Hi all, I bought my first house nearly 25 years ago and stayed in it. I am finally ready to move (with 2 teenagers now) and have found a house I like, but I feel really inexperienced and out of my depth - since I have only ever bought a house once and it was so long ago! I am a single parent too, so I have no-one to share the decision-making with... So I'd very much appreciate some opinions and advice!
The house I like is on the market for £132,500. It's a 3 bedroom semi on the fringes of an ex-council estate in a pleasant enough mixed area. It's in good condition with good sized garden and detached garage. Its kitchen and bathroom are under 2 years old. A neighbouring house which is in the middle of a row of 4 rather than a semi, and not so well situated or pleasant, is on the market for 129K. Overall, I'd say it's quite a desirable house - among the best of its type.
The market in our area is pretty flat. My current neighbours' house has been on the market for 2 years. Lots of other houses have been on the market for a year or so. But of course 'desirable' properties sell more quickly... And there's always the anxiety that the market may pick up at any moment!
I am (subject to final official mortgage offers via a broker who is on holiday) in a position to offer up to the asking price (and perhaps a bit over) without needing to sell first - effectively like a FTB. I know in theory this puts me in a strong position to negotiate...
I also know - or have been told - that the vendor is in no great hurry to move, is looking to move to a smaller property in a more expensive area which could potentially be above the asking price for this one, and has not yet found the house she wants. I also know she bought the house herself six years ago (when the market was a bit healthier) for £125K.
Stamp Duty is a bit of a psychological barrier - it's obviously not insurmountable, but it's in my head... My first instinct is to offer £125K (subject to survey) - which is just over 94% of the asking price. But because I'm inexperienced, I'm unsure about how to 'play the game'... Will the vendor expect me to move up from my first offer? Should I go in lower and offer, say, 90% of the asking price (119,250) or would that just be insulting?!
Thanks in advance to anyone who's more experienced at this than me, and who's kind enough to offer me any advice!
If you love the house and can't imagine bring anywhere else then offer the asking price. If you're not worried about missing out on it then walk away and look for somewhere different. Good luck - buying a house is always soooo stressful we've done it loads and its always a pain!!
I like it and it meets our needs, but I don't love it. Tbh with my budget, I'm not going to find a 'dream home', am I? I really don't know what to do... I feel like I've been agonising for nothing silly cow that I am !
But has she found somewhere to buy? You could improve your offer to 130, she could accept but you'll still be unable to proceed if she's not ready to move. I hope she's serious about selling. I would definitely set a time scale if she accepts your final offer (if you make one) e.g. exchange within 6 weeks.
No she hasn't mas, which is a large part of my reluctance to offer any more, and what made me hesitate to make a higher offer at all... She told me initially that she would move in with friends or relatives; now she has told the EA that she wants £130K so she can afford to move into rented accommodation. It is a real concern that if I offer the full amount, she may still decide it's too much trouble, and there's not much I'll be able to do about it.
I think she should count herself lucky to be getting over £125k as a lot of people wouldn't want to go over the stamp threshold.
Personally, I'd be tempted to leave her to it for a few weeks ad just say the offer is on the table. Hopefully something she likes will come on the market in coming weeks and that will alter her view of your offer.