Madness to buy this house?

(14 Posts)
BobblesandBaubles Mon 23-Dec-13 22:13:24

We have absolutely fallen in love with a house which I think could be our forever home.

It came on the market 2 and a half years ago, and was way, way over our budget. It looked perfect for us but we didn't initially even look at it as we weren't really planning on moving, and there was no way we could afford it.

Fast forward to now, and we really do want to move (we would like a more rural location). Acquaintances have said that should we sell, they would be interested in buying our current house (we have not discussed detail). The property market where we are is OK - still very affected by the credit crunch, but things do move, so I think we should be able to sell (and a quick off-market sale to this family might be ideal).

The house we like has come down in price massively (£150k) and is now just affordable for us, although still at the top of our budget.

I'm really starting to feel nervous about the house we want to buy, though. Primarily because it has been on the market for so long, and although we love it I think I can see why. It is very quirky (basically an old building, part of which was commercial premises, with a new extension - think lots of glass, double height ceilings in parts, but also cosy rooms in the older part of the house), right on the road running through the village (as are all houses on the Main Street, and it's not a busy road, but still - it doesn't even have a strip of front garden), and is a semi (which doesn't bother me, but we would be moving from a detached house, and could easily buy another detached house for the price of the house we are considering). It is also in a very small village with almost no amenities, in a rural location. The quirkiness and the location are massive plus points for us (the other one being the huge back garden), but I can see that they might put other people off, and although we would plan on this being our forever home I wouldn't want to buy something we would really struggle to sell in case circumstances change.

WWYD? I can absolutely picture our family living here, it is perfect for our lifestyle and personality (if that makes sense), but obviously not everyone feels the same way. Would we be burdening ourselves with a house that we would have no choice but to live in forever?

Thinkingofmyfabfour Tue 24-Dec-13 10:17:34

We are in similar situation, considering move to more rural property which has been on market for over a year. One of my main concerns is if we didn't like it we would struggle to sell it on. It's price has only been reduced by £20k though, we would have to negotiate down a significant amount as it's clearly over- priced.
However if we loved it, we could stay there forever so selling on wouldn't be an issue.

specialsubject Tue 24-Dec-13 10:42:14

what is the market like in your area? Is 2 and a half years a long time, taking into account that it was ridiculously over priced?

don't fancy the heating bills for that place.

Thinkingofmyfabfour Tue 24-Dec-13 11:23:03

What % has come off original price? We are trying to decide how low to go. I think 20% but dh thinks that's too cheeky!

BobblesandBaubles Tue 24-Dec-13 11:56:52

It has come down from £775k to £625k, so it has come down by about (bit of a challenge for my mental arithmetic!) 18%. I suspect it was almost impossible to value as it's so unique, and that the amazing finish pushed up the original asking price.

The market is OK round about us - actually pretty good in current UK terms, and in the price bracket below (which we would be selling in) things are still moving, but larger and more expensive houses are definitely sticking around for much longer - it's not the only comparably priced house which has been on for this long.

Re heating bills, its energy efficiency rating is actually D, as the refurb has been so extensive, which is much better than anything else we've looked at. But I'm not sure that there is much scope for improving this, and I do worry that we'd never be able to get the new part of the house really cosy (v high ceilings / lots of glass/ underfloor heating). The bedrooms and sitting room in the original part if the house are very modestly sized however, and have traditional radiators, so should be easy to keep warm.

If I knew we could stay there foreve I think I'd buy it. But DH's job is very specialist, and whilst he isn't looking for a career move, if anything ever happened which meant he had to move jobs it would probably mean a major relocation for us.

lalalonglegs Tue 24-Dec-13 11:58:40

I think if it is right for you and you can afford it, you should buy it. People can wrap themselves up in knots worrying about resale. Its quirkiness may put some people off but attract others - I would guess that the reason it hasn't sold (assuming there have been no buyers that have pulled out) is because it was massively overpriced - £150k more two years ago when the market in many places was still falling sounds a huge amount.

BobblesandBaubles Tue 24-Dec-13 12:01:14

Thanks lala.

Thinking, I should say that we will still be aiming to buy this house for around the £600k mark, so less than even the reduced asking price, got to be worth a try?

Thinkingofmyfabfour Tue 24-Dec-13 12:19:23

Thanks bobbles that's really useful. Property in this area has also not done too badly overall but bigger rural houses have been sticking a bit and some going for less than asking price.
I can't quite understand why valuation is so high, it has potential but does need work done which will cost £££

So difficult to know- hope you can make a decision soon. I just phoned solicitor to let them know we won't be putting in offer this side of Christmas and she said they've had 3 offers in today (on other houses)!!
Good luck fsmile

Kitttty Tue 24-Dec-13 12:51:26

Sounds lovely - do you want to share the link with us....might get better advice - but are you worried someone will pounce on it?

How did the price come down over the past 2 years? In stages or in one big cut? Would not even think about the original price -- it was wrong. Also 600 on 625 is v reasonable offer....possibly lower?

Although unique - can you put it in a price band with other houses?
The surveyor would tell you what it is worth.

If you are happy with the price would not get too wound up about resale price - but would accept that realistically it might take longer to sell. You only need one buyer tho.

Only thing I would say is that doing it this way (finding a house first)...puts you at risk of over offering on what you are buying to secure it to get it taken off the market whilst you sell yours - and then accepting a low offer on yours to complete the chain in time -- possibly big gap.

Lottie4 Tue 24-Dec-13 14:31:43

Ask the agent if they have a full copy of the energy certificate. Some online here estimate heating and lighting costs for 3 years, as well as 3 main ways of improving efficiency and the approximate cost of doing that. It might give you some ideas on how it can be improved.

Our house is going on the market for £190,00 and the agent has told us to seriously consider anything above £180,000, so it's worth trying 5/6% less. I'm sure the sellers will be interested in trying to negotiate given it's been on the market so long.

Just because it's taken a long time to sell now, doesn't mean it will next time. I thought my old flat would take 18 months to sell (others in the block had) but sold it within 24 hours. We have allowed one early viewing on our present house (didn't want it on the market until after Xmas) and agent phoned within an hour saying she really likes it and wants to return after Xmas. She might not buy it, but this is really positive as others the same usually take 10 months.

Kitttty Tue 24-Dec-13 14:43:23

How long has it been on the market at this price? Do you think it could fall further?

Pizdets Tue 24-Dec-13 19:47:37

We're buying a house which went on for 570 in the first half of the year, then went down to 550, then 530. We offered 485 (cheekily!) And got it for 500, so definitely well worth an offer even though it's already been very reduced! It depends on the vendor's circumstances but if they're keen to move and aware of the market they might well have dropped the price to tempt out some offers.

Sounds like an amazing house, good luck whatever you do!

specialsubject Thu 26-Dec-13 10:43:02

you'll be able to find a full copy of the EPC online.

be aware that they are a joke. Many I've seen talk about putting in a wind turbine or solar panels. The latter usually come out at a cost of £3000 or so with an estimated saving of £30 a year. And they now give savings over a three year period to make it look better.

they do tell you the area of the house, whether the boiler is condensing and a few other things, but are often wildly inaccurate.

nice idea, useless execution.

Thinkingofmyfabfour Fri 10-Jan-14 16:38:14

Any update bobbles?
We made cheeky offer 15% under, then increased to about 8% under which is pretty generous for unloved house that's been for sale for almost 18 months.
They rejected saying they want only offers £20k over asking confused hmm

Can't think why it hasn't sold...I think we will walk away now, such a waste of time and energy (plus money we've spent getting our house ready to put on market (in excess of £1k) angry

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