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Buying a gaff


Egg Shen

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11 minutes ago, Grecian said:

It's a divorced / divorcing couple. Hubby already has a new place to live and is just waiting for his cut of the sale, the wife is moving into sheltered accommodation due to poor health, which should be ready for her in April. So hopefully, it should all be fairly simple as it's not in a chain. I just have no idea about the surveying / exchange of contracts, all that stuff!

You can typically get two different types of survey, an expensive one of even more expensive one. The cheaper of the two is sufficient 9/10. The more expensive one is is there’s obvious damage, it’s been dormant for a long time, it’s probs to possible structural issues (being next to old mines etc) an old conversion. Basically if the house was build in the last 100 years, is in a street surrounded by similar properties, and doesn’t look too fucked, the cheaper one will do.

There is a/many survey quote comparison sites online. I’d suggest picking someone local who is familiar with the area.

Thd biggest ball ache is how long solicitors take to do anything. Once you’ve paid them, you’re on the ‘done’ pile so don’t work so urgently. Be prepared to contact them several times a week.

We sold our last house to first time buyers with no chain. Their solicitors were 250 miles away, we’re completely shit and dragged a concrete sale on for 3 months. 

If you haven’t got one, now is the time to source a solicitor mate. 

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We've been in our house for over a year now (I'm 34 and she's 33) but we regret not buying somewhere that was 100% 'ready' if that makes sense.

While we haven't had to carry out any structural work or anything like that and we did get a bargain I suppose, there are so many problems cropping up that we feel it may have been more worthwhile to save for another year and move into a house that had minimal required work.

Basically, what we've found is that every major job has quite obviously been done on the cheap (we suspect by a family friend of theirs or something), meaning we're having to re-do pretty much everything apart from the bathrooms.

The kitchen walls, for example, the insulation had been done all wrong, which is the kind of thing that's only being uncovered as we work room-by-room that would not necessarily have come up on the survey.

Mind you, I can't pretend that it isn't rewarding at times too. But considering I'm such a lazy bloke with no practical skills whatsoever, it isn't half a pain in the arse. 

Edited by garynysmon
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8 minutes ago, garynysmon said:

We've been in our house for over a year now (I'm 34 and she's 33) but we regret not buying somewhere that wasn't 100% 'ready' if that makes sense.

We were really fussy moving for that reason. We had a real opportunity to get somewhere perfect for us so we took our time and tried to find somewhere that was done and we've acheived it I think. Been in since August and the only problem we've had was a blocked drain that was fucking disgusting but only cost £108 to get sorted.

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I can confirm that everyone I know who has bought or rented a new build in the past few years have had loads of issues because they're built in a massive hurry with fuck all quality control. You don't hear that much about it because people are too scared that their house price will plummet once everyone knows their plumbing is absolutely fucked and the walls are made with plaster of paris, so they keep quiet in the main. 

 

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Reminds me of our old shared ownership place — was seemingly made out of papier mache, the minute it got below freezing any external pipes burst. Also, they had modcons that made no sense, and I assume the housing association got for nothing — bloody plinth heater, and a pull-out drying mechanism in the unventilated bathroom. Right fucking chump I was, can't believe I didn't lose more than a couple thousand.

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Some sound advice on here.

My last two houses have been at the polar opposites of the scale so i have experience of both. Our last house was a new build and the one we currently are in is a early 70's built bungalow which has had extension(s) put on over the years.

Interestingly, my friend recently moved into a new build and amongst the file of flyers put through the door from local companies targeting new estates (landscapers, burglar alarm fitters etc) was a leaflet from a "professional snagger". It was something like £299 which sounded ridiculous but having followed up on the information and guy came out for a chat and ended up taking on his services. As it turns out the guy is a retired director from a house building company who know's all the tricks, corner cutting and wriggles in the system. He literally covered three full sheets of A4 paper worth of snags on his first visit from the obvious stuff to the tiniest little things you wouldn't even think - or have reason to - check from the way the paving slabs were layed in the garden to the type of plastic/perspex they were using in their shower screens. Best money my mate has ever spent apparently, the guy is absolutely meticulous and the bane of the site manager's life and that's still getting him stuff fixed a good 18+ months down the line. Not only that he has a lot of industry contacts and reliable trades people for the aforementioned stuff like alarm installs and garden work so my mate has saved a fair few quid on that as well.

Never heard of that anywhere else but quite an ingenious way to make a few quid.

On the flip side of that if you are buying an older house do not feel bad about asking to go back a 2nd or even 3rd time for a followup visit and if you have anyone from the building trade or similar to tag along then certainly do it. The home report system up here (Scotland) is a complete rip-off in my opinion and even if everything scores a '1' across the board on every criteria it doesn't mean there aren't potential problems. Not sure how the law works in England but up here you have a week's grace to go round and find anything untoward or broken which wasn't disclosed in the sale.

I think from memory this is capped at a minimum threshold of £300 to stop people being pedantic and frivolous and trying to point out anything and everything (there's always going to be a few things such is life) but obviously if it's serious stuff like damp in a room or a dodgy boiler etc then you need to get on it pronto and get it reported through the proper channels.

Last thing, if the house has had any work done whether it being structural or just cosmetic always assume the worst that it's been a DIY project or a friend/family doing a homer. I ripped out our kitchen appliances when we moved in to put a new floor down and found the fridge/freezer, washing machine, tumble dryer and dishwasher all running off a £1.99 five-way extension cord from Woolworths which was lying on the floor. You don't need to be qualified in any type of electric trade to know that is a big no-no and a potential death trap.

Last thing, other than anything structural or the roof leaking etc etc the biggest bit of 'kit' and outlay is going to be the boiler in terms of if it goes faulty. Ask when it was installed and if it's serviced annually; make sure this is backed up with certificates and proof from whoever does the annual service.

This is the biggest thing you are likely to buy in your lifetime so it's well within your rights to be super OCD about anything and everything.

Edited by Stylin_and_Profilin
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Painful though it can be, taking on a house that needs work can save you a pretty penny and be rewarding as you are forced to learn about actually fixing shit.

We stripped our house down to the concrete floors and replaced everything.  

 

Now we've been here a decade we're starting to have to get the boring stuff done, like replacing all the guttering, or the roof tiles.  Anything external on a house is bloody expensive to get done due to scaffolding costs.

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  • 1 month later...

So:

We made an offer on a house. First offer was rejected, so we went back in with an extra five grand, offer was accepted. This was in early January.

Now, we're two months further along, and nothing has happened. It turns out we're buying the house from a divorcing couple, and the husband in the divorce has decided to be a complete nobhead and not sign any paperwork until he's had legal advice about the proposed divorce settlement. The land searches haven't been started, our solicitor hasn't received a damned thing from them.

How long do we give it before saying we don't really want to get involved in your marital breakdown and looking elsewhere?

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6 hours ago, Grecian said:

So:

We made an offer on a house. First offer was rejected, so we went back in with an extra five grand, offer was accepted. This was in early January.

Now, we're two months further along, and nothing has happened. It turns out we're buying the house from a divorcing couple, and the husband in the divorce has decided to be a complete nobhead and not sign any paperwork until he's had legal advice about the proposed divorce settlement. The land searches haven't been started, our solicitor hasn't received a damned thing from them.

How long do we give it before saying we don't really want to get involved in your marital breakdown and looking elsewhere?

It's a tough one, but I would say it depends on how long you are prepared to wait. I mean one possible option is say to your solicitor if this doesn't start moving you will reduce your offer as I assume without anything finalised on paper and signed nothing is concrete. We got 6k knocked off our house as we agreed to exchange in at the end of November rather then in January. A threat may make them start to get the ball rolling.


The other option is to look around at other properties just in case. You may find something even better. 

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I’ve been saving the past couple of years or so with a view to buying a house. Set up an ISA, and opened a couple of those fixed savers where you get a decent interest rate if you don’t touch your money for 12 months.

At what point do you stop thinking, “Houses are stupidly expensive, I’ll save a bit longer” and start thinking, “Fuck it. Best spend all my savings and buy a gaff now?”

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1 hour ago, Your Fight Site said:

I’ve been saving the past couple of years or so with a view to buying a house. Set up an ISA, and opened a couple of those fixed savers where you get a decent interest rate if you don’t touch your money for 12 months.

At what point do you stop thinking, “Houses are stupidly expensive, I’ll save a bit longer” and start thinking, “Fuck it. Best spend all my savings and buy a gaff now?”

Well, that depends on if you've saved enough, surely? Have a look at prices in the area you're looking to buy in, and save 10% of that for a deposit. A bank will lend you roughly 4.5 times your annual salary for a property. You'll need a couple of extra grand for conveyancing and all that stuff.

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Just now, gmoney said:

Well, that depends on if you've saved enough, surely? Have a look at prices in the area you're looking to buy in, and save 10% of that for a deposit. A bank will lend you roughly 4.5 times your annual salary for a property. You'll need a couple of extra grand for conveyancing and all that stuff.

Cheers. I’m just trying to save as much of a deposit as I can.

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