The House That Had Everything

Andrew WilliamsHome Condition Reports

As a Chartered Surveyor I regularly carry out Home Inspection Surveys and Home Buyer Reports. A week or so ago I was asked to carry out an inspection survey at a terraced house in my local area. The house would have made an ideal house for a trainee home inspector to visit and test their skills.

On this particular Home Buyer Report, externally, the slate coverings were in poor condition. Worse, there was a very obvious sag in the ridge that indicated that the roof timbers might well need attention. (And the inside inspection proved that they did.) On the front elevation, the stone door head had a slope on it which suggested settlement had taken place in past.

After finding a string of other faults, I finally came a cross the pièce de résistance; there were several outbreaks of dry rot in the skirting boards. For those who are not familiar with dry rot, Serpula lacrimans, is a fungus. Although the conditions outside normally prevent dry rot from flurishing “in the wild”, it can establish itself in houses if the conditions are right. Dry rot is not a welcome visitor and can eat away all the wood in a house if it is not eradicated. The eradication process can be very expensive.

Needless to say, the customer did not buy this property. My Home Buyer Report persuded him that the house in question might well turn out to be a money-pit.