Ready-to-move-in vs. 'project' house?! Aaargh - how to decide?!

(103 Posts)
flow4 Tue 23-Apr-13 00:26:07

I'm going round and round in circles, and just wonder whether any of you good people might have any information, ideas or opinions that might help me make some decisions... confused grin

I found a house I liked - not perfect, but very nice and practical, for £130k. It has a new, good quality kitchen and bathroom, but will need rewiring and a bit of patching up. Unfortunately (a) the vendor isn't ready to move and doesn't want to be hurried, and (b) it's probably only worth £125, and maybe not even quite that, since the local market is stagnant. I offered and was rejected, raised and was rejected again, and we've stalled... So I started looking again.

I'm thinking again about another house I saw last summer, but rejected at the time because it needs so much work. It will need a new kitchen, bathroom, a wall that has been put up in a silly place knocking down again, rewiring, a new gas CH/hot water system, and total redecoration. It's in a better location with a great, open view. It also has new windows and doors, compared with 10-15yo ones on the other house. It's on the market at £120, but has been for almost a year, so could probably be bought for £110-115k.

Both houses are ex-council 3 bed semis with garages, with good gardens, on similar sized patches, in different but nearby villages.

Other similar houses are to be found for around £130-140k, but I haven't seen any I like yet.

The question is, is £15k enough to do the work that the second house will need? I'm estimating costs as follows, with some work done at 'mates rates'...
Bathroom - £2k
Kitchen - £4k
Walls knocking down, possible RSJ and replastering - £4k
New boiler and system - £4k
Redecoration (labour and paint) - £1k
Do these figures sound reasonable? (I'm in Yorkshire btw).

Also, both houses will need rewiring; does anyone know what I should budget for that?

In my dreams, I'd also like a little garden room extension and an basic loft room... What sort of ball park figures should I pencil in?!

The other question, of course, is whether I can face taking on so much work! I don't know the answer to that one yet, so if anyone has any experiences they'd like to share of their own house projects, please do! (I would be able to stay in my current house while work is being done on a new one, for a month or so anyway).

Sorry for such a long post, and thank you if you've read all the way though... I'm a single parent, and need someone to talk all this through with really; but if you lot are happy to help, I might be able to stop my head exploding!

flow4 Sun 28-Apr-13 15:44:58

Right. I've put in an offer of £108k. Gulp! shock

AliceWChild Sun 28-Apr-13 16:11:54

grin look forward to hearing what they say

flow4 Sun 28-Apr-13 17:15:49

Me too! I think! confused grin
I also submitted a breakdown of estimated costs, to show the EA and vendor that I didn't pull the figure out of nowhere. I'm a bit worried that this might offend him - presumably he thinks that ridiculous wall is in a fantastic place, since he put it there! Ho hum, 'tis done now!

mamapants Sun 28-Apr-13 17:55:42

I think if you are doing all the work then the cost of buying the house and doing the work should be less than the market value. Not everyone is willing to do work so price should reflect that.
I bought a house 3 yrs ago for 85k spent 12k so total cost 97k and sold it for 128k. So the hard work was definitely worth it.
Doing the same now, just bought a do-er uper (practically a knock down and start again) but know its worth it because we will have a much better house for our budget than if we were buying one all done.
It does depend on your priorities though. And we do have a budget to rent while we're doing the work and have factored that in. We also have a little baby and want another one so are letting ourselves in for months of hard work.
Good luck on your offer! I think its really exciting to have a project and sit in a house knowing you helped put it together and that you get to choose everything.

mamapants Sun 28-Apr-13 17:59:59

Sorry long moider. Above message should just have read good luck :-)

flow4 Sun 28-Apr-13 18:11:27

grin mamapants!
Thank you. The thought processes are interesting too... I've been turning everything over and over in my mind, just like that!
'Moider' is a great word! I haven't heard it before, but have just found it in the Urban Dictionary - it's perfect for me! grin

coffeewineandchocolate Sun 28-Apr-13 18:27:02

Good luck! If you need a rewire do it first- you may need to replaster/ redecorate after....

flow4 Sun 28-Apr-13 19:07:35

Thank you! And yes... Knocking walls down first, then electrics! One of the big advantages of staying in the area I've lived in for 20+ years is that I already know good builders, plumbers, electricians, etc... smile

AliceWChild Sun 28-Apr-13 19:15:23

Like moider. Never heard of it either. I'm a good moiderer grin

Flow I'll totally understand if you don't want to, I'm pretty private online, but I would love to see the houses if you'd be happy pming a link? Totally understand if not. But I like looking a houses and as mine is about to complete I need some vicarious house hunting grin

flow4 Sun 28-Apr-13 19:41:59

I'm nervous about sharing the Rightmove link Alice, but I'll PM you a couple of pics. smile
It's a very average ex-council semi with a much better-than-average outside and a fantastic view!

flow4 Sun 28-Apr-13 20:50:40

Hmmm... Possible spanner in the works... My son picked up a bit of gossip from someone close to the vendor, who said the house sold yesterday... hmm Not something the EA mentioned today... hmm

Does anyone know? Would they have to tell me if another offer had been accepted?

AliceWChild Sun 28-Apr-13 21:07:20

Oh no! Don't know I'm afraid. Would have thought they'd tell you but then they can be weasels. In fact wracking brain there was a house I called about and was told it had sold the day before so they didn't take my enquiry further. But I guess there's scrupulous and not out there.

MmeLindor Sun 28-Apr-13 21:54:20

Could they be talking about your offer?

Ask me again in a month or two - we are going to start work on our do-er-upper next week and I can't wait.

I don't think your estimates are far out - we have similar prices. Rewire should be about £2 - 3k, based on our quotes.

flow4 Sun 28-Apr-13 22:35:04

Thanks Alice and MmeL. smile
Sadly not Mme, cos my son forgot to tell me yesterday, and I only made my offer this aft. I guess I'll just have to wait and see what happens tomorrow... confused

flow4 Mon 29-Apr-13 10:43:49

Is anyone around?! I've just had a call from the EA and it would be great to talk tactics with someone! grin

coffeewineandchocolate Mon 29-Apr-13 10:52:32

I'm here :-)

flow4 Mon 29-Apr-13 11:21:35

Thanks coffee smile Just got off the phone to my broker sorting mortgage options... confused

The EA says they've had another offer (and I know that's true) that's "not far off the asking price" of £120k (which may be an exaggeration: is £110 "not far off" in EA-Land, for instance?!). They ask if I want to increase my offer, which I do, but the Q is by how much? Shall I go back with a smallish increase - say £112 - or jump to £115? I don't think I should jump straight to £118/120, because I think that signals that I'm desperate for this house...

coffeewineandchocolate Mon 29-Apr-13 11:35:18

sounds as tho they are trying to play you off against each other. id leave it to the end of the day and give your best and final offer (make it an odd number like 114,650 so it sounds like you have had to scrabble about for the funds) then hold firm. a bidding war is the last thing you want. do you have any leverage? first time buyer? in rented? able to move quickly or work to their timescales? I would also highlight.

when we bought ours we gave a best and final and told them that we had another house we liked that we would offer on in 48 hours if they hadn't accepted. it worked! :-)

flow4 Mon 29-Apr-13 11:43:22

Thanks. smile I do also have some leverage - I have nothing to sell, so can work to their timescales (tho' I'm keen to be in by the summer hols if poss).
How do people hold their nerve with 'best and final' offers?!

coffeewineandchocolate Mon 29-Apr-13 11:52:11

it's hard but I concentrated on the fact that if it was the right place for our family it would work out. we also bought a house needing work so needed ad much cash add possible to complete it. good luck!

flow4 Mon 29-Apr-13 11:59:13

I like the idea that "If it's the right place for our family it will work out". I think I'll focus on that... smile
Increased offer now in. I won't give details, just in case call me paranoid anyone involved is watching!

PastaBeeandCheese Mon 29-Apr-13 12:04:09

Flow you're in an amazing position so hold your nerve. I'm willing to bet there is a good chance the other bidders aren't in such a strong position to proceed.

flow4 Mon 29-Apr-13 12:13:46

Thanks Pasta. I really, really, really want whisky now! (and I've not had a drink since February and barely one since October!) confused

I seem to have a knack of picking vendors who are not in a hurry to move, either. The last one hadn't found anywhere she wanted, and these ones aren't sure what they're doing...

I may have to go for a swim or something to deal with this huge rush of tension... But if I do that, the EA can't get back to me... confused confused

coffeewineandchocolate Mon 29-Apr-13 12:19:14

flow I think you live in the same area of the country as me. try not to worry- it's a buyer's market and there are lots of great affordable houses. if it's meant to be you will get it, if not you will get an even better one!

flow4 Mon 29-Apr-13 12:36:05

Thank you coffee. It's a great philosophy. I'm not very good at being laisse faire, I don't think! confused
I'm going to have a shower and see if that helps...

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