House Buying



  • no !!!  I want one NOW !

    Thank you Helen,  certainly no scope to go above budget thats for sure !
  • Lots of good advice here already, ive only skimmed through so sorry im repeating things.

    Firstly I wouldnt say house prices are inflated by any specific percentage, generally a seller thinks its worth more than a buyer and/or will maybe add a bit on to account for a lower offer?  A house is only worth what someone will pay for it, some maybe 15% above realitic expectations, some houses will be subject to a bidding war and sell at or over asking price.  I think in the current market its reasonable to take a punt in a cheeky offer (especially if the house has been on the market a while), the more marketable a property the less likely youll be to get it at a decent amount under asking price.  Remember this in the context of when you come to sell, i.e. a shit low market demand house wont shift at a reasonable price and you could be waiting ages for a buyer.

    Maybe similar to Min, I couldnt find a house I really likes, then on seeing the one im in now I knew I had to have it, I put an offer in £1000 below asking price and got it straight away.  In my opinion it isnt worth haggling over a couple of thousand it you really want a specific house.

    If you can afford it youll get a much better mortgage deal with a 10% deposit.

    Finding a house - A lot of the better properties dont hit the papers (or didnt before the market took a dip) and are snapped up by extate agents preferred clients e.g. buy to lets, or are first offered to people buying other services.  You need to play the game and pretend you are interested in their financial adviser finding and placing your mortgage, home insurance, protection policy etc.

    Lending/house buying was my field of expertise until I moved into testing lending systems.  I cant give financial advice in the way maybe Coops can but if you want to know about house buying process, how lenders work, prop fees, credit scoring, how much you can borrow, surveys, early redemption fees, shared ownership, offers, convenyancing (legal stuff) etc.  Youre welcome to give me a call any time.

  • should have close to 15/20% deposit so that will be better

    Thanks for the offer Barlos and I have no doubt I will bend your ear at some time    image

    Shared ownership/Key Worker is something I am eligible for but in two minds at the moment due to a few factors
  • This might sound daft...

    We have just got a flat and a few things weren't what we expected when we got in there. Only small things but things which, if you find them out, might help you knock a bit extra off the price.

    1. Sit on the toilet. Does it wobble. Flush it.
    2. Shower. Switch it on. See what happens. Taps ditto.
    3. Check top corners and bottom corners of every room - damp? Blotches? Check behind wardrobes if you can.
    4. Boiler - check it out. When was it last serviced.
    5. And look out for lash up diy on things like curtain rails, bathroom fittings
    This assumes the seller isn't there - sometimes they are, sometimes they're not.
  • Don't trust the estate agents at all..... ever.  They're all lying barstewards who only care about the money.  Try and get talking to the person you're buying from so if there's a problem with the purchase you can talk to them and get it sorted out.

    The only people worse than estate agents are the financial advisers who work in their offices.  Do the research on mortgages yourself.  There are an increasing number of banks who only take direct applications and don't go through financial advisers.  We bought last year and none of the advisers could get close to the mortage deal we found for ourselves.

  • * "Bid them in the balls", remember, it is easier to offer more than less once a price is agreed.

    * use nethouseprices to see what other properties are selling. Work out what it is worth and offer a bit less than that. Will prob be no more than 91 percent of the asking price. Remember if a property sold for 100k in 2007 then it is worth less now.

    * You are buying a house, not a shower or screws for a toilet or a coffee peculator

    * Don't pay for a 'buyers survey'. If there are problems it will be in the brief but standard survey.

    * Don't come over as too keen, even if you are : try not to 'gush' when you view. Make people think you can take it or leave it.

    * Negotiate slowly. Time is usually on your side and remember properties are like buses, you think you missed the last one then another three good ones come along just when you are not expecting it.
  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭
    Oh, one other thing. When you're seriously hunting visit the estate agents in person as often as you can and as early as you can in the day. This way you might get first dibs at the house they've just taken on their books. When I was hunting last time I doorstepped all the agents in town every morning at 9 to 9:30. They soon got to know me and the house I eventually bought was taken on at the end of the previous day, I viewed it mid-morning the next day and had my offer accepted at the end of the day. Don't wait for them to phone you or post the details, be there in person to be told and shown in person.
  • Lots of good advice on here. The mortgage valuation is not a survey and has no legal protection, even if the surveyor has been negligent. (it is not done for you, it is done for the lender). Get an independent survey, but not by the mortgage valuer. You will pay less if you go privately. Don't ever buy a modern house. They seem to be built poorly. Always consider the re-sale before you buy. Would you be able to sell it quickly, when the time comes. Have a look at the neighbours. Do you really want to live next door to them..?

    Location, location, location. Its worth paying for....

  • In your position I'd just take the piss with low offers.  What is the worst that can happen?  They say no and you move upwards?! Estate Agents are there to act on behalf of the vendor (when in fact they only care about themselves) so be wary of ANYTHING they tell you!

    Mortgages - ideally 15% upwards as a deposit for a decent deal.  Anything less than that as a deposit and the lender is basically screwing you over at around 5% above the base rate.  Make sure whoever sources your mortgage looks for deals available from advisers, as well as direct offerings.  Mister W is partially correct that a couple of deals aren't available through IFA's but luckily this number is decreasing rather than increasing (there are also some available to IFA's that aren't available direct so it works both ways).  This time last year it was far worse though and lenders seem to be playing ball again.  The benefits of using an adviser who can be trusted far outweigh doing it yourself.  If he doesn't get paid by the lender, expect him to charge you for finding you the best deal though as they are running businesses, not charities image

    Conveyancing - don't use who the Estate Agents recommend.  They recommend them as they get a kick back and overcharge you say £100 which pays for their referral fee.  

  • 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.


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

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.   

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

  • 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!
  • 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.

  • Lovely lot of info thank you very much

    Bookmarked for (the not to distant) future I hope

    Will keep you updated  image
  • Bought anything yet?
  • 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   image
  • are you getting one with a paddock for the 'oss?? image

  • 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~   image

  • Oh - and happy hunting!!!
  • 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
  • fat buddha wrote (see)
    are you getting one with a paddock for the 'oss?? image

    This IS Buckinghamshire you know  image
  • really and honestly I wouldnt get my shoes  under any size bed   image

    How long is a mortgage offer usually  guaranteed for?
  • FB and that one only holds 30 pairs ....
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