Woman about to buy first house withdraws offer after spotting a 'red flag' in the garden

view original post

The red flag could have proved costly for her.

Published Mar 25, 2024, 10:08:16 GMTLast updated Mar 25, 2024, 10:24:32 GMT

An eagle-eyed first time buyer withdrew her offer after noticing a red flag which could have ended up costing her thousands.

There are all sorts of things you have to keep a look out for when buying your first home – mould, structural issues, piles and piles of the former owner’s stuff just left there.

But one woman spotted something not everyone would think was an issue – and it was a good thing she did.

Getty Stock Photo

NHS worker Lois was enamoured with a terraced house in Bristol.

However, she was given pause when her Homebuyer Report raised the issue of bamboo with her.

The plant was growing in the house’s front garden, and she was encouraged to seek advice.

Speaking to Wales Online, she said: “It was my sister who spotted the bamboo initially when we viewed the property. It had been planted directly into the ground in both the back and front gardens.

“Although it had been cut back, we could see it had spread and was growing right up against the house on both sides.

“When the surveyor flagged it up on his report, recommending that it be checked by an expert, I realised I was going to have to do something about it.”

Environet

When Environet did a check of the property, they found that the bamboo was a ‘running’ type, which was already posing a threat to pipes and drains, and was beginning to creep onto neighbouring properties.

Lois asked for the property’s price to be dropped, so that she could fund the bamboo removal work.

When the seller refused, Lois withdrew her offer.

Only then did the seller offer a price reduction covering half the removal costs.

Why is bamboo a serious problem for homeowners?

Lois said: “The bamboo was already on the run and it was only a matter of time until it started causing damage to the property.

“As it was already encroaching into next door’s garden, I was also worried about the risk of a legal case against me as the new homeowner.

“I would advise anyone buying a property with bamboo in the garden to have a professional survey done and if necessary, be prepared to walk away if the seller won’t resolve it.”

Getty Stock Images/Westend61

Bamboo lives in most soils and grows very quickly.

The plant is often used to create a sense of privacy as they form a ‘screen’, but they can grow through walls, drains and patios.

In 2022, a house in Hampshire experienced a severe problem with bamboo when it grew through the floor.

It cost the owners £100,000 to dig up the whole ground floor.

Nic Seal, who started Environet, shared: “In my view, bamboo is at least as destructive as Japanese knotweed, due to the astonishing rate at which the runners grow, enabling it to spread and cause damage more quickly.

“Surveyors are flagging the issue much more frequently than they were a couple of years ago and buyers are rightly insisting that bamboo infestations are properly dealt with.”

Featured Image Credit: Environet/Getty Stock Photo

Topics: UK News