What I didn’t mention, because I didn’t know when I wrote that post, was that the final valuation of the house was subject to a satisfactory damp survey. The surveyor wasn’t happy to set a market value without a better idea of how damp-proof the cellar of the house was.
This is quite a long post, if you’re not feeling patient then just skip to the last paragraph at this point.
So, we commissioned a damp survey, some very accredited people that the estate agents had dealt with before. Its a house with a cellar containing a kitchen and a bathroom with little ventilation and no central heating, we knew it was damp but we thought some drying-out and better management of the space would help. The survey report recommended that the cellar be completely gutted, false walls and floors fitted, and sumps and pumps to deal with the moisture. At a cost of around 20,000 GBP. If pounds sterling isn’t your local currency then go and convert the numbers. It’s a year’s salary. It also excludes the cost of removing all wall and floor tiles and extending all electrical and plumbing features (so they reach past the new walls) and then refitting the large kitchen and the shower room.
So the damp survey went to the valuation surveyor and the valuation got smaller by the aforementioned 20k. The valuation went to the bank and our mortgage got smaller by the same amount … and so did our offer on the house.
Our revised offer has been refused. The vendor has put the house back on the market and asked for a copy of the damp survey. I feel like everyone else in the world can do do this right, get their foot on the ladder, be normal, and we can’t!! Anyway it looks like our stuff stays in boxes for a while longer …