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How long did it take you to find a house to buy!(44 Posts)
We've been looking since the start of the year, and I'm starting to feel a bit fed up.
So, how long did it take you to find a house to buy? Did your ideas about what you wanted change a lot in that time? How did you choose what to compromise on, and what not to?
If you're in rented, you're in a great position. Don't rely on Rightmove - sometimes the good places are snapped up before they get anywhere near the Internet.
Visit every estate agent in town. Let them know what you are looking for and let them know you're ready to move quickly. With any luck they'll start phoning you to arrange viewings soon.
Most places go on the market after Easter, so you may find it's pretty quiet until then.
We started looking in Aug/Sept 2012 and within a month found the place we wanted. We moved in a week before Christmas. We had to move fast as we got a great bargain. A 1930s house with bags of original features. It needs a lot of work but will be worth it in the end although it will swallow every last penny we have. It depends on what you're looking for and how willing you are to compromise on certain aspects, and on whether you're prepared to do any necessary renovations. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by how much we have to do, but I keep looking ahead to next year when hopefully we'll have done quite a bit of it.
Pixiehot - I won't say it's easy and at times you feel that you're definitely making the WRONG decision but you have to listen to your gut instinct. If, for example, you know that you want a house that requires no renovations other than cosmetic redecorating, then don't go and view old houses requiring a lot of work. It just adds to your confusion. And vice versa. If you want "character", don't look at new builds. We knew we wanted a house with "character" rather than one with all mod cons. That was our starting point. We also knew we wanted a good sized garden and in all honesty, it was the garden that did it - for me anyway. It was just how I imagined my garden to be (I've never had one before - always lived in flats). Bottom line is you will never find one that ticks all boxes - but you need to decide how many boxes out of 10 you are happy to leave unticked. Good luck!
this house - saw it in the first 2 weeks, unfortunately it fell through and we spent the next 5 months looking during which time there was only 1 other we were seriously interested in. We must have looked at well over a hundred. Eventually sorted problems with this house out and brought it.
currently - have had my eye on the market (ie browsing Rightmove new on at least daily) for the last couple of years. Looked at a couple of new builds, and had a viewing on a house last week, but nothing else in my price range has even interested me in looking at.
Started looking August 2010. Made offers on houses June 2011, May 2012, July 2012 - always lost out to a higher bidder or someone in rented or because our buyer pulled out.
Had an offer accepted in Jan 2013 - moving into rented to let our sale go through but still looking as the vendors haven't found anywhere yet and if they are as slow as us they will still be looking in 2015.
More than 5000 daily alerts from Right Move... I think I know what the kitchen looks like for most houses within a 20 mile radius of here.
I like Location, Location, Location if only to look at other areas (wondering where to retire to and need some ideas), its way off but no harm in looking!
I particularly like the people who have been looking for months and months, sometimes even years always thinking that despite never having brought a house they are property and pricing experts! Mainly of their complaints revolve around the prices of property in their chosen area
When we were thinking of selling we got a valuation from the local estate agent and he said his worst clients are the ones who overvalue their house, say they will 'wait' for the right offer and then blame him when no one comes to look around!
Could I give one tip having brought and sold a few times in the past.
Decide on the area. Quickly decide whether you can afford them. Get your mortgage sorted as far as you can so that you have an idea what you can afford.
If properties are all 'too expensive' look in another area and dont look back. I was working in London a number of years ago, we wanted to move, anywhere around the M25 would be fine. I spent months and months trying to decide where to focus on and ended up with literally 100's and 100's of house details.
18 months from seriously looking, i.e. going to viewings, to purchasing. Had been keeping an eye online for about a year previous to that. We weren't in any great rush though.
Two years. But we were very picky and houses don't come up very often in the village we wanted to buy in.
1 yr of serious house hunting and waiting around for houses to come on the market in specific streets (picky!) Offered on one house but pulled out after terrible survey. Already in rented but still had to pay full asking to secure 70's house which required total renovation but in a prime location with a fabulous garden (a jungle) therefore bags of potential. We waited another 6 mths for the vendors to obtain probate. Moved in, planned our extension/renovation whilst discovering the dodgy plumbing & wiring! Another 6 mths of living on a building site and now, we're living in a fantastic house....definitely worth it!
We're under offer STCM and have a moving out date of 5 April, and we've not found anywhere we want to move to yet. Well, that's not quite the case. Found somewhere we liked but had our offer rejected as the owners want to keep viewing open a bit longer and possibly set a closing date (they want more money), so I'm guessing we probably won't get it.
feeling very nervous as there's not really much on that is what we're after (3 bed in our chosen school catchment areas) but I know they come up now and again.
At least we're able to move in with my parents for a bit until we're able to move somewhere (with stuff in storage) but I don't want that turning into a long term thing!
I'm starting to think "Are we being too picky about area etc?" but something will turn up, right?
Something will come up. We were looking for 8 months. I really wanted to be in a particular village (practical, emotional and slightly snobbish reasons) gave up and made viewings in other areas, then the house we're moving into in a couple of weeks appeared! The right thing will come up, don't compromise because you will only be kicking yourself when the right property comes on the market.
"Don't compromise" is relative, surely? Everyone has to compromise to a certain extent. We are going to move slightly further away from the boys' school so that is a compromise but the house is great and will suit us perfectly. You could wait forever for your dream house to appear- literally. Oh and a pedantic point - you have bought a house not brought it!
Mrsjamin - I know what you mean, I think when people say don't compromise they mean on the things that are most important to them.
The whole don't compromise thing is difficult! We sold our house and moved in with relatives but couldn't take advantage for too long so had to find somewhere. We had to compromise on something as couldn't wait for a infinite period for the house to appear! In the end I had to compromise on being overlooked. I love the house, area, village etc but have had to be practical and look at how I can fix the one thing that I didn't like (getting a gardening expert in to help me design best way to hide the house which sits beside ours!!)
My advice is don't just look online. I was doing that, and starting to look at a few properties in a rather hopeless way. And then, in four days, we sold and bought! (Rather a shock to the system.) Neither our house, nor the one we bought had been put on the market, officially. Neither had particulars done. The estate agent had clients who were interested in our sort of house, he knew what we were looking for and, hey presto, all done with minimal fuss. Didn't even have to clean up too much for photos! If you look on Rightmove with 'include Sold Subject to Contract' ticked, you will notice there are houses that you've not seen online but that are already sold. And our house doesn't even come up when you do that.
In other words, at the risk of sounding too much like Phil and Kirsty, talk to agents get to know them and make sure they know what you want.
Fingers crossed it will have taken us about 5 months. We have been extremely picky about location, basically only about 6 streets as we want to be in a position where we can walk easily to both children's schools and DH's work and station and shops. We're dedicated pedestrians! I have seen every single house for sale in that area. I've also asked everyone I know locally for recommendations and, STC, we are now buying a house which never actually got to an estate agent as I was told that the owners were moving by a friend and popped a note through their door. Viewed it, loved it and can't wait. Will be a while before we move in as it does need work but I was completely charmed by it, the price is right I think for the work required and it's in my perfect location, the very best spot of the 6 streets we want! And it's so easy not dealing with EA. Owner is happy as they've saved commission and viewings hassle. Hoping to exchange in a fortnight, depends really on vendors doing the paperwork.
Came close to buying another house but the vendor wanted us to pay thousands for her light fittings etc and the delay those discussions caused, meant that this house came up. I really hope it works out as it feels like it was meant to be.
It took us 2 weeks. We made the offer in March and were in by July.
A week. Made offer in October, moved in 7 weeks later in December (we'd sold our house months earlier and were renting). But we were very lucky, no other house has gone on the market that meets our requirements since (I've been watching!). Very very happy in our house and busy making plans for it
Lots of varied responses - a week to 1 year +.
We're going to (try to) relax, and wait to see what come onto the market over the next few months. It's our first house viewing-free weekend for a while, which is a bit of a relief TBH. Lots of people have advised not just relying on RightMove, so we're going to pop into all of the local EAs over the next couple of weekends (actually, Saturdays - we visited our local town centre today, but everything was closed!).
Thanks everyone, it's encouraging to hear your success stories.
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