Support thread for MN's trying to buy a house

(311 Posts)
financialwizard Mon 17-Sep-12 09:03:39

I can't find another thread like this, and I thought we could do with a sister thread to the trying to sell.

Thought I'd kick off with my rage!

Currently exchanged on the house that I have sold and living in husbands work accomodation so my situation is not dire, but still.

We offered on a property in August. It is a vacant property, and we said that we would like to exchange contracts 18th October with a view to complete no later than 1st November. We got the house at 95.8% of the market price.

So far we have not received the fixtures and fittings list, even though the vendor completed them the week before last. I have been back several times to measure up for lino in the bathrooms/curtains/take pictures of holes in the wall (for my decorator - there are lots). Went back this weekend just gone to check a couple of things (I always forget something) and the vendor has taken all of the bathroom fittings (toilet roll holder, etc), all of the curtain poles, all of the blinds. Now I am beginning to get a bit worried she is going to pull up all the carpets as well (not budgeted for them). I know I am going to have to wait until I get the F&F list but I am feeling slightly nervous at the potential cost of replacing things like carpets now (the whole house - 5 bed is carpetted). Aaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggghhhhhhhh.

My old man is going away for business just as we are due to complete as well, so it is going to have to be me to deal with it all. Really looking forward to this move.......NOT!!!!

Never EVER doing this again.

financialwizard Wed 26-Sep-12 14:06:22

Aaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh still no mortgage offer because they need another bit of paper from me. Not a problem, but a phone call to let me know would be good instead of expecting me to know by some form of mind reading exercise.

I hope it is here tomorrow because I think I might cry the amount of time I have been on the telephone with them the last two weeks.

Springforward Wed 26-Sep-12 18:48:53

Hello, this looks like a good place for me. Mortgage offer received today, now having a panic about our refurbishment budget (it will pass, I think).

Room for another?
7 months pg and last week had our offer accepted on a barn with planning permission. Mad timing but it's a long held dream come true (fx it goes through).
luckily my DM has offered us a private mortgage as both DH and I are self employed and almost nobody will lend for barns anyway.
With DM's help we can stay living in our current place for at least the next 6 months so won't have to live on site while the major works are going on.
the seller did an amazing thing - accepting our offer (the lowest they had) because we want to live in it ourselves rather than develop it and sell on but in order to persuade them i offered to move really quickly - moneys all in place by this monday now everyone just has to wait for the already dragging their feet solicitors to catch up. surely there's a better way???
think if this drags on i may find myself getting really wound up - already dreaming worst case scenarios and lying awake worrying at night and it's only been a week i know IABU...

nancerama Thu 27-Sep-12 12:37:04

Can I join? Found our perfect house about 6 months ago. Finally had our 4th offer accepted after 3 buyers pulled out for one reason or another. Obviously we're a bit very cautious due to 3 other buyers walking away.

It's a Victorian property, so we are expecting a bit of work and some general maintenance, but the survey came back suggesting the possibility of major damp and recommending the removal of downstairs floorboards for a proper look and to ensure the damp hadn't progressed into wet or dry rot. We can't afford to take the gamble, so we have had to tell the vendor that we can only proceed if they agree to pull a chunk of their floor up. I felt really horrible asking as it's such a destructive thing to be doing. The vendors have reluctantly agreed.

Today I took DS to playgroup and our vendor was there with her DS complaining about her nightmare demanding buyer. I feel horrible sad

GreenEggsAndNichts Thu 27-Sep-12 14:33:43

There is no reason for you to feel horrible, nance. It sounds like a perfectly reasonable thing for you to ask to do in the circumstances, and I think they know it (or have been advised that it is).

I can imagine having a bit of a moan to a friend, but it was a bit bitchy of her to say it in front of you.

nancerama Thu 27-Sep-12 16:19:31

I'm hoping she said it without realising who I am. She's staying in the area and our kids are likely to end up at school together, so I really would rather not get on the wrong side of her.

I'm hoping that the gift of wine to apologise for the hole in the floor may smooth future relations.

financialwizard Thu 27-Sep-12 16:24:31

Finally got the mortgage offer, will receive it over the next 2 days in the post.

nancerama sounds like a bit of a nightmare, at least the person we are buying from lives in the next town.

nancerama Thu 27-Sep-12 18:37:05

Hurrah! The damp survey is back already and it's penetrating damp caused by a dodgy back step. Fix the step, problem solved. Apparently under the floor doesn't look too dreadful.

I'm feeling a bit less sensitive about grumpy vendor though, since DH reminded me that she's taking pretty much everything from the house, down to the bathroom cabinet and all the curtains.

wendybird77 Thu 27-Sep-12 19:09:27

We have had an offer accepted on the condition that we complete by the end of October. Our solicitor is on the ball, but DH out of town this week so can't do anything until he's home tonight to sign everything and we can post it all off. Helpfully he's lost last month's payslip so we are also waiting for that to come in the post for this month. I think it is going to be nigh on impossible to get this done that quickly, but what can you do? Helpfully they have asked if they can leave all their appliances as they are moving abroad - hurrah as we sold all ours when we moved out of our last house to rent! Gives me some time to make a proper decision when I decide what I want to do about the kitchen. Finger crossed for a smooth transaction as we need to be out of our current house by the 31st November!

financialwizard Tue 02-Oct-12 14:26:10

wendybird77 you sound in a very very similar situation to me. We offered on the one we are trying to buy 23/08. We are signing the mortgage deed, etc tonight and transferring the money tomorrow plus sending the docs off SD tomorrow. The only delay we have had is because the mortgage offer took slightly longer to produce than expected.

We are hoping to be exchanged and completed by 18th October (hubby goes away for 8 weeks then and completely uncontactable) but the vendor has a 'home rights' charge on the property which is making me VERY nervous as their solicitor keeps saying 'undertaking to remove home right charge to follow' in everything, and we cannot buy it without that undertaking.

If everything goes according to plan I will be moving on my own again and Mr F_W will be joining us just before Christmas. This will be our last move though hopefully

wendybird77 Tue 02-Oct-12 19:45:37

It is all systems go here. Mortgage app in and approved, the offer should be here next week. Solicitor is on the go, not sure when the survey is as we're just having the valuation for the mortgage and it is being arranged through the EA. I'm trying to sort out a currency exchange account to transfer money over from abroad as well (with a bad exchange rate, but what can you do!). This may actually all happen by the end of October. I am in packing denial, but loving my imaginary budget for small extensions, new bathrooms and kitchens!

financialwizard Thu 04-Oct-12 14:40:08

Well, still no nearer finding out what is going on with regard to the 'home rights' issue. Neither vendor nor their solicitor answering the phone or emails angry You'd think they'd want it done.

LondonSuperTrooper Brazil Thu 04-Oct-12 15:02:40

Hi, can I join in please?

We've had our offer accepted on Monday! I've now got a solicitor in place, mortage decision in principle and got hold of a recommended surveyor. So far no major stress or panic.... but it's only day 4 of the entire process wink

Financial - what is the home right issue?

Nance - Good news about the damp issue.

Is there anyone her in the early stages of buying a house?

financialwizard Thu 04-Oct-12 17:35:40

God, how to explain.

Basically if you are married but not on the deeds or mortgage of the property you live in you can apply for 'matrimonial home rights' which means that your spouse cannot re mortgage - take a further advance - or sell the property without you being consulted first. From what I understand in my circumstance the man selling the property to me is getting divorced and his stbx wife registered matrimonial home rights on the property 4 days before we placed an offer on the property.

AlexanderS Fri 05-Oct-12 08:36:35

Hi all,

Please can I join in? I'd love to have the advice of some lovely Mumsnetters if possible.

This is the position I'm. We are first time buyers. In August we put in an offer on a house five doors down from our rented house, because it is the same size, layout etc. of our house, and of course same area (we like the area, it's got a good school and stuff), but is, we thought, much nicer than our house - new bathroom, new-ish kitchen, landscaped garden, various things. Our house has still has much of the original decor, fixtures and fittings from when it was built in the 1970s and the garden's a mess. The house had been on the market since the start of the year and the vendor was keen to sell - having already reduced the price by £20,000 since first putting it on the market, she accepted our first offer, which was £2,500 less than the asking price. (There is no chain, as she is moving in with her boyfriend).

Then of course we had a survey done. Don't worry, the vendor said, I'm confident the survey'll show no problems. The survey showed a bunch of minor problems, e.g. the flat roof on the front section of the house is pooling water and will need to be replaced in the near future, and two major issues. One, an extension has been built on the back of the house that doesn't meet building regulations or have planning permission. We got a builder to take a look at it and he gave us a worst scenario quote for getting it fixed of £5,750. Two, the wiring is not safe. We've had an electrician test it all and he's said though it could be patched up he recommends we just rewire the whole house due to the age of the wiring (it has not been replaced since the house was built), at a cost of £3,000 - £4,000.

So now we have to make a decision. Do we try to negotiate a lower price or do we just walk away?

I spoke to our solicitor yesterday and she said we should sleep on it. Well, I've slept on it and my inclination is to walk away. On a monthly basis we have enough money to cover bills, necessities and a few leisure activities and that's it. We can't afford holidays. We can't afford to buy or run a car. Neither of us drives, because we can't, at the minute, afford to take lessons! (We live in a rural area and a car would be incredibly useful). My parents were going to help us with the deposit for the house. We are already paying off one bank loan, taken out when we moved into our current house to pay for the deposit and some new furniture and consolidate some other debts, and I'm loathe to take out another. Plus at some point I'd like another DC, and they're not cheap! So I don't see how we're going to save £10,000-odd to do all this work, even if the vendor drops her price (which she has indicated she is not willing to do).

AlexanderS Fri 05-Oct-12 08:43:29

Sorry, "We've had an electrician test it all and he's said though it could be patched up he recommends we just rewire the whole house due to it's age (it has not been replaced since the house was built), at a cost of £3,000 - £4,000" would have been a more elegant sentence!

AlexanderS Fri 05-Oct-12 08:44:36

Oh I bug myself! Its, sorry. I wish Mumsnet would let you edit posts.

If the seller wasnt willing to be sensible. I'd walk away. If you can't afford to do the work; you can't afford to do the work. It's that simple.

LondonSuperTrooper Brazil Fri 05-Oct-12 09:52:58

Finanace thanks for the explanation. I hope that this gets resolved quickly.

Alex I'd reduce the offer due to all the repairs that you'd have to make to make the house safe/water tight etc.
If they accept the reduced offer then it's good news isn't it? If they don't, well then you haven't lost anything as you are prepared to walk away.

AlexanderS Fri 05-Oct-12 10:34:31

Hmm, have just done some sums and calculated that even if the seller reduced the price by £10,000 it would take us longer to save the £10,000 using the money we'd save on the mortgage than the length of the mortgage! Basically we'd need an injection of cash in some way.

LondonSuperTrooper Brazil Fri 05-Oct-12 11:31:09

Nightmare! So what are you going to do Alex?

AlexanderS Fri 05-Oct-12 13:24:32

I guess our circumstances will change at some point - my DP will get pay rises (though only so far up the pay scale - he is a teacher, and doesn't want to take on additional responsibilities at work, and I wouldn't want him to as his work-life balance already isn't so great) and I will go back to work full-time (I only work part-time at the minute) - and you never know, we might win the lottery! - but I don't want to have to count on this stuff, and I don't want to have a white elephant of a house on my hands that I can't sell, which is what I'm worried we'd have if we didn't undertake these improvements (we were not intending for it to be our 'forever house'). The house was on the market for quite a while; on the one hand that's understandable in these straightened times but on the other I know from Zoopla that of all the houses for sale in the village at the minute it is the most reduced and I can't help wondering if the extension has put people off - it has been done in a weird way, with brick walls like a proper extension but a perspex roof like a conservatory, and runs all the way along the back of the house. We'd be looking to put a proper roof on it, with windows to allow the sunlight through.

I don't know. I'm sitting in my scratty rented house looking at my ugly office-grey carpets, wishing we had our own place, wondering how open the landlord would be to us making some improvements and feeling pissed off. That's what I hate about renting. It's not the thought of the money we pay in rent effectively disappearing into a black hole every month, it's not being able to do what I want to do with my own home.

Anyway, I digress!

AlexanderS Fri 05-Oct-12 13:30:44

Another factor is that we really like this area, there is a very good school just round the corner with a pre-school attached which DS has just started. And this house is cheap for a 3 bed here, all the other houses I've seen that are a similar price (i.e. just within our budget) have been 2 beds.

Well that kind of info does make a difference (although not if you just can't afford to do the work).

We bought a house that needed work - more than the one you're looking at by the sounds of it. We did this because we really like the location and almost nothing comes up there and because it was much cheaper than everything else we'd been looking at. With everything else, We'd've had to spend £30-60k more than we did on this one and we'd still have had to do some work. So buying this one, spending £20k on it and then moving in, we're still doing OK I think. We did have spare money though, so we can pay for all the work and most of it is getting done before we move in.

The work has been horrible and stressful even without living there. So we've decided we're never doing this again. We planned to be in the house for a long, long time anyway (we don't want to move until Ds2, who is oly 3, finishes school entirely) so it is worth it.

AlexanderS Sat 06-Oct-12 16:06:41

Just wondering if anybody's about today who's got any further advice for me - the seller rang a couple of hours ago wanting to know what we're doing about the house and DP told her we'd call her back tomorrow with a final decision! Am starting to panic a little.

Yet another factor in my decision is that my parents are lending us the money for the deposit - lending, not giving. The idea was that we would pay them back at some unspecified point in the future, but I don't see how that's going to happen. DP reckons we should buy the house, live in it for some years, then sell it, pay my parents back, go back to renting and have a lump sum to do something with, maybe buy a camper van! Does that negate the point of buying a house? Maybe we just have to accept this is something we can't really afford. My parents are about to retire and at the end of the month my dad is going into hospital for a massive operation that after years of ill health is hopefully going to give him a new lease of life (yes, he has struggled on working in spite of his illness, because he's mad!). I feel guilty about taking such a huge sum of money off them at this point in their lives (I'm an only child, by the way, as you may have guessed). DP has no qualms about taking the money.

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