Property Subsidence As An Investment Opportunity

We discuss how the presence of subsidence in a property can offer investment opportunities.

Description

Subsidence is arguably seen as the most serious and problematic issue that any property householder can suffer. Briefly, it happens when the ground under your house collapses or sinks to a lower depth taking some of the building’s foundations with it. Consequently, the result causes strain on the property’s structure as one side sinks thus causing cracks to appear.

Tell-tale signs of Subsidence

  • Cracks – These are the most common that can be seen internally and externally.
  • Internal Doors / Internal Windows – Unable to open windows and doors easily anymore that become stuck.
  • Wallpaper crinkling at wall/ceiling joins.

Prevention

Trees can play a big role in subsidence and “Which” magazine state that 70% of all subsidence cases are from tree roots drawing moisture from the soil beneath their home, so when planting trees please refer to The Association of British Insurers (ABI) that recommend tree planting distances from homes. Other areas of concern can be over hydration of the ground so possibly catching water in water barrels individually or from downpipes.

Curing Subsidence

It could be a simple case of removing an existing tree, although caution must be used as removing an existing tree could lead to the opposite effect duly called “Heave” where the ground beneath a property swells up with excessive moisture caused by the absence of a tree. Still, on the subject of water leaking, pipework beneath or close to the property could also cause the ground/earth to be washed away, so a CCTV drain survey could aid a repair of a damaged pipe. Underpinning is the most common solution that comes to mind when talking subsidence but only used for more severe cases of subsidence.

Investor Opportunities

The subject of subsidence can put off investors purchasing property in this position due to the work that is foreseen in settling the problem. Many people will have visions of the internal floor being ripped up, huge excavations etc but welcome to the 21st century where many of the old techniques are becoming too laborious. Nowadays companies use an advanced geopolymer resin to solve subsidence issues often not needing any internal access, completing in just 1-2 days all without the disruption and cost of traditional underpinning. A lot of the time homeowners don’t want the hassle of undertaking remedial works which are where the value comes forth for the investor.