Vertical crack on outside wall, crack on inside

11 Oct 2018
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United Kingdom
I have found a nice house for my family to move to.

However, there is a vertical crack my wife is very concerned about. The real estate agent has said this: the crack was there 20 years ago when the vendor moved in, and has had no problems ever. The real estate agent asked the vendor to do some work on the outside before selling, as you can see in the photos. Also, there is a crack on the inside of the same wall, possibly slightly to the right of the outside wall crack.

The property was previously bid, but the buyer pulled out. The real estate agent said they asked the surveyor how the house was, who said the house was fine.

Any advice or help on this. As there is a crack on inside and out, I am slightly concerned and my wife does not want to offer on the house because of this.

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The external crack looks freshly re-pointed, probably last 12 months, certainly not 20 years ago. As for the internal crack, again looks clean and fairly recent, I don't believe the present owner has been looking at that internal crack for 20 years and never thought to fill it and redecorate.

It looks like structural movement to me from the limited information available.

House buying lesson No. 1: If the estate agents lips are moving they are lying!
Location and type indicate a thermal (shrinkage) crack. This could well correspond with the vendor's ascertion that this has been like it 20 years. It's a shoddy repair which makes it look 10x worse than it is.

If this is the case it's not a big issue and not related to foundation movement so not a massive concern - but you wont say that to the vendor, rather use the worst case scenario to get your biggest discount off the asking price.

Get a structural engineer's report, not a bulding surveyor's or a valuation surveyor's survey. Ask the engineer for a guide price for repair and this is the basis for your sale price reduction
Looks like it's had a new lintel stuck in bottom right as well as a few bricks replaced.
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as above, estate agents are sick liars an they dont make the calls for building repairs, esp when it might be structural.

all the concrete lintels look like replacements, they are not original for a house that age.
at the bottom of the crack thers a board coverin somthin over an opening - close to the right is another opening.

now this cracks probably is thermal movement helped on by the openings in the gable or it could be down to stright structural failure somewhere in the elevation?

as suggested, a SE on site is the only way to go iff you think it worth it?

at the peak of the gable just below the chimney stack thers a dark vertical patch of penetrating soot from the unswept chimney flues.
difficult to see but the verge tiles look to be unprotected - no undercloak or wet mortaring in.
Get the roof checked if you get a structural survey done
as the original slates have been replaced by something
much heavier.

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