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Discussion Starter #1
Hi

We're thinking of buying a house in a small hamlet near Riberac. The property is over 150 years old, but on the surface of it, looks pretty sound. It is perched on the top of a hill, and the current owner decided 8 years ago to terrace part of the garden which was originally on a steep slope. The problem now is that the wall surrounding the terrace is threatening to collapse down the side of the hill and take part of the top garden with it! :eek:

Despite this, we really love the house! :D A local architect that we spoke to thinks there is a pretty simple (but pretty expensive) solution to this, but understandably, we want to find out if there are any other problems with the property and in particular with the stability of the land.

We'd really like to get someone to do a proper (English!) structural survey on this - does anyone know where I can find someone? Preferably they'll be able to speak in English (we speak some french - hubby more than me - but I don't think we could stretch to technical speak).

I've had a search on the forum for a similar query, but in the one instance of this, the member was PM'd, and their house wasn't in the same department as the one we are looking in anyway!

Many thanks
 

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This is a tough one, because as far as I know, there aren't the type of professionals available in France to conduct the sort of "survey" you are talking about. One thing might be to contact the mairie for the town in which the property is located and take a look at the various planning permissions that have been granted for the property. (Though most folks I know tend to make changes without bothering with planning permission.)

Otherwise, you may have to ask either an estate agent or the bank you're financing the purchase through if they know of anyone in the area. But finding someone who speaks English, too, could be tricky.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Survey

We live south of Bergerac and when we bought our house last year, our Agency suggested an English Surveyor living locally. A quick search on Google should help if your Agency doesnt know of a local surveyor...certainly shouldnt be that difficult to find an English or English speaker surveyor.
 

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In my previous dealings with things concering structural issues, I had to see the Huissier for an' etat de lieu.' Since you're buying, it might be a good idea to negotiate with the agent that the seller does this for you before you agree to buy. They should also have a' Diagnostics Amiente 'done for you by the seller. You estate agent or notaire should inform you of this.
Good luck.
 

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many ways

Dear members

Civil engineers can be the best way to contract a smart technical assessment expert, but specialized firms are all over the place, with sometimes excellence and pragmatism. check on the yellow pages.

Word of mouth is also a good way.

Contact your nearest civil engineering university for more clues. They know.

best
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Found Them!

Hi all

Thanks for your responses, it was really simple actually! I found a great RICS registered property surveyor after doing a quick search on the net. They can be found at www.surveyorsinfrance.com

Duh! :doh:

They are based in Limoux, but cover all of France. I got a full structural survey for about the same cost as you can get them done in the UK, and because I needed it quickly, they gave me a verbal report, and sent me a quick email summarising the main points of concern. I'll be getting a follow up full report replete with countless photos. I really think it's worth it.

Today we just put in an offer to the buyer; slightly reducing her asking price because of the work we'll have to do to the place. Don't know if she'll go for it, but we've given her till Monday for a response, so I'm going to be biting my nails over this weekend! Here's hoping. :pray:
 
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