House Buying

Any pearls of wisdom ....

41 to 60 of 93 messages
Bouncing Barlist    pirate
27/01/2010 at 22:32

If youre buying a relative modern/clean property its not worth getting an independent survey done in my opinion, youll still have to pay for the lenders survey.  99/100 a lenders survey is quite adequate, lenders arent fool's they wont lend on a pile of shit, its not in their interests as the property is their security, thus a lenders survey while often a quick once over should raise potential issues.  All depends on your approach to risk and how much money youve got.

If youre buying barn as opposed to a standard 2 bed terrace then go with extra protection, that said some older terraces are prone to damp but again that'll come up in a lenders survey.  With a little common sense you can spot most of the major stuff yourself.

I dont get the 'dont buy a modern house', theyre not always built well (I know enough builders to know that) but lots of old houses arent great either.

27/01/2010 at 22:33

Avoid any house with one of these in the back garden.

28/01/2010 at 09:37

Buying my place was the single most stressful thing I've ever done.

This was made 1,000 times worse by my solicitor, who didn't seem to understand that she was acting for me, that I was the paying client.  She behaved as though she was doing me a favour.

Make sure you get a solicitor who comes highly recommended!

Not that you'd be likely to want to use Palmers, in Basildon, anyway.

If you are having a hard time choosing between properties, one tip I read was to work out the area, and look at how much each would cost per square metre.

Don't be put off by initial appearances.  I nearly didn't go in and view my flat because the outside of the building put me off.  I only went in because I was with the estate agent and thought I'd better be polite.

However, inside it was a very different matter, and you don't see the outside once you're in!

flyaway    pirate
28/01/2010 at 09:47

I have only skim-read, so sorry if I am repeating loads of things already said.

As BDB and MisterW mentioned, remember that the estate agent is working for the seller, and that they get a cut of the buying price. For this reason, never, ever, discuss your absolute budget with the estate agent, as they will communicate this to the vendor and advise that they reject lower offers.

When you go to see properties (it is helpful if you can take a friend) do not be too positive about them. The most positive thing you should say is "This is a possibility". Make sure you notice (and take not of) an problems - misting inside double glazing, old bathroom suites etc. Don't be too upbeat about even the nicest places.
When you have decided to put in an offer, call the estate agent and offer a price significantly below what you expect they will take. The offer will be rejected out of hand, but it is important to start the process of back and forth. Go back immediately with a more reasonable offer, but still below what you want to pay for the house. When that is rejected, umm and ahh a lot on the telephone before "confiding" in the estate agent that you could probably stretch to £xxx,000 (the amount you actually want to pay for the house - still below the asking price though!). As a proper offer, this should then be considered.

It is also worth a bit more haggling once the survey is done - and make sure you know if they're leaving carpets, curtain rails, any kitchen fittings etc.

If you do end up buying in a village, I would strongly recommend you buy chancel indemnity insurance.

Happy house hunting!

28/01/2010 at 10:07

Noooooo, chancel indemnity insurance is a scam.  Don't go there.  The company who does the searches is the same as the company who sells the insurance.   Huge conflict of interest and a little bit of research proves that it's completely worthless and a complete scam.  Please don't troll out the story of the Wallbank family who ended up with a huge liability for church repairs.  Theirs was a very specific case where the liability was mentioned in the property deeds.  There has never been another case of the church trying to claim a chancel liability and even if they did, the archaic rules under which it would be enforced mean that the liability for each household would be very small.  Don't even bother getting the chancel search done as that's worthless as well.  If there is a specific mention of a liability in the deeds then the solicitor will point it out to you.


Anyway, back to the subject in hand.  I can recommend using an on-line convenancing company.  The company we used, Simpson Millar, were excellent.  We had one person dealing with our purchase so I could call her whenever I needed an update.  Documents were either posted out or e-mailed and the whole process was a lot smoother than when I'd used a local company.

28/01/2010 at 10:17

Haven't read the whole thread yet but 2nd, third and fourth what Mutts said about not paying for an independent survey and just getting a local builder in to look it over instead (unless like Barly said you are buying a medieval barn or something).    I've wasted money on surveyors before and my parents got their house cheap as the surveyor flagged up several possible problems which turned out not to be problems at all and it took my dad's builder mate a couple of hours to check them out and reassure them there was nothing that couldn't be sorted for very little. 

Also it goes without saying that your solicitor or the estate agent (probably both) will be incompetent and you'll end up pretty much doing their job for them - accept that will be the case before going ahead and it'll save the stress if not the work.  

Also if you see a house you really like I would start with a reasonable offer - even now you don't want to faff about making joke offers and antagonising the seller as the deal could be done with someone else while you are playing about.   

28/01/2010 at 10:26
I'd have to disagree with you, popsider.  It's still a buyer's market so you're very unlikely to lose a house just because you start with a low offer.  Most sellers are just pleased to have some real interest so are unlikely to want to lose a potential buyer, particularly a first time buyer.  Our house had lots of interest but we started with a really low offer and took our time over the negotiations.
Edited: 28/01/2010 at 10:30
flyaway    pirate
28/01/2010 at 10:29
Mister W - oh well. It was our solicitor who recommended it to us, he said the law was being "tested" at the moment (?), but since it was very little money he advised it was better to get it than potentially regret it. I don't know anything about the Wallbank family.
28/01/2010 at 10:32
use a conveyancing solicitor rather than an all services solicitor....the former only does conveyancing as they aren't licenced to do anything else so a) usually come cheaper and b) know their stuff. I use a local one who just happens to be a guy I played rugby with so we know each other well to ask direct questions and not faff around subjects - I guess it's trust at the end of the day. ask around friends/family who to use

"There is one property that has solar powered hot water, will this save money in the long term?"

as an example, my plumber installed this on his gaff a couple of years ago - he has hardly used any extra power to get hot water in the last 12 months and with a wife and 2 kids use a lot. cost him a few bob but he's saved big time on fuel costs and of course, he installed it himself which gave a big saving to start with!

my next property will include all sorts of passive energy systems - solar panels, heat sinks, heat recovery etc - we waste so much money in the UK in things that we could be getting for "free". it's not free obviously as the upfront costs can be large but running costs are very low

28/01/2010 at 10:35
All the best with the search. We `should` be getting the keys to our first place tomorrow. The survey revealed quite a few (solvable) problems and we`re paying twelve grand under the asking price. Being first time buyers helped, I reckon!
28/01/2010 at 10:44

As others have said, most conveyancers are a bit useless and in this case are simply covering their backs.  The law isn't being tested.  It's a complex area but the summary is that the law is ambiguous on chancel liabilities (except in cases where the liability is mentioned in the deeds) and the Church will almost certainly not be chasing anyone to fork out for repairs, although they may still be asking you to buy a sponge cake or have a go at the tombola at the local church fete.

M...eldy    pirate
28/01/2010 at 17:38
Lovely lot of info thank you very much

Bookmarked for (the not to distant) future I hope

Will keep you updated 
28/01/2010 at 17:53
Bought anything yet?
M...eldy    pirate
28/01/2010 at 17:55
I think what I need to do is send my shortlist to a panel of independant nosey parkers and just be told which one is 'me'

I cant be @rsed with it all but I have put it off for long enough  
28/01/2010 at 17:56
are you getting one with a paddock for the 'oss??

28/01/2010 at 17:59

Hi Melds

A couple of points

1) I agree with Min (re the feel of the place)

2) I agree with Min ( re bed and shoe rack - must get one now!)

3) Best thing we ever did was get the mortgage offer sorted out before we looked at a single property. We then nearly killed ourselves looking at bloody houses - some were awful but all helped us refine what we really wanted. Then we found our house - fell in love with the place and made the offer same day. Sadly so did 4 other people.

However, because we had the mortgage offer already in place the vendors agent advised them to go with us as it would be the quickest sale. This was a priority for them. YAY!

And agree with the survey comments. I rang that survey company to query something that had come up and they wouldn't discuss it with me - even being a quallied civil engineer who had paid for their damn services. Pointless bloody exercise in my opinion.

I reckon the next service market up for a shake up is the house market - imagine the quality of service you could offer in this arena with little or no effort compared to the bloody charlatans out there at the moment!

~end rant~  

28/01/2010 at 18:00
Oh - and happy hunting!!!
28/01/2010 at 18:06
this is the shoe rack design that you need........

spotted it some months ago and thought it looked interesting

until I saw the price! £50 - £65 according to model
M...eldy    pirate
28/01/2010 at 18:08
fat buddha wrote (see)
are you getting one with a paddock for the 'oss??

This IS Buckinghamshire you know 
M...eldy    pirate
28/01/2010 at 18:10
really and honestly I wouldnt get my shoes  under any size bed  

How long is a mortgage offer usually  guaranteed for?
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