Looking for flats in Edinburgh - what price range to look at?

(81 Posts)
FrozenFlowers Wed 30-Jan-13 18:48:37

Hi - I have posted this in both Edinburgh Local and Property/DIY.

We're about to start flat hunting in Edinburgh. We are seeing a mortgage advisor on Monday, but are reasonably sure that (all being well) our ceiling price will be £175k.

Basically - I don't know which flats to look at! I am assuming anything fixed price that is £175k or under is worth considering, but other than that I'm just not sure. I don't want to be looking at things that are on for, say, offers over £170k and then finding that actually people are expecting to get £185-190k for them. Conversely, I don't want to find out that I could have been looking at flats on for offers around £180k or £185k and having a decent shot at getting them for £175k!

I know this kind of thing is quite local, and I hope once we've got a solicitor he/she might be able to give us a steer, but does anyone have any advice until then? I'd like to know what I can be looking at on the Internet to start with!

IrnBruTheNoo Wed 30-Jan-13 19:16:06
IrnBruTheNoo Wed 30-Jan-13 19:18:47

Some of the nicest parts are Balerno, Currie, Trinity, Barnton (v pricey), Juniper Green and then you've got East Lothian which contains towns like Haddington and North Berwick (again, very pricey).

It all depends on what you're wanting flat-wise. Do you want a garden area, how many bedrooms, local amenities close by, etc?

LifeofPo Wed 30-Jan-13 19:24:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LifeofPo Wed 30-Jan-13 19:25:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FrozenFlowers Wed 30-Jan-13 20:40:08

We're looking for two bedrooms, and not bothered about a garden. Must have a decent kitchen - we've got a lot of kitchen stuff and cook a lot. We also don't have a car and can't drive (not for want of trying to learn), so it needs to be on a good bus route into town for work. I've seen quite a few suitable flats, but am mainly wondering if it is worth looking at things on the market for more than £175k (or at least offers over £175k) or if that's just mental. My bigger fear is that I am blithely looking at flats priced at offers over £165k thinking they are well within budget, and then finding out that they aren't!

LifeofPo Wed 30-Jan-13 20:43:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

upinthehills Wed 30-Jan-13 20:54:52

The home report is your friend - unless it is fab and there is limited supply of it's type it should go for near the home report valuation. Home reports are free and you can request them before you view a property.

Do you know Edinburgh? Want to be near town, have the city lifestyle, permit parking or out with the permit zones. Do you have kids, are schools important?

A few years ago 2 double bedroom flats in Bruntsfield with a dining kitchen was going for £250k

FrozenFlowers Wed 30-Jan-13 21:19:29

No kids yet, probably not on the cards for a year or two so no real concerns about schools. We live just off Leith Walk at the moment, and I know Leith a bit. Otherwise I don't know the areas we can afford to look in that well - as a student I lived in areas that would be well beyond our reach like Marchmont and Stockbridge! Lots of flats/houses I see in our bracket are in areas I basically know nothing about like Granton or Clermiston. I suppose I just need to get on the bus and go and have a look round.

LifeofPo Wed 30-Jan-13 21:30:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FrozenFlowers Wed 30-Jan-13 21:41:31

Ooh that's nice. I suppose you don't get if you don't ask, and nothing to lose by asking!

expatinscotland Wed 30-Jan-13 21:44:09

Plenty of nice ones in Newhaven in that range. My mate just sold a lovely 2-bed, 2 bath main-door, ground-floor with two parking bays for near that price in Newhaven.

13Iggis Wed 30-Jan-13 21:50:40

If you're not buying with kids in mind, definitely go for a flat not a house - you'll get a much nicer flat, closer to the town. Nice houses cost a lot!
If you didn't need a big kitchen, I'd sell you mine wink

FrozenFlowers Fri 01-Feb-13 21:55:30

Went to see this one this evening.

Flat was absolutely beautiful, nicer (and even bigger!) than it looks in the pictures. But I'm a bit worried about the area. I've always thought it seemed fine - not the most gorgeous street in the world, but not too bad, and I tend to figure nothing too terrible will happen to you on a reaosnably lit main road. But when I told my boss where I was going, he was totally horrified and said it was really horrible and rough.

The couple currently living in the flat seem very "naice" and have owned it for seven years. They said all the neighbours in the stair are other owner occupiers and they've never had any trouble. Obviously, it wouldn't be in their interests to say it was terrible though. Is it really that bad? It's the first one we've looked at and it's not totally perfect, so I'm not thinking of jumping to offer immediately anyway, but should I really rule it out straight away on basis of area?

LifeofPo Fri 01-Feb-13 22:07:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FrozenFlowers Fri 01-Feb-13 22:25:20

It is more towards the leith walk end, before you get to Henderson Street. My boss was particularly concerned about the Tam O Shanter pub, which is at number 39 (flat is number 55).

The emphasis on the piano did make me laugh. I think the schedule might have said they would consider negotiating on selling some of the contents, but nothing specific about the piano. I didn't think to ask to be honest, because I can't play anyway, and once I've spent all my money on moving house I won't be able to afford to learn!

13Iggis Fri 01-Feb-13 22:46:42

I don't think you'd use the Tam O'Shanter as your local! I would have lived there pre-kids (I lived somewhere equally scary) and would be very happy with a flat with that gorgeous kitchen. Worth visiting the street at different times if you get serious about the flat. At least it is a main road - no dark alleys, straight off bus and into the flat. It would cost more somewhere else, obviously. I wouldn't write it off, bet your boss lives in Morningside wink

FrozenFlowers Fri 01-Feb-13 22:56:23

No I definitely don't think I'd be actually going in!

He lives in Granton, which I wouldn't have thought was necessarily top of the tops but there you go.

I think I won't rule it out on basis of location, but possibly on basis of "up three flights of quite steep tenement stairs". We don't have any kids at the moment, but I imagine we might want to have one before we move again, and I don't think it would be very practical hoiking a baby up and down them!

underthemountain Sat 02-Feb-13 11:24:41

I lived not far from there pre children (and until our first child was two). I agree that the steps would be more of a problem than the street (although helpfully elevating you above the street of course!).

FrozenFlowers Sat 02-Feb-13 15:12:11

I feel a bit concerned about the stairs - I haven't seen very many flats I really like so far which aren't up stairs to be honest! At least newer buildings sometimes have lifts though. We live in a third floor flat with no lift now, but it's in a newish building, and the stairs aren't very steep or windy. I suppose nightmare stairs the price you pay for lovely high ceilings, unless you get a main door or ground floor.

Roseformeplease Sat 02-Feb-13 15:16:09

We paid well below asking price for a flat (3 bed, New Town, ground floor) 2 years ago. I think there are bargains to be had but we were happy to do up a real pit. I would go for the worst house on the best street. We looked at 2 new builds but they did not pass the "cough" test (or fart) and you could hear everything. Buses are brilliant so travelling in is not an issue.

FrozenFlowers Sat 02-Feb-13 15:19:10

I'm not sure we'll be in much of a position to do something up to be honest. We won't really have any money to speak of left once we've spent it all on deposit/moving costs/furniture, and we've got no useful DIY skills either!

IrnBruTheNoo Sat 02-Feb-13 16:59:24

"But when I told my boss where I was going, he was totally horrified and said it was really horrible and rough. "

It's in Leith, enough said.

IrnBruTheNoo Sat 02-Feb-13 17:01:26

"Granton"

Granton is about on a par with Pilton, IMO.

poozlepants Sat 02-Feb-13 17:10:00

The days that Junction Street was a hole are long gone. Our friend had a flat there in the late '80s and it was rough then but not for years. My first flat was round the corner in Constitution Street and I couldn't believe it when it sold for about £250,000k a few years back.(we bought it for (£48,000) Other friends lived in the old bond conversions in Junction Street. It's really great location for buses to town, the Ocean Terminal is at the other end with the cinema etc, there is the baths, 5 mins walk to The Shore, 5 minutes walk to the Links, 5 mins to Leith Library.
The top floor thing is another matter. Bad for stairs but away from street noise and neighbours above you.

expatinscotland Sat 02-Feb-13 17:12:41

That flat is too high up. I'd keep looking.

13Iggis Sat 02-Feb-13 17:49:05

Yet both Granton and Pilton have areas of modern new housing that is far from cheap.
I think in Edinburgh you have to start by deciding whether you can only accept character properties, or don't mind new builds - makes a massive difference to your options.

IrnBruTheNoo Sat 02-Feb-13 19:27:30

Then there's Craigmillar. Seems to be sprouting new housing too...

IrnBruTheNoo Sat 02-Feb-13 19:29:27

Have you considered Newington?

FrozenFlowers Sat 02-Feb-13 22:35:00

I've considered Newington in the sense that I consider I can't afford it.

The idea of Leith doesn't put me off per se. I live just off Leith Walk now (albeit up towards the town end) in a new(ish) build. If I could buy a flat in Morningside/Marchmont/New Town wherever then I would do it, but I don't think £175k is going to cut it somewhere like that. And short of a lottery win, or waiting until I'm 85, I don't think I'm ever likely to have much more to work with!

IrnBruTheNoo Sat 02-Feb-13 22:44:07

Currie is a lovely area, and you'd be in the catchment for Balerno High (has a fantastic reputation). It is slightly further out than Morningside/Marchmont areas, but a lovely part of the city. Not sure that you'd find a flat there though...hmm...what about Gilmerton? Not as pricey as Currie, but an OK area (once viewed a few semi detached houses here).

FrozenFlowers Sat 02-Feb-13 22:50:37

Not really very familiar with Currie (other than as the home of the driving test centre!) or Gilmerton. Will have a look.

LifeofPo Sun 03-Feb-13 09:25:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FrozenFlowers Sun 03-Feb-13 09:39:14

Mmm...not really sustainable without a car then. Oh well, I'm sure we'll find something, even if if it is in Leith! I think on balance I'd be happier in an ostensibly scummy area that's 15 minutes to work/town on the bus, than I would be an hour out in an apparently nicer area. I'm not inclined to take much account of secondary school catchment areas for my as yet unconceived child - secondary school admission issues are probably about 12-15 years down the line for me!

13Iggis Sun 03-Feb-13 09:54:55

Leith has a vibrant life/culture of its own. Not scummy!
I think you are still in the flat stage of life and should save the move to a semi-detached in liberton or gilmerton until you have 2 kids smile
Good luck with the solicitor appt.

FrozenFlowers Sun 03-Feb-13 09:59:41

You're right. I had a bit of a panic last night but actually I think it will probably be fine. And anyway the mortgage advisor might tell us to jog on and then it will be academic anyway.

LifeofPo Sun 03-Feb-13 10:00:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

IrnBruTheNoo Sun 03-Feb-13 10:11:07

"Currie isn't really in edinburgh though"

Neither is Leith, locals in Leith do not tend to associate themselves with being from Edinburgh, they tend to say they're from Leith. DH says it's completely seperate, as do a few others I know who've lived in Leith all their days...

LifeofPo Sun 03-Feb-13 10:15:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

IrnBruTheNoo Sun 03-Feb-13 10:16:12

DH is laughing at it taking 1hr from Currie into centre of the town by bus. He done it for years and no way did it take that length of time to get into the town.

yellowsnownoteatwillyou Sun 03-Feb-13 10:17:53

Type in abbeyhill in the road and there is a 2 bedroom hrs floor flat that would fit your requirements.

Excellent bus routes and really nice area, I've just sold mine in the same stair, lived there for 10 years. Pm me if you like it for inside gossip.

IrnBruTheNoo Sun 03-Feb-13 10:18:03

Agree, it's not as easy to walk into the centre of town from Currie quite as easily as Leith. But Currie/Juniper Green/Balerno areas much nicer place to live in long term.

yellowsnownoteatwillyou Sun 03-Feb-13 10:18:25

That was meant to say espc not road.

IrnBruTheNoo Sun 03-Feb-13 10:19:01

"abbeyhill"

NOW, this is a fantastic place to live if you want a flat. All within easy reach of the town, walking, getting public transport, right next to Hollyrood Park.

LifeofPo Sun 03-Feb-13 10:19:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tothesea Sun 03-Feb-13 10:19:30

How about Ferry Road area? I have see a few flats at offers around the £160/170 mark and it is close to nice park, Ocean Terminal, Newhaven harbour for cafes and restaurants etc and good schools for the future!

IrnBruTheNoo Sun 03-Feb-13 10:19:50

DH has a friend who lives in this area of town, too (friends scattered all over the city!)

LifeofPo Sun 03-Feb-13 10:19:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

IrnBruTheNoo Sun 03-Feb-13 10:21:05

Can't believe I never thought of Abbeyhill to begin with, it's so bloody obvious! It's a fantastic part of the city to live in, if you're after a flat only.

yellowsnownoteatwillyou Sun 03-Feb-13 10:23:16

Can't do a link stupid kindle, it's fixed price 145k

IrnBruTheNoo Sun 03-Feb-13 10:25:50
yellowsnownoteatwillyou Sun 03-Feb-13 10:28:26

It's a lovely area, I've moved out of Edinburgh now, but loved staying there, so quiet but so close to town, walking home after nights out doesn't take long, straight down the mile, and you have so many things on your do it step. Have lived there as car owner and bus user, never a problem.

13Iggis Sun 03-Feb-13 10:31:32

I will remember mumsnet in a couple of months when we need to finally move on from our (lovely, but 2 bed) flat to a 3 bed affair somewhere for not much more money! (Dh wants a 4-bed in Dunfermline, I'm somewhat hmm about it).

Abbeyhill great location, I agree.

LifeofPo Sun 03-Feb-13 10:46:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LifeofPo Sun 03-Feb-13 10:48:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I'm another Edinbugger who has looked at buying recently

I'd consider areas like:
polwarth
bellevue
chesser
corstorphine/gyle
the maltings
newington is an option - the wall between beds 2 and 3 is almost certainly a stud which could be very easily removed to give a lovely big room

Slightly less vibrant but I have viewed these flats and the area is lovely and you could stay put for longer if you have children - ravelston

IrnBruTheNoo Sun 03-Feb-13 12:23:00

Dunfermline used to be nice until the area has been tarnished by the huge development known as Duloch. There's no community spirit now, just lots of new builds that all look the same. A friend of mine's was told by her father that they are not good quality houses, in that they're knocked up a super fast speeds. Lots of snags come with these houses. You also don't get much house for your money now...

13Iggis Mon 04-Feb-13 23:14:35

Ah, I wonder is that the same bit they call 'the eastern expansion' on the espc website?
Thanks for that info. don't want to move to Fife anyway

IrnBruTheNoo Tue 05-Feb-13 09:38:13

Yes, Duloch is basically the Eastern Expansion. We were warned to stay well clear of it (but never had any intention of buying a property there anyway!).

13Iggis Tue 05-Feb-13 18:35:53

Oh but the joy of a family room/en suite/spare bedroom - all unobtainable to most in the city!
I was driving through Colinton, Currie and Balerno, all looked lovely (the snow helps!) but very expensive I imagine. May have a rummage on the espc tonight smile

IrnBruTheNoo Tue 05-Feb-13 19:40:29

We couldn't afford a property in Currie, though we did view a few semi-detached ones a few years back in that area. Bedrooms were very pokey.

ditziness Tue 05-Feb-13 22:40:34

Portobello !

http://m.espc.com/?saleType=Sale&beds=0&locType=text&area=Portobello&radius=0.5&longitude=0&latitude=0&house_type=&min_price=&max_price=&search=Search&sort=price-ASC&p=3&propref=315332&cs=1

ditziness Tue 05-Feb-13 22:49:37

We bought a flat in December and were advised that we should look upto ten grand more than we could offer. But also if we really loved somewhere to mak cheeky offers. We bought our flag for bang on what they were asking.

Would reccomend the centre for independent mortgage advise on leith walk. Greg'll walk you thru the whole thing , as cool as a cucumber! X

underthemountain Wed 06-Feb-13 10:51:31

This one has a fantastic kitchen-www.espc.com/properties/details.aspx?pid=316720&sid=3735020375 (although second double bedroom is windowless and I don't know what the road is like to live on).

LifeofPo Wed 06-Feb-13 12:37:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

13Iggis Wed 06-Feb-13 13:02:56

How strange! Though I think I would write it off because of no window, ds's room is in almost constant darkness due to his blackout curtains - maybe would be fine!
For a couple, it could be a cool tv room/junk room/sex dungeon.

yawningbear Wed 06-Feb-13 13:25:41

Definitely the one in Porty, Regent street, tis lovely in Porty. Also the Cornhill Terrace one would be worth investigating, there is one on Ryehill Terrace for offers around 175 as well. Good time of year to be looking.

underthemountain Thu 07-Feb-13 12:14:23

Good thinking 13Iggis!

I would love the view from this one but I think having a lift might bump the factoring fee up quite a bit.

underthemountain Fri 08-Feb-13 09:50:24

This is nice too, maybe too pricey though.

FrozenFlowers Wed 13-Feb-13 17:10:55

We looked at a place on Coburg Street in Leith yesterday, but today our solicitor said he doesn't think much of that street because "until a couple of years ago that's where the hookers hung around". A bit of research suggests that it was the site of the prostitution tolerance zone, but that was over a decade ago, and it was then moved over to Salamander Street. So I'm not sure whether to set much store by that opinion. Lots of people I speak to seem to absolutely hate Leith (although interestingly none of them live there) - I've always thought it seemed fine, but I'm starting to lose all confidence in my own judgement.

We looked at a nice place on Parsons Green Terrace near Meadowbank but someone else bought it the day after! Shame, as it has been on the market ages.

We've also seen a couple of flats on The Green in Davidsons Mains. It seems nice round there, so maybe that's a goer?

Piffpaffpoff Wed 13-Feb-13 17:23:40

Duloch's not that bad!!! It's certainly totally different from Edinburgh life but seeing as nearly everyone here has moved from Edinburgh you're at least all in the same boat. If you've got kids and you need more space for not too much money then it's ideal but you do need to pick your spot carefully, there are some really nice bits and some really icky bits. And school catchment is a huge ongoing problem depending on where you live.

Anyway, now that I've got that my chest - OP, what about Slateford or Polwarth?

FrozenFlowers Wed 13-Feb-13 17:26:33

Don't know those areas really but have spotted a couple of things in Slateford that might be worth a look.

ditziness Wed 13-Feb-13 21:41:20

portobello! seriously!

Davidson's Mains is lovely. Polwarth can be very nice too - worth checking out school catchment areas as chunks (or possibly all I can't remember) fall in to V good school (Boroughmuir high)

13Iggis Thu 14-Feb-13 10:17:06

Frozen did you get some good advice from your solicitor the other day?
Piffpaffpop - I'd be really interested in knowing which are the good/bad areas if you have time for a PM grin

FrozenFlowers Thu 14-Feb-13 10:30:03

Well... Sort of. Mainly he told us he didn't like the street! More usefully he said the resale record for newer builds in Leith is poor. This particular flat is being sold by a developer who bought it from the bank - the building was built just before the crash and the original developer couldn't shift them. They were all tenanted for a while but now they've mostly been refitted and sold on so the building is filled with owner occupiers. I think it would suit us very well, and we wouldn't be looking to move for a good while (it is a good size). My main fear is that it was lose a lot of value and we'll have problems remortgaging. This is a general worry I have about everything we've seen, but is a bigger concern for a newer building.

PaythePiper Fri 15-Feb-13 09:53:31

I have some experience with new builds, both in Leith and in Granton- with the first I feel I was VERY lucky to have sold it before the big crash. I didn't have to unload the Granton one myself as that was part of a split with my ex but he really struggled to sell it and lost some money on it in the end. My parents are trying to sell a newer build in a good area and finding it very hard to get a buyer. Personally I will never buy new again but I do understand why you would and that sometimes a place does tick the boxes.

As far as Leith goes, I do think the area tends to be a mixed bag- in many ways it's been regenerated (the Shore amenities are very nice) but I don't think it's quite there yet. Even in a "nice" part of the Shore area there was some...interesting night activity, shall we say. There are some places I wouldn't be at all keen on but others may be OK, depending on your criteria.

PM me if you want to discuss gory details in private!

PaythePiper Fri 15-Feb-13 09:59:44

Oh and the other thing I would add- definitely check the previous sale value record, if the property has one. Zoopla is my go-to site for that. I also think an asking price really depends on how long the property has been on the market, is it likely to go quickly, etc. The forums on the site Housepricecrash.co.uk also make for interesting reading. I'd say the days of expecting a good increase on an offer over price are OVER- other than for really desirable properties. For anything that has been sitting any length of time I would definitely go in with a very low initial offer. The worst they can do is say no.

poozlepants Fri 15-Feb-13 16:28:51

I don't think I'd buy a new build in Leith there are hundreds of them and difficult to sell on. If that's what would suit you I'd rent one in the area you want and see if you like it there before you decide.
There's a whole section of Edinburgh folk who have never been East of John Lewis and still spew out the whole Leith is manky line. It's ridiculous.
We sold our house in Portobello to a retired couple from Corstorphine who were literally gobsmacked that Portobello was so nice. In 50 years they or their friends had never been there although they bypassed it when they went out golfing to East Lothian.

theborrower Sat 23-Feb-13 09:28:54

Joining this thread a wee bit late...

@ditziness - is that yours? ;-)

I second the Porty flat - I live in Porty and LOVE it. We've just sold and I've thought about that one too, but I think the way in is up a steep flight of external steps - bit awkward with a buggy, I imagine. Nice quiet street though.

We've got our fingers crossed that a (rare) 3 bed ex council in the area comes up soon (and don't any of you jump in there first!)

13Iggis Sat 23-Feb-13 11:45:07

Ooh, 3 bed in Portobello sounds perfect for us! (Mwahaha)

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