1k. The guy selling it could probably get it done cheaper than you as he's in the trade, so them getting it done before hand might be the best bet, and you wont have the disruption when you move in. You can always state that the offer was made before you were made aware of the boiler, which sounds as if it is the case, so a slight reduction would not be ridiculous to ask for. At the end of he day it depends on what you are prepared to pay and what they are prepared to accept.

+1, assuming the current owner's qualified for boiler work or that he gets a CORGI registered heating engineer in to do the job. Otherwise your insurance is invalid, there's an exposure on any mortgage (you or a future buyer), and you couldn't technically rent it out if you ever wanted to.

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garybug

First thing to note is that Corgi has been replaced by the Gas Safe Register. Make sure that any installer is registered to this.

Typical cost of new (energy efficient) boiler, with installation etc will probably be £2k to £3k, depending on type of boiler. Add more for radiators if needed. Work schedule 2 or 3 days. This has been my experience in the past.

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+1, assuming the current owner's qualified for boiler work or that he gets a CORGI registered heating engineer in to do the job. Otherwise your insurance is invalid,

No it isn't.

The person doing the job will have commited a criminal offence but there's no penalty imposed upon a person who buys the house with the illegally serviced boiler

tim

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No it isn't.

The person doing the job will have commited a criminal offence but there's no penalty imposed upon a person who buys the house with the illegally serviced boiler

tim

Except in this case the buyer is the one who has effectively commissioned the work.

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Thanks Worzel.

I did make the offer before knowing about the boiler, but I am assuming the surveyour valued it at 177k knowing the state of the boiler, so took that into consideration when coming to that 177k figure.

You are assuming incorrectly that the 177k valuation of the property is independent of your offer. The valuation aspect of the survey merely confirms to the lender that there are no over-riding factors which could materially affect the price of the property should they ever need to reposess.

Had you for example offered 175, the valuation would have been returned at 175. Surveyors always know the sale price of a house when valuing it. If the surveyor thought that the condition of the boiler (or any other aspect of the property) significantly affected the price, he would have advised that a retention be included on the mortgage, subject to remedial work being done.

My advice, as the others have correctly said is to renegotiate, that is after all the reason for having a survey. Remember though that the vendor is under no obligation to re-neg at all, the outcome will most likely depend on the vendors own circumstances and how likely he thinks you are to pull out over this.

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Surveyors always know the sale price of a house when valuing it. :huh: FFS, what a scam! In my naivety (I'm an FTB...) somehow I thought they would be 'impartial' - apparently not...

If the surveyor thought that the condition of the boiler (or any other aspect of the property) significantly affected the price, he would have advised that a retention be included on the mortgage, subject to remedial work being done.

That makes sense. I'm going to have a trusted plumber (friend of a friend) I know take a look at the whole system, and get a few quotes. TBH it's not a huge deal breaker, as the rest of the property is in good nick. But 2 grand is still 2 grand. I'll need to have a good think.

Thanks PA

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Except in this case the buyer is the one who has effectively commissioned the work.

Telling the owner "if you don't get this done I wont buy" is not by any stretch of the definition of the word "commissioning" the work

tim

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Surveyors always know the sale price of a house when valuing it. :huh: FFS, what a scam! In my naivety (I'm an FTB...) somehow I thought they would be 'impartial' - apparently not...

Was going to say the same, the value they put down is the value you have offered. It makes no sense to say it's more and also none to say less, unless the genuinely think there is something considerably wrong which means the mortgage company might have cause to withdraw an offer.

They are impartial, but their prime motivator is to cover their **** in my opinion.

To be honest my recent experience of a home buyers survey is it isn't worth the paper it is written on. We had one done and frankly, now getting in the house and looking at the place more closely it is a load of rubbish. The did give the the electrics and gas 3 but there is nothing wrong with the gas and despite the 3 said the electrics were fine, yet after advice from an electrician it seems they are dangerous at best if not deadly. We have had them sorted so no problem there but the survey was total ********. They just seemed to put down 3 to cover their **** rather than there being any genuine reason to do so, both for the gas and electric it said something along the lines of "They look fine but always best to get them checked out". Everything else in the report was 1 yet we have spent thousands getting the place up to spec, not an issue as we got what we consider a great deal and expected to have to spend money on the place, but there is a difference between going in looking to replace something in a year or two and the place being a death trap and needing work before we could even move in.

As for the boiler issue, say to the vendor he has two choices he can get a new one fitted and you will pay the £177K or you can pay £174k. The former you get a new boiler, the later you save enough to get it dealt with. Personally I'd go for option 2 as you can then be sure everything is above board and not a bodge job by one of his mates.

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Was going to say the same,...Personally I'd go for option 2 as you can then be sure everything is above board and not a bodge job by one of his mates.

Cheers Gilf.

In the end, I phoned the EA, and said I wanted to send my own Gasman round to take a look. As it happens, the vendor is Corgi (or Gas Expert, or whatever they are called these days) registered, so will service the thing & give us a certificate.

Others have said the same as you, it is purely an ar53 covering exercise, and in reality the survey has told me nothing. The 'old boiler' is a bit of a red herring, as plenty of people have old systems that run just fine, and it turns out this one is only 7 years old. Also, with him being in the trade, my gut feeling told me he would not be putting his wife & kids (& his own) health & cash at risk with a dodgy boiler.

For the £200 extra I paid, I could have had a sparky & a gas fitter pop round & have a look, and saved myself a bit of cash. The house itself was built in 1978, and was in good order throughout.

I also found it strange when he marked the decor down as '3' and tatty, when it was perfectly presentable (with a few rough edges on the skirting, nothing worse) and only had marks on the walls because of their two toddlers. Hardly a deal breaker(!)

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Others have said the same as you, it is purely an ar53 covering exercise, and in reality the survey has told me nothing.

My personal favourite that I always seem to get in a certain part of town goes along the lines of "data from the National Radiological Protection Board indicates that the property is situated in an area where there may be a 1-3% chance that there might be elevated levels of Radon gas within the property". It doesn't say " i've checked and the house is flooded with poisonous gas, move in here and you will be dead in six months!"

It's funniest time was when I had a woman who was moving less than 1/4 of a mile and got spooked by the rear end covering clause in her survey and wanted a retention putting on the house for remedial work - not realising that the exact same phrase had cropped up on the survey of the house she had been living in for the past 20 years!

D'oh!

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  • 152 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
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      • Even
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      • up 5%



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