Buying a House with Subsidence: Should You Risk It?

buying a house with subsidence cracks in a wall

When buying a house, you must check to see if it has a subsidence history. We’ve gathered all the essential information you need to know about buying a property with subsidence and if it’s a risk that you should take. 

What Is Subsidence? 

Subsidence is an issue where the ground that the property is built upon sinks and impacts the properties’ structure. Subsidence is the most common structural problem found on a property, especially older buildings. 

Settlement is a common yet minor form of subsidence. Settlement is considered perfectly normal in most cases. New build homes are often affected by settlement in their first few years of completion. 

A landslip is likewise a state of subsidence. Landslip is a problem in which sloping land falls away. Heave is the opposite of subsidence and is a condition where the ground starts to rise instead of subsiding. 

How Big of a Problem Is Subsidence? 

Subsidence can potentially be a particularly severe issue. 

Some cases of subsidence aren’t as much of a problem, especially if they get diagnosed and professionally fixed. 

Severe subsidence can be a dramatic problem. Subsidence can lead to severe structural issues that can make a house unsafe to live inside. Severe subsidence can make a property unstable and result in structural instability and collapse. Subsidence can make a property impossible to mortgage and therefore unsellable. 

Should You Be Buying a House with Subsidence? 

Buying a house with subsidence is always a bad idea if you don’t know the full extent of the subsidence damage. You must make sure you know of all subsidence issues, what work is required to fix them and how much it will cost you. 

In some cases, buying a house with subsidence can be a promising idea. Properties with subsidence tend to sell for a lot less than the average market value. In a circumstance where the house price is low, the subsidence isn’t particularly expensive to fix. You could be in for turning a profit once the property is in a mortgageable and sellable state.

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