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Woman withdraws offer on first house after she spots ‘red flag’ that could have cost her thousands

Woman withdraws offer on first house after she spots ‘red flag’ that could have cost her thousands

She issued a warning to people looking to buy a home

For those who are lucky enough to actually get on the property ladder, it can be tempting to just get the deal done as quickly as possible.

While we’re taught to look out for the basics in terms of house faults – mould, damp, even the crime rate in the area – one thing we’re not so well versed in is how to properly assess the garden.

One woman who was a little (a lot) more streetwise acted quickly when told about a huge red flag that saved her thousands of pounds when taking a look at the garden.

We’re not talking overgrown grass or even poisonous plants – the issue was bamboo.

After viewing a terraced house in Bristol, Lois was convinced it was the property for her.

Shortly after giving her first offer, she spotted the bamboo.

She told WalesOnline: “It was my sister who spotted the bamboo initially when we viewed the property. It had been planted directly into the ground in both the back and front gardens.

"Although it had been cut back, we could see it had spread and was growing right up against the house on both sides.

"When the surveyor flagged it up on his report, recommending that it be checked by an expert, I realised I was going to have to do something about it."

She's issued a warning after spotting the 'red flag'.
Getty stock photo

It was Environet that did a check of the property for Lois, and found that the bamboo was a 'running' type.

This means it was already posing a threat to pipes and drains, and was beginning to become an issue for neighbouring properties.

Lois then requested that the price of the property be lowered so that she could seek out bamboo removal work without plunging herself into financial difficulty.

The seller said no - so Lois withdrew her offer completely.

After this, the seller had a change of heart - and offered a price reduction in order to cover half of the removal cost.

Lois advised: “The bamboo was already on the run and it was only a matter of time until it started causing damage.

It could have cost her a pretty penny.

"As it was already encroaching into next door's garden, I was also worried about the risk of a legal case against me as the new homeowner.

"I would advise anyone buying a property with bamboo in the garden to have a professional survey done and if necessary, be prepared to walk away if the seller won't resolve it."

Nic Seal, who started Environet, added: "In my view, bamboo is at least as destructive as Japanese knotweed, due to the astonishing rate at which the runners grow, enabling it to spread and cause damage more quickly.

"Surveyors are flagging the issue much more frequently than they were a couple of years ago and buyers are rightly insisting that bamboo infestations are properly dealt with."

Featured Image Credit: Environet/Westend61/Getty Images

Topics: Home, Money, Environment