First time buyer - Horizontal crack on external wall

9 days ago
last modified: 9 days ago


Me and the mrs are looking to buy my first home in greater London for around £550k. I have offered on a property both myself and the Mrs really like which the owners claim was completely renovated by them around 5-6 years ago to the tune of close to £100k. Indeed it does look very nice inside. We were told no structural changes were done apart from knocking a wall to make a through lounge and making the upstairs bathroom 1m longer into one of the existing bedrooms.

During my first viewing with the estate agent, when looking at the property from the garden, I noticed the rear of the property had a very large diagonal, south easterly crack. The adjacent property had a similar crack in more or less the same place, albeit it was smaller and faced a south westerly direction. I raised this concern to the estate agent and he suggested it was the first time he had seen it too so wasn't aware it.

Fast forward 1 week later and we go for our second viewing, I have noticed the vendor has done a DIY job and plastered over the crack before I've had a chance to get the crack examined further.

I am wondering what I should do about this now. I really like the property but as a first time buyer...

  • The size of the crack worries me
  • The fact the adjacent property has a similar crack worries me
  • The fact the vendor has plastered over the crack before I can get a Level 3 survey booked in worries me.
  • Google searches indicate diagonal cracks are quite a bad sign?

What should I do?

The property is on a road which isn't flat but rather slopes downwards at one end. Not sure if that means it is more susceptible to subsistence or foundation issues?

Below is a picture taken by the estate agent on the property listing which shows the crack before anything was done to it. The crack on the neighbors property (on the right of the picture) is hard to see if at all, but starts at roughly the same place on the opposite site.

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