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Subsidence (sinking) of property

Posted by trajectory - Created: 15 years ago
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4 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 4)

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Posted by English_girl - 15 years ago

I can only third this advice, have a survey done....and take legal advice when buying - notaires over here do not have the same function as in the UK!

Good luck!

 

 

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Posted by English_girl - 15 years ago

I can only third this advice, have a survey done....and take legal advice when buying - notaires over here do not have the same function as in the UK!

Good luck!

 

 

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Posted by lespalmiers - 15 years ago

Trajectory,

I second everything St G has said, in addition, a personal point of view of the south of France,

Anywhere that has rocketing property prices and huge quantities of building taking place with, fairly often, migrant labour will have a fair proportion of properties that present medium/long term problems. There is no formal Building inspection system in France during construction - the builders control themselves and should be adequately trained - However, when large sums of money and profits become involved - well, draw your own conclusions . . . . . . . . In my three years in France I have seen some Howlers that would not be noticeable to the untrained eye. In addition, what guarantee do you have, that any work has been carried out by someone who had any idea what they were doing? There are plenty of home owners who now carry out all sort of modifications and extensions spurred on by watching Carol Smilie and Handy Andy etc. who shouldnt be let loose unsupervised with lego ! (I could go on! . . . . . .)

Before investing your hard earned cash and risking your childrens future inheritance, have the appropriate surveys done by YOUR choice of independant surveyor (ie not the one the selling agent suggests). Neither should you think you are saving a few hundred euros by asking a local english speaking builder to "look it over".

The professionals are independant with no vested interest and should be insured in case they miss something.

Subsidence is indeed becoming a growing problem with the lowering of water tables affecting the ground conditions all over France. In the last two weeks I have seen the entire gable end of a stone property in Brittany collapse, despite it having stood proud and straight for over 350 yrs - potential buyers be warned.   

 

Regards, Les

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Posted by stgeorge-182529 - 15 years ago

If you have been advised to have an 'expertise geotechnique' and you are really interested in this property , assuming it's a bona fide deal ,you should go ahead , as in the event of purchase , this will effect your Insurance.

Some parts of the Var are suffering minor subsidence due to the lowering of the water table ( drought conditions ) , other places due to overdevelopement ( houses too near each other ), quarrying , seismic sensitive zones , mudslide risks and landslip from sudden torrential rains , near a stream or river , topsoil erosion following land and forest clearing by developers etc. It all depends on how old the property is , and what obvious signs there are of subsidence - a few cracks in the plaster is not so dramatic on an old property - in a new property , it's just badly constructed - one would never buy a property in the UK without a survey - the same rules apply here !

If none of these things are apparent and common sense tells you that even with the worst climatic conditions , it looks OK , then there is possibly a rip-off of some description being hatched ( or they are trying to put you off !).

In addition , the Cadastre at the Marie ( which you are entitled to view)should show any anomalies of terrain and geological structure .

stgeorge