We've now sold our flat (for a very good price too), and were well on the way to getting the new flat that we wanted, in the area of Edinburgh that we wanted but thought we couldn't afford. All was going swimmingly until the very last hurdle when, in keeping with our luck recently, everything went tits up for want of a better expression. We'd had the place surveyed and though the report mentioned a couple of wee things, they were no serious problems.
All good so far.
The surveyor couldn't get up on the roof at the time of the survey though, and because the property had a flat roof we insisted - thank the high heavens - that the roof be checked before we signed anything. It turns out that a new tar covering had been put down on the roof, ON TOP OF the old rock/concrete covering. This had caused air bubbles to form, which in turn had caused cracks. The surveyor estimated that within a couple of years the property would need, at best, major roof repairs, and at worse, A WHOLE NEW ROOF.
Estimated cost of all this: £7,000 - £10,000, for OUR SHARE. The other 3 owners in the building would have to pay the same amount.
We were disheartened, but because we liked it so much we told the seller that we were still prepared to buy the place if she lowered the purchase price by £7,000. Our solicitor advised us she was unlikely to accept this, as her solicitor's advice would be to wait for a buyer who DIDN'T get the roof checked. After two days of thinking about our offer to buy her turkey of a flat that needed major roof repairs (we assume the only offer she'd had), she declined to drop the price by so much as a penny. And we told her where to stick her flat.
But it's ok, because we've moved on. We have found a nicer place that DOESN'T have a flat roof, and (hopefully) won't be in danger of burying us in falling masonry while we sleep soundly at night. But you never know with us - it's probably got the only case of termites in the British Isles.