I posted just over a week ago about the diagnositcs on a house we are buying. The parastie report was out of date and was redone yesterday. It has come back virtually identical and I feel at a complete loss.
OTOH the ‘presence of or evidence of presence of woodworm’ throughout could be old infestation no longer present but there seems no way to know. OTOH it is widespread including in the loft so could mean the roof beams are compromised.
There is fungus in two places and evidence of a leak into a small bedroom and damp in the corners on walls in another bedroom.
We negotiated a small discount last week due to problems with electrics and the owners have said they won’t negotiate further.
The compromis is due to be signed on Thursday so feeling the pressure.
Had great advice previously so any light shed is most appreciated.
My understanding is that many old houses in France suffer from woodworm at some point.
In fact without exception, all of the ‘old’ furniture that we have bought in France has traces of woodworm.
This link may help:
My cellar and attic showed signs of woodworm and like you I was worried about the structural integrity.
I may have gone overboard by having a couple of block pillars plus oak supports added in the cellar, new oak reinforcing added in the attic, and woodworm treatment throughout. The cost of that work was between 2,500 - 3,000 euros. I still have evidence of new woodworm in the cellar which I will address by spraying with treatment, and I am resigned to having to do this every year or so.
What would worry me more in your case is the evidence of fungus, plus the leak and damp. That together with the woodworm / larval issue PLUS the electrical problems mentioned in your earlier post indicate to me that the current owners have neglected the property. Who knows what further issues you may come across?
If I had known before I bought our house what I know now, a large part of me wishes that I had walked away. After all there are thousands of properties on the market!
At the end of the day it is of course personal choice.
If the owners have not dropped the price to fully redo the electrics… I can’t see them dropping the price to get the property treated for parasites… let alone the damp etc.
Unless you really do have sufficient funds to redo the property… I would suggest you walk away. From my own experience with parasites and damp… this can be a very big problem and costly to get sorted…
by the sound of it… buying this property is a gamble… and personally, I never gamble unless I can afford to lose…
Have you had quotes to treat/replace any timbers etc… ??? that might help you to understand what is involved…
I’d consider Nick Warner as you are in his patch (his website suggests he has a specific interest in this sort of thing). My only relationship with him is as a satisfied customer BTW.
In your other thread you mentioned that the house and land was exactly what you were looking for. Forgive me for asking but will this be your principal residence or second home?
If second home then Paul has already given you excellent advice on the house, ask him how easy it is to manage a garden/land at a distance!
I managed peoples 2 nd homes here for 10 years which proved a good income stream, at cost to the 2 nd home owner so something else you should factor in as you mentioned you were at the limit of your budget.
Hard but worth it.
Without doubt we bit off just a little more than we could chew - which is actually OK as things stand (by me, less sure my wife would agree) as I know there is no way we could have managed more (150m2 house, 2880m2 plot, needed new kitchen/associated electrics & painting but not anything else significant).
The last trip was profitable though in that (fingers crossed) we now have someone in the village willing to keep an eye and mow as necessary.
Thank you for this Nigel. We had someone go in and do a proper investigation and the woodworm, at least, seems old and non active (from the phone call we had afterwards). He found a couple of issues that he felt were not major or expensive which was reassuring but we will see what the full survey shows.
Wil definitley get quotes for work once the full report is in (not diagnositics but an independent survey). I’m pretty risk averse too
Thanks for this Paul
And to answer John – we’re moving to France as our permanent residence so hopefully can manage the land, though it will have its challenges even being there full time.