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!
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.
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.
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.
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 !
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!!
The valuer valued my current house at £95K, which is ridiculously low, and means they will only approve a loan of £66.5K rather than the £77K I applied for... But luckily I applied for more money than I needed, so it won't scupper my plans. Apparently the individual valuer has a bit of a reputation...
I have therefore just now 'phoned and raised my offer by £2.5K. This takes me above the stamp duty threshold, and I know lots of people will think I'm mad... But I've now viewed about 15 houses, and looked at hundreds on line, and I've not seen another one I like enough to offer on. Who was it who said (Jayne ?) that the extra few thousands pounds won't seem relevant ten years down the line...? I decided I agree!
Keep your fingers crossed for me please, everyone!
I'm only just realised that. I knew I was inexperienced, but the tricky thing is that you don't always know what you don't know, until something reveals the depth of your ignorance!
I'm feeling quite fed up today. The BTL lender's valuer came round to do the valuation of my current house today, and was friendly enough but quite negative - seemed to be trying to lower my expectations. 2 EAs valued my house last summer at £115-125k and one at £105-110k, so I have applied for a BTL mortgage based on a £110K valuation... If he recommends much below £100k, I will not be happy...
Thank you Coconutty. I'm feeling a bit of deflated at the mo... We got ourselves all geared up to move - which with hindsight was obviously daft - and now nothing's happening...And my boys can't quite get their head round how lonnnng everything takes!
Just another quick update to say, um, no news. I have decided to sit tight and not increase my offer for now. The vendor doesn't seem to be house-hunting very seriously (though I suppose I only actually know what the EA is telling me). I've arranged 6 other viewings tomorrow/sat - all houses on the market for more than this one, but within a range where an offer of £125-130 might well be accepted. There's a bit of me hoping I see one I want to offer on, so I can go back to the EA and say "Look, I made a 95% offer... Last chance, before I offer on X instead". Or maybe one of the houses we visit will be even better! Keep your fingers crossed, please.
No news... Other than that I'm hanging on in there trying not to have a nervous breakdown! The vendor and my solicitor are on holiday... I can't make anything happen...
I decided I would in principle make a higher offer if that would get things moving... Then I decided that actually, since she hasn't got anywhere to move to, and there are no other offers on the table, then I'd be foolish to offer more... I go round in circles...
Meanwhile, I've looked at about 100 houses on the internet, and viewed 10, but not yet found another I'd like to offer on... >deep sigh<
I've arranged some other house viewings (and done a couple of them), but my stress levels are pretty high... If this is the property equivalent of a live birth thread, then I'm in an extended stage one, and I want some gas and air!
Don't stress about it flow your plan sounds sensible to me. You must have a look at what else is available even if that only affirms your original choice. It'll give you food for thought and a better way to assess value of house #1 by providing comparison points.