NSW Opinions on townhouse with cracks in ceiling & walls

Discussion in 'Property Analysis' started by aurora229, 16th Sep, 2019.

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  1. aurora229

    aurora229 Member

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    Hey everyone,

    I inspected a townhouse recently and it ticks most boxes e.g. walking distance to public transport, good-sized bedrooms, quiet street. However, it has a number of cracks in the ceiling and wall, with one that looks quite significant.

    The property is 2 storeys - double brick on the lower storey and brick veneer upstairs. The significant crack runs from one end of the ceiling to the other in the laundry room and the ceiling there appears to be made out of gyprock. There is also another ceiling crack that looks to have been patched up poorly.

    I'm quite new to the property scene and wanted to get your opinion on whether it's worth getting a building inspection done or should I not bother?

    Thanks in advance for everyone's opinions.
     

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  2. Trainee

    Trainee Well-Known Member

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    Even if it looked pristine you should still get a building inspection. They could have easily hidden this with a quick paint. Was once told by an inspector that its not structural if under 5mm.

    That ceiling crack also seems to have water stains? Is it because it got wet and cracked as it was drying?
     
  3. significance

    significance Active Member

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    We have similar cracks in our PPOR. We had a structural engineer look at it and give us a report -- in our case at least, it is cosmetic and not structural, and in the engineer's opinion, was almost inevitable given the ground underneath (heavy clay). The people who sold us the house had done cosmetic repairs (plaster and paint) before putting it on the market. We've repaired them again with a silicone sealant and paint which should last a little longer, but we expect them to recur eventually - but not to cause real problems. Given that in this case the seller has left the cracks on display, you could get a bargain if the house is otherwise in good condition, as it is likely to put off other buyers. So yes, I think a building inspection would definitely be worth getting.
     
  4. Paul@PFI

    [email protected] Tax Accounting + SMSF Business Plus Member

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    I would seek expert views of what is causing the issues and the estimated costs to fix it as a specific item in the P&B report ie extra cost ? You could buy at a discount where others just run. If its a major issue the investment in knowledge will avoid problems.
     
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  5. aurora229

    aurora229 Member

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    Thanks for sharing your personal experience and everyone else for your opinions.

    I was tossing up between whether it would be worth paying for a builder's inspection and report, or if the cracks were too significant to bother. I was thinking that the cracks would likely to put off other buyers and as a result, could give us a chance of buying it at a bargain.

    I went to inspect it again for a third time over the weekend. This time, I noticed two distinct water stain marks on the ceiling in different rooms. Looks like there was a leak of some sort and they patched it up with a poor plaster job. Property also isn't in great condition - kitchen needs to be renovated and the showers would need to be replaced too.

    If the property was in decent condition, I would have asked a builder to inspect it given your feedback here. However, I think I'm going to give it a miss due to the leak stains on the ceiling. Will keep an eye on it when it goes for auction to see if it gets passed in.
     
  6. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Nothing in those photos indicates significant cracking, all of the cracks are less than 1-2 mm, through plasterboard or render. Possibly a little building movement which could be rectified by the creation of an expansion joint.

    There's no diagonal cracking from the footings or corners of the windows.

    Damp spots on ceilings may be a leak or a rat taking a leak/dead animals etc.
     
    TerryN likes this.
  7. Paul@PFI

    [email protected] Tax Accounting + SMSF Business Plus Member

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    I had a damp ceiling due to a connection failure in a poly water hose. One small drip every XX hours.
     
  8. aurora229

    aurora229 Member

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    Thanks Scott No Mates. Now I'm re-thinking my decision to skip this property...

    Did you end up getting it fixed and if so, around how much was it to fix?
     
  9. aurora229

    aurora229 Member

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    This is what the biggest water stain on the ceiling looks like
    MVIMG_20190921_110540.jpg
    and another area that was patched up.
    MVIMG_20190921_110643.jpg
     
  10. Hetty

    Hetty Well-Known Member

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    How old is it? If quite new (say, ten years or less) I wouldn’t touch it.
     
  11. Trainee

    Trainee Well-Known Member

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    Look theres obviously water damage. But what is it from? If the issue has already been fixed, its just some painting.

    Might be worth asking the owner what it was from.
     
  12. aurora229

    aurora229 Member

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    Just under 20 years. Strata plan was registered in 2000.

    Just asked the REA to check with the owner. Let's see what they say.