The decluttering, cleaning, vacating, pandering, nailbiting antics of the stressed out house sellers

(997 Posts)
Spirael Thu 29-Nov-12 14:08:31

Starting a new thread, since our old one was almost full!

Anyone suffering the stresses of trying to sell a house is welcome to join us; anyone here to tell us our houses are crap and/or overpriced is not. wink

CuddyMum Tue 04-Dec-12 22:09:45

Would you rent Chilli?

Toomuchtea Wed 05-Dec-12 09:40:46

Your buyers might be sympathetic - ours have given us time. It's worth asking, and all the estate agents I've talked to in our desperate search for something do say stuff does come on the market after Christmas. Fingers crossed.

Agents left me a message yesterday (had forgotten to take my phone...) about a repossession in the area we want to live in. They're all in a meeting at the mo, so crossing fingers it is half way decent. Has anyone ever bought a repossession? Any hints?

We went to see one when I was pregnant with DS which the previous owner had set about with a sledge hammer the day they moved out. Everything had gone - internal walls, kitchen, bathroom.....

Spirael Wed 05-Dec-12 10:54:49

Argh... Logistical nightmare going on here. Won't go into all the details, but basically a combination of snail pace organisations means that our move date is being slowly pushed backwards.

The buyers are jumping up and down (though at least they're evidently keen to move, so unlikely to bottle at the last moment), their buyers are jumping up and down, the bank is jumping up and down, the removals firm is jumping up and down, heck even I'm jumping up and down! Though it doesn't seem very effective at getting anything done.

Really hope we can move before Christmas still. Really hope we can move before the 19th, as that's when BT are connecting us and if we don't get it done then, then it won't be done until February they have such long engineer booking times! confused

I am never, ever moving again after all this!! I can't even have wine anymore, it's all boxed up. [stressed]

Toomuchtea Wed 05-Dec-12 13:49:57

You are having a horrible time Spirael. I hope that everything does lurch into action. It is beyond frustrating when there is nothing you can do to motivate people to get off their backsides.

Have found out which the house is: poor people, being repossessed just before Christmas. I know the house, and had always assumed, from the glamorous cars parked outside, that they were doing terribly well.

YellowWellies Wed 05-Dec-12 13:58:30

Good luck Spirael.

Rent? Chilli That's what we're doing between houses - it's much less stressful.

Toomuchtea see I'm a miserable cynical misanthrope but the folks with the glamorous cars are exactly the ones I would expect to be be repossessed - a lot of folks spent their 'equity' and more during the bubble years and assumed the party would go on forever, relying on rising house prices to pay their debts. I know this is awful but in such cases I have little sympathy - the only money you can be sure of is the money you earn through hard work - bubble money was an illusion.

I wouldn't feel bad buying a repo. We have a private rented sector in the UK so it's not as if these people will be out on the street. They might just have to lower their standards, live within their means and get used to driving a used car like the rest of us. I would be nervous about the condition of the house though - some folks sabotage their properties on the way out.

chillikat Wed 05-Dec-12 15:16:51

I really don't think we'd rent - I couldn't face moving twice in a short space of time, especially with a nearly 2 year old we'd have to settle in. I think we'd be more likely to try and use more savings or settle for a not quite right. We're going to see two on Thursday and the seller of the one we want has left a message saying he thinks his buyers might pull out (private sale), we're on pretty good terms so if they do... it's all a bit of a roller coaster.
We're also thinking of leafleting all the properties that we'd be interested in, a lot of the ones we've seen have been downsizing as the kids have moved out so there might be more in the area considering it, possibly waiting until after Christmas to start [optimistic hat on]

YellowWellies Wed 05-Dec-12 16:59:11

Fair dos - we've got a newborn so there's no real issue of settling in at this stage - as long as his cot is there he'll settle. Our move costs are only about £1.5k so given that houses in our target area are falling by that amount a month at the moment - it makes financial sense to sit out for a few months and buy back in much more cheaply. For us buying now would be the dead money. I'd rather wait for somewhere right or nearly right than buy back in too quickly to the wrong house. But m'eh horses for courses. I guess having spent much of my 20s renting I don't see it as the taboo that lots of Brits seem to.

Chilli your private sale sounds hopeful - fingers crossed!

CuddyMum Wed 05-Dec-12 17:26:25

Hope it all starts moving quickly for you soon Spirael.

Toomuchtea - lager wages and champagne lifestyle - it happens. It just shows the extent people go to to put on a front. Go for it! You might have to be prepared for them to sabotage the place.

Chilli - renting isn't all that bad. We did it last time and it was fine. I'd do it again too. We didn't unpack an awful lot - it's amazing how you don't miss things.

Toomuchtea Wed 05-Dec-12 18:15:36

Chilli, I'd leaflet after Christmas. If anyone leafletted me now I'd think, oh yes, I will think about this and do something about it after Christmas, shove the letter somewhere and then be unable to find it after Christmas. I think January is a good time psychologically ( I HOPE at any rate, as that's what we're planning to do) as people are thinking new year, changes, new beginnings etc. As for renting, your 2 yo would probably be fine. My DD was nearly 3 when we last moved, and she was a breeze. Her 7 yo brother, on the other hand.... and I must say now that she is 17 and he is 21 the positions have entirely reversed.

As for the repo, the agents don't have keys yet. I agree, Spirael and Cuddy. Lager wages, champagne lifestyle. Maybe they will leave one of the BMWs, which would be a nice swap for my crappy ancient Astra.

confusedperson Wed 05-Dec-12 18:43:59

Dear mumsnetters, I am new in this thread since I have just decided to sell up and move (see my other thread about downsizing to 2 bed flat).
For those who rent or thinking to rent in between, I guess this is not an option if the mortgage is fixed with early repayment fees and I want to port it to another property? Are those of you who are renting, having new mortgages approved after you find your dream house?

CuddyMum Wed 05-Dec-12 19:08:05

I've never ported a mortgage. We just paid the mortgage off with the proceeds of the sale, kept the balance in the bank and then applied for a new mortgage. I guess this only works when there is equity in the property.

Toomuchtea Thu 06-Dec-12 08:36:10

<waves to Confused> Sorry, I'm not a lot of help either, as I've only ported one mortgage and that wasn't with a rent in between. We're planning to rent if need be, and to do what Cuddy did, as we're fortunate enough to have equity.

Are you planning to sell, rent, buy? I'm not sure how mortgage providers would look at that - presumably you'd be looking to take a payment holiday rather than cough up rent and mortgage at the same time? I suppose the problem would be that you'd no longer have any security (ie the house) for the loan.

Spirael Thu 06-Dec-12 09:59:04

Assuming we do ever move, I think we're going to stand out on our new street! Both our neighbours have two flash modern cars and we're going to be parking our tatty old Fiesta on our drive.

But that's ok, we can aspire to a modern car. Just like we're aspiring to wardrobes. wink At least we'll have our dream forever home in a fantastic area, and over the next 30 years we're planning on living there we can slowly save and work towards making it something extremely special!

However, still no news here. [twiddles thumbs] DH is chasing the solicitor again today. I think we're now just waiting for some queries to be answered by the bank's solicitor, so I may end up chasing the EA to chase them. Again. Considering they were the ones saying we had to move by last Friday, you'd think they'd be eager to get everything done!!

Can't really help, confused... We're porting our mortgage but going straight into another bought property. However, I think I vaguely recall you can still port a mortgage if you sell, rent then buy. I could be making it up, but I seem to recall that's possible, the mortgage goes on hold (presumably with the bank holding the funds) and you basically have a time limit of a few months to find somewhere to buy.

Toomuchtea Thu 06-Dec-12 10:14:18

If you have a chimney breast, you can put up a shelf between it and the wall, put up a hanging rail below it and pin a sheet over the front. Did us as wardrobes for years.

Spirael Thu 06-Dec-12 10:36:34

No chimneys, but we do have a small dressing area in the master room that we should be able to mount some poles across to use for wardrobe space. For DD, my DDad is busy constructing her a makeshift wardrobe to last until we can afford to get her room done properly.

confusedperson Thu 06-Dec-12 11:54:40

Thanks CuddyMum and Toomuchtea.
I am planning to put my house on the market early next year (Feb possibly) and buy in a neighbouring (but much better) area for the same or slightly lower price. I have equity in my house, but the reason I want to port is to avoid early repayment charge (it is fixed until 2014 and ERC would be around 3.7k). Another reason is that I will have a good tracker rate when my fixed expires.

But I have heard that banks have tightened porting conditions and give <3 months to port. I am already freaking about the possible buying-selling chain involved in the process and having to complete at the same time for buyers and sellers. But perhaps it is not alway that difficult, I don't know. I have never sold the house before.

For all the practical reasons I could wait for few years to sell up (fixed mortgage, logistics of school/DC etc), but something inside me rushes me to do it now. I might be wrong. However... when I had my internal rush to have our second child (not broodiness, just irrational gut feeling to rush), I did not know at the time that if we had waited for another 6 months, we could not ever have another child for DH's health reasons.

So I am hoping that my irrational gut feeling to rush, sell up and move has a point this time, too.

CuddyMum Thu 06-Dec-12 12:13:16

Confused, gut feel is a human instinct and instinct is built into us for a reason. You want the best for your children - go for it. Speak to your mortgage provider - it may be that they can explain the best options for you. Sometimes, if you choose to take the mortgage out with the same provider they can waive the ERC. With regard to waiting to market in February, I have to say that in my area there are quite a few new properties that have come on to the market this week. We did think about taking ours off the market to "rest" it but the agents seem to think that properties sell all year round. Thanks to the Internet, it is easy to track property history and when they've been on the market.

confusedperson Thu 06-Dec-12 12:23:52

Thanks CuddyMum. I do hope that my gut feeling is right. I need to wait until after Christmas, though, because my house is not ready yet (kitchen needs repainting) and my family will be over for Christmas, too much of chaos if anyone will want to view. I also need to declutter seriously. Will be giving things away for freecycling in January smile

On other hand, there are no properties on the market at the moment which I want/can afford to buy. There was one for 3 months but got taken out of the market last week. They had a bunk bed in children's bedroom and baby cot in the master bedroom, so I assume they will be back after Christmas. My cheeky plan is to put mine on the market, get a quick offer grin and leaflet the area so perhaps those who want to sell can avoid agency fees.

Thanks for the tip about the mortgage. I need to contact somebody in my bank. How is it done nowadays, do I need to go to my bank branch or can I get advice over the phone through my bank's mortgage line?

CuddyMum Thu 06-Dec-12 12:28:57

Our mortgages have been with Nationwide for quite a while now and when we have moved we have liaised in the local branch and over the phone with the call centre too.

confusedperson Thu 06-Dec-12 12:58:33

Forgot to say thanks to Spirael. I just re-read this thread and happy to notice how well most of you are doing. I am still at that initial stage where I need to start things going but agonising over each step. Not that I don't want to sell - I have already moved to my dream home in my mind - but it is so hard to anticipate every step and what needs/or not doing.

My priorities are decluttering, painting our kitchen and selling DC's bunk bed and getting a smaller one (I bought the bunk bed way too early for my DC and getting rid of it will improve the look of DC's bedroom massively).
Is everyone of you upsizing? I wonder what your reasons behind moving?

We will be slightly downsizing due to area/school combination and not wanting to increase our mortgage.

CuddyMum Thu 06-Dec-12 13:22:30

Well the initial plan was to stay locally and downsize to something with potential. However, after being on the market for a little while we have had a change of mind. We still want to move to something with potential but to a village a few miles away and probably a slight increase in mortgage. Moving to this village will allow youngest daughter to change to another secondary school but I will still be able to get my other daughter to her current school on my way to work and pick her up - not ideal and she might change her mind and move with her sister. What I really want now is a nice big garden either backing on to or facing countryside. I'm happy to renovate too.

confusedperson Thu 06-Dec-12 13:38:17

CuddyMum it is interesting how the mind changes in the course of events, and how people want different things. I intend to do things where other people might thing I am going crazy. I will be letting go my Victorian (fairly beautiful, I’d say) house with a garden for a smaller 70’s flat with a roof terrace. But this is what I want, that Victorian house is just not for me… Anyone for a 2 bed house in South London, hey? smile

Toomuchtea Thu 06-Dec-12 13:38:24

I would go with your instinct too Confused.

We're downsizing - though it's truer to say that I wouldn't mind another large house, but I don't want outbuildings, at least derelict ones, and not so much ground. The idea is to get rid of the mortgage, and not have the house hanging round our necks like a millstone, and also to move much closer to DD's school so she can walk to and from, and also so DH can walk to the station. Bearing in mind we can't find anything in the very narrow area we want, our plans might yet change. If we do buy, it'll need to be something we want to stay in for a few years.

It took me ages to get ready to sell - in fact, years, as we had things in the deeds to sort out. I did pick up a tip from the Flylady website on decluttering, which was to do it in chunks of 15 minutes a day, and never to get out more than you could actually deal with (in the sense of tidy, chuck or rehome). Mind you, I have to say I never have applied that technique to our attic, and I am paying for it now.

confusedperson Thu 06-Dec-12 13:52:29

Toomuchtea I also will be looking at a tiny area. I will be lucky if a property will come up at the right time (there is none at the moment). Ours will be far from a train station and I will have to drive DC to school, but these are the compromises I am willing to make.

I will try the 15 minute approach. Although my decluttering and tidying up is followed by my DC making an utter chaos, so this will not be easy!!

I am also not sure which cupboard to stuck my DC in if viewers come in an evening? I am planning to use online agency and handle viewings myself...

YellowWellies Thu 06-Dec-12 14:04:04

We're relocating back from the islands to the Scottish mainland and looking also to upsize as we've just had a baby. With the price drops in our target area and the fact that our initial mortgage was piddly - we're looking for our big family ('forever' gah I hate that term) home and probably increasing the mortgage by 50%. We're not in a rush and recognise that the market favours those without chains (we didn't want to sell to anyone in a chain) so we're off into rented initially. This was primarily because we weren't in a position to view houses in our target area as we'd just had the baby and would have to fly from Orkney at a goodly cost to view. It will be much handier for us to view and take our time once we are in the rented house in our new area. It would also save us £500 a trip!

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