Parents helping their children get onto the

property ladder, a review


Our Independent Building Surveyors can help you

If you have children that are ready to leave home and you are able to help them buy their first property then our friendly, professional Building Surveyors at can offer help and advice to ensure you make the right property decisions.

Over the years our Building Surveyors have carried out all types of surveys on all styles and eras of property. These surveys have included building surveys, structural surveys, home buyers reports, independent valuations, property surveys, engineers reports, structural reports and defects reports so please call on freephone 0800 298 5424 for a friendly chat and to discuss your property requirements.

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Helping your children buy their first property.

Our clients were in the fortunate position of being able to help their son buy his first property in the form of a converted Victorian flat. The property had been chosen for its location and also because it was the right price for their budget, which in both cases is usually the thing that most people want to do.

Victorian flats

Meeting the parents!

The parents were taking an active interest in the property that was being purchased and were keen to meet us while at the survey, which is our normal, preferred practice. We were pleased that they came along as it made it easier for us to understand their concerns with the property.


Building problems in the property

As is often the case we were called in because one of the perspective buyers had noticed a specific problem in the property that they were concerned about.

In this case there were actually two main problems.

1.  The cracking in the ceiling at the front of the property.

2.  The soft spongy floor that could be felt through the carpet in the hallway


Cracking in the ceilings

From our experience and general knowledge of this type of property we were able to establish that the crack in the ceiling in the lounge, although it looked alarming, was a typical crack that can appear in this Victorian era of property. In this case it was a lath and plaster ceiling that was suffering from a combination of high humidity levels combined with old age.

Cracking in lath and plaster ceiling

Lath and plaster


There was further cracking visible within the kitchen which the potential home buyers had identified correctly as being plasterboard cracking, this is a lot straighter in appearance.
Cracking to plasterboard ceiling


Spongy Floor, what did this mean?

However the main problem with this property was the spongy floor although to be perfectly correct we should say that this problem was also caused by the dampness in the property, the lack of air ventilation under the suspended timber floor and the warm pipes from the radiators. After carrying out our investigations we believed these problems had created the perfect environment for dry rot to thrive.

Testing for dampness


Dry Rot

It's interesting to note that dry rot spores are always in the air and it's simply, as in this property, a case of these spores finding the right environment to cause the damage. Ironically it is a wet environment or to be more exact, a constant damp, warm environment with little or no airflow that is needed for dry rot to occur.

Suspended floor


What does dry rot look like?

It is said that dry rot eats the timber from the inside out, which means that often timber can appear to be in good condition. However if you push a knife or similar object into this timber it can open up very easily. Dry rot has a fruiting body which effectively is a large mushroom area from which roots shoot out of it to search for timber. When we say roots, these are fine and almost cobweb like in thickness and density.

Dry rot


How to get rid of dry rot

The problem with dry rot is how to get rid of it particularly in this case where the property is a terraced property. This means that even though you eliminate the problem in your property it may still be active in the neighbouring adjoining property.

Airflow under terraced property


Other property problems

The property also had a few other problems including peeling paint in the bathroom caused by condensation and a lack of extraction fans. We recommended that large humidity controlled extract fans were added to humidity generating areas if the purchase went ahead.


Peeling paint caused by condensation

Large humidity controlled extract fans can reduce condensation


Parents helping children buy a property

We have often heard this process called the bank of Mum and Dad. However in some areas this is the only way that young people can afford to buy a house and get on the property ladder plus in general property has, over the years, always been a good investment. However, equally, the risk of buying a joint property also has to be taken into consideration.


We have many other surveying articles on our website

If you would like to see more of our Surveying articles please have a look at our website. If you scroll down the homepage you will find a very large selection of articles about all types of property and their associated problems. We go into this much depth and detail within our reports as well.


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