House Buying

..... from any of you delightful lot?

From the basics to the unthought of

WIll be first time buyer with no chain (obviously)

Know kind of what price range I will be looking at,  what percentage do they put on a property knowing that an offer is likely?

Best fuels ?

Throw me some information  imageimageimage


  • If there's plenty of properties within your price range, then you'll get to know what you can get for your money and whether they're overpriced or a bargain (which is unlikely; I've never seen a bargain, only fairly priced or overpriced properties).

    If I loved a particular property, and thought it'd get snapped up by someone else with a higher offer, then I'd offer the asking price.  If it's a dump but you can see potential and like the feel of it, then offer what you think  is reasonable (going by other properties you've seen).

    That's my experience of it, anyway. 

  • Mortgages are a minefield,don't think you can sort your own out by using the internet,speak to someone qualified.Don't always go for lowest interest rates and look out for things like Higher Lending Charges (HLC's).

    That's my tuppence worth.

  • debbodebbo ✭✭✭
    and buy in scotland - much more sensible system image
  • take a compass and a digital camera when viewing.

    I'm guessing you'll have a better idea than most of which areas to choose/avoid.

    Come up with a spec of what you want before you view...we bought a wreck and have done it up; you may want a place that you don't have to do a thing to; do you want it forever or just as a foot on the ladder?...that sort of question...

  • Chiefly thank you,  luckily I have contacts so thats not too much of an issue

    Wifey, feck off

    Crashie, camera yes,  compass WTF? !!

  • cathy thank you,  I was more wondering if the majority were 5% overprice thinking that offers will be 5% under if you get my drift
  • Always good to know which way your windows face. East facing bedroom, sun in the morning, great if you're a morning person, a PITA if you want a lie-in; south-facing garden is nice; sun in your living room in the evening is nice, sun in the kitchen over breakfast is nice.

    (Wild guess follows) i rreckon that peole who don't like their abodes generally don't get the sun in the right windows at the right time...

  • on night shifts I wont give a toss which way it faces   image

    There is one property that has solar powered hot water,  will this save money in the long term?
  • (this isn't my territory and I'm not an expert)...but I do remember hearing that some of the older solar-powered systems fail; worth making sure that it works; probably not worth paying a premium for...

    ...but if someone has taken the hit of installing it and you can get the system for free, it'd certainly help image

  • This is true,   not that solar power will be much good at the moment !!
  • Get a decent solicitor, not the cheapest .  Make sure they have a dedicated conveyancer or conveyancing team.  And remember that the agent is acting for the vendor, not for you.

  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭

    When you've found a place you like, walk past it at various times of day and especially late in the evening to check out the neighbourhood - is it quiet and peaceful or do the antisocial lot across the road have barbecues with blaring music every evening? Is it choked at commuting or school run time? 

    Also, the cheap place on the expensive road has better potential for a return than the pricey place on the cheap road. Even if it is a bit shabby.

  • Buy the worst house on the best street. Oops Muttley just said that.

    Do it up. Make piles of cash.

    If you're a first time buyer knock 10% off and make an offer - you never know.

    And location is key if you want somewhere just to live and not invest. A small house in a nice place is preferable to a big house in erm, lets say a not so nice place. IMHO.

  • If it's near a river, ask about the garden too!

    and don't buy too near the Ridgeway, you'll never find your way home image

  • Luckily I have 'insider knowledge' as to the <<ahem>> local hotspots  image

    Ditchy,  heard that one on the news earlier !
  • Don't be afraid to lose what you think is your "dream house".  Take your time and stick to your guns on what price you think is reasonable.  If you lose it, then it wasn't meant to be.  Time and time again I've had friends who were devastated at not getting a house, then a little while later something even better has come along and they are glad it worked out the way it did.  It's a pressured time and I think it is natural to get caught up in the whole stress of it and think you HAVE to have a certain house.

  • ps: sticking to your guns doesn't mean never upping your offer - just not going beyond what you really think the house is honestly worth to you.
  • I made sure I advanced my mortgage application as far as I could before making an offer - its something to use as a lever in negotiations "conditional approval"and all that - particularly as credit is so tight at the moment.
  • Thanks all,  food for thought

  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭
    Don't bother with any survey beyond the valuation one. Surveyers charge exorbitant fees and are experts at evading comeback when they miss flaws in the building as I have found out to my cost. Instead, find a friendly builder and buy a couple of hours of his time. Have him check your chosen abode over and point out what needs doing.
  • ON a much less pragmatic level, they say you fall in love with a house within something like 15 seconds of crossing the threshold. I wanted mine even before I set foot through the floor. Yes,it is a major purchase and all the sensible things have to be followed - but you're in there a long time and you have to want to be in it and love it and feel safe. Especially, I think, if like me and you Melds, you will be in it alone a lot of the time - my house is my refuge. Make sure whatever you buy FEELS right.

    My little place needed stuff doing and was not and is still not the most economic to run, but I wouldn't swap it for the world.

  • Wise words Min .....and of course it will have a spare room  image

    Good idea Muttley,  I have a few contacts there as well !!
  • Re- Crash Hamster and compasses.  The 1st house I bought was an east facing back-to-back terrace house (and therefore no back garden). On summer afternoons we would be sat indoors wearing jumpers with our little patch of front garden in shade from about 11:00hrs, while the couple opposite were sat out drinking pimms in their shorts and t-shirts. The  two houses I have bought since then have both had S-W back gardens.

    Determine your priorities beforehand - no. of rooms, room sizes, garage, garden etc. so that you are less swayed by stuff that is going (their furniture) or stuff you are likely to change soon anyway (decor).

    Also prioritise what you want from an area - for my first house having a decent pub within 10 mins walk was essential, for house 2 the quality of local schools was my biggest priority. For houses 2 & 3 proximity to the ring road was also a priority.

  • Other than whats been said I've just got one or two things to add -

    1. - follow your nose, put aside the nice coffee smells, or candles or whatever the sellers may be using to try and make the place smell nice.  You can smell damp a mile off - check under the stairs/sinks etc.  If it does smell funny / musty then think about what the cause may be.  I've gone into what I thought would be the house I was deffo going to buy, and as soon as I crossed the threshold I got the whiff of something not quite right.  Turns out that the house had rising damp and rot in places and would have cost me a small fortune to fix.

    2. - its a buyers market at the moment - have a look at more than a handful of houses then offer well within what you can afford.  It's up to the seller to decide if they can afford your lower offer and they may come back with a very good (for you) compromise. You can barter on prices - you make a low offer, they come back with another etc.

    My hubby and I have moved house 4 times in the last 6 years, and he's moved house 20 times in total, it's about looking and picking from a few, then not setting your heart on a property.  

    Finally - most people spend more time picking shoes than they do deciding on what house to buy.  You can go and arrange a viewing on a house more than once.  If you aren't sure, go back and take a second or a third look.

  • Someone mention shoes?  !!    image

    My biggest stumbling block (for me anyway)  is having to leave the village that I have lived in for 20years plus .... I have rented long term ... I cant afford to buy in the village  so anything that I look at is already a compromise on location and space and rooms.

    Need either an extra room, a garage or a very large shed/outbuilding and away from a road due to the 4 legged lodger and apart from that I am fairly easy !!
  • <splutter>

    Just me then? image

  • Apparently  !!!!
  • Some estate agent's details have plans attached, some don't. I find that they're really useful for recalling what it looked like, what the flow of the house is like. I have taken to marking them up with the big un-movable items, like cookers plumbing points etc, so I can look at them again later.

    If you like the house, make sure you go and look at the area and its outside at different times of day. sure, it was lovely at 11:00 on a sunday morning, but the place is completely clogged with school traffic at 9:00 weekdays and is a cut through from the pub at chucking out time - none of which you'd know if you only went round the once.

    open cupboards, to check storage space, look behind large or numerous pictures (you don't know what horrors might be hidden by a strategic picture) look behind doors and curtains. sellers aren't all stupid and will try to disguise any obvious flaws.

    Look at the ceiling to get an idea of how much space there is in a room, especially one that's cluttered. the ceiling is usually freer than the floor, so can be a better guide to the space avaliable.

    Most sellers will have a value they want to achive, but will also have a sliding scale of what they will accept depending on the situation of the person offering (I know we do!). A first time buyer is a good thing, as it means you are the bottom of the chain. Always ask what the chain is (if there is one as yet) as that can have an impact on the complexity - a short chain should go through easier than a long one, as there are fewer parties involved and fewer sets of people to sort out everything.

    Especially if it's an older house, or in need of some work, as a local electrican and gas specialist to have a look at these for you. This will tell you if everything is in working order and if it is to current standard or not - this can have a big impact on how much work may be required if you decide to do it up.

    Be prepared to look at anything, even if you think you wont like it, you never know, it might be a diamond.

    Know you budget and stick to it - don't be tempted by the one that's just out of reach!

    We're selling our first house at the moment and it's nothing like as much fun as buying the first one was! Good luck.

  • Have you seen that bed that the mattress lifts up on to reveal shoe racks Meldy? I want one!!!
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