To think this sounds a bit dodgy?(37 Posts)
We have had an offer accepted on a flat, our first move from rented. Everyone is very keen to move quickly. The flat had been on the market for 3 months (Oct - Jan).
I'm now starting to get cold feet ... The flat is still lovely, but there are two things concerning me:
1. The vendors only bought the house in March 2012. So they decided to sell it 7 months later. The Estate Agent says they are moving back to France, where they're from, but he lies about everything so I have no idea whether or not this is true.
2. Survey says the downstairs flat looked unkempt. It looked fine to me when I went round, but I did see a slightly dodgy looking bloke ring the doorbell. I'm now not sure what that means. We are going to drive by tonight to suss out the area a bit more, but I don't know what else we can do.
The Estate Agent is putting lots of pressure on us to move quickly, and for financial and practical reasons it would be good to. Are we being paranoid, or does this sound dodgy to you?
I wouldn't trust an estate agent as far as I can spit. Which isn't very far. (With apologies to any MN estate agents who I am sure are absolutely lovely and full of integrity )
If the estate agent is pushing you it is because they have a deal that they are trying to complete, to get their commission. They aren't interested in your/your needs/your requirements, they only want to get their grubby mitts on the money.
This is a massive purchase for you and it's really important that you are absolutely sure that it's right.
I would be worried and annoyed about the estate agents harassment. Could be he just wants the sale but I cant help wondering if theres something dodgy going on. OP if it feels wrong then pull out. Go with your instincts.
Estate agents want their commission, & they will hound you. Get your solicitor to deal with them.
Hope the OP is alright & didn't get dragged into the crack den?
How did it go? With regard to the estate agent, I had similar when buying my first house. It was borderline harassment, especially as the delays were all down to the seller. Be very firm- say there are issues which have come up in the survey which need to be looked at. Also say please stop hounding me and ask them to not call you and to deal with your solicitor only (mine was great and had very strong words with the ea). it all got a bit much for me when mine started ringing me at work- my lovely boss had strong words with her in the end as I was in tears. I wanted to tell the then owner of her behaviour and how close I was to not proceeding due to her behaviour.
Before I bought a house I would have agreed withAKissIsNotAContract about unkempt not mattering. Now I think I should have taken the cat hair in the radiator as a sign that they didn't look after things properly.
Go and knock on the neighbours doors with a big smile. Say 'hi, we're thinking of moving in, and we were wondering what its like to live round here'. Be aware and trust your instincts. <I've fucked up in the past with that one, hence the paranoia>
Go check it out at different times of day, including 1 in the morning. <buy in haste, repent at leisure>
To be fair gertrudestein, I lived in a flat where...the upstairs neighbour set her flat on fire three weeks before Christmas (she was in the pub at the time so survived, thankfully) during a strike by the Fire service. The Army arrived with their Green Goddesses' and saved the night. On another occasion she put her paramour of the night out, he then wailed pitifully at her door 'V******a, can I at least get my hash back?'. Then, finally bowing to her indomitable weed stealing prowess, retrieved his pushbike from the McDonalds Drive-Thru bushes opposite and pedalled off into his sex and drug free evening. Was truly a comedic blessing and a PITA all at the same time. Please enjoy your first time as a property owner, you may dine out on the stories for the next few years, but it is a blessing really
quick sale may be nothing to do with downstairs etc.
We have lovley house, previous owners only lived here 2 years, had 2 boys, seems a great spot for a family, they were very involved (helped at cubs etc) We wondered why they had moved and then house turned out to have some mould issues which we think we have finally got on top of, and I wondered if they had moved because of that. I started to get paranoid.
Then met someone who knew them. The previous owner had worked for big local employer. They had had several months on reduced shifts. There was talk of long term redundancy. they had moved to massively downsize (wisely as employer has laid off loads of staff in the last 2 months). They had had a large mortgage and reduced it to the lowest they coudl in case he was made redundant.
I felt much better knowing it was nothing to do with the house.
Look round in the day time. Go read a book in the car and just check out who's around. Talk to any neighbours if they are out in their gardens (I know it's cold but they might be...) go sit in local cafes etc
More info needed before you can call dodgy.
Is the OP back?
Or has she been chopped up and fed to the pitbulls?
I could always blast Idlewild out at full volume
always worthwhile. i saw them live about fifty times. can't tell you exactly, as i lost count. used to be three times a fortnight in 1998...
I think there are a couple of things you need to find out. How is the freehold managed? Is there a company that is employed by the owners of the freehold that will be billing you for things like ground rent and maintenance charges? In other words, how are the joint costs managed?
Have you checked to find out if your management/maintenance fees are reasonable?
Also Google the name of your freeholders and any management company that they use. There are some absolute horrors about who are definitely to be avoided.
I'd actually be as concerned about finding out this information as I'd be about visiting at different times of the day and wondering about who is downstairs. After all, even if the downstairs neighbour is fine, sadly they could move.
Ok, so, armed with my biggest smile I will go round tonight (Saturday night!) and hope the neighbours are friendly. Blimey, am not sure I would be that friendly to a stranger on a Saturday night, but fingers crossed.
Bozzle I think you're right - we need to see the property once more in daytime I will see if DP can get some time off work.
Am really glad I asked. Why am I feeling pressured by the estate agent? He doesn't give a rat's arse about us, I'm sure ...
gertrude I think they are used to that!
maryz I used to live in London and when we viewed our flat the shared garden was full of geraniums, by the time bought it was full of staffies
and their copious shit which the neighbour used to push the lawnmower over boak
If,I was you I would be asking neighbours who's living there and if any issues have arisen. Estate agents work not for you but the sellers - take what they say with pinch of salt. S/he just wants the deal done... so you take your time and get questions answered. Your solicitor can find out if the flat below is owner occupied ( if not, who rents it if anyone?). If leasehold you have shared costs - this should all be documented and managed by someone , either company or flat owners themselves. You should be able to see accounts on expenditure and what the plan is for the future - like does roof need replacing? Is the house or building in good nick generally? How many times have you seen the building and flat and visit it not just at night time. Its a big purchase so you might need to take a half day off work and go and see it again. The vendors fill in forms where they can be asked specific questions. But I think its easier to lie on paper. Ask them direct and look them in the eye- how do they react to questions about the other flat owner/renter?
Oh, it's easy.
Knock on door. "hello, we are x and y, we want to buy the house upstairs. Can we access the garden, we just want to have a good look at <insert anything at all, roof, gutters, whatever>. By the way, lovely to meet you, have you been here long, is it a nice place to live? I love your
pitbulls geraniums, what lovely dead bodies curtains".
You'll get a good idea.
And if they tell you to fuck off and slam the door, do you want to live above them?
Thanks 25, I didn't know I could do that! You are right, of course. Am beginning to not like the estate agent very much ....
Ha! MaryZ, scary.
But excellent advice. Am not sure what to say if knocking on the door after the first 'hello' though. I'm trying to think how I would react if someone did that to me. Perhaps we could ask about the shared front garden. I've probably got to get over shyness for the sake of such an important decision.
Yes sorry - she can and she should! Don't be intimidated by the agent. Tell him the survey has highlighted a couple of issues that you have asked your solicitor to pursue. Tell him what the problem is as well and him if he is aware of any issues with the other flat.
It is probably nothing to worry about but you are spending alot of money and you want to be happy with your new home so it's worth checking it out
I quite agree mrsbunnylove! I could always blast Idlewild out at full volume and see how they respond ... Probably a good mark of character
Go and look in daylight, and then go over there tonight at about midnight and sit outside for half an hour or so.
Ask at the local police station.
Find out who owns the flat downstairs, and see whether you can find out any more about them - you are going to have to share costs of renovation, roof repairs etc over the years, so it's worth doing a bit of homework.
Don't be rushed into a quick closure. Give a date, and then stick to it. If the vendors aren't happy with that date, they can put it back on the market.
And finally - have you just knocked on the door? Knock and say "we are thinking of buying upstairs, so we thought we would just say hello". If the door is opened by a zombie, or if it smells of dead bodies, or if you can't see inside because it looks like this then maybe pull out.
gertrudestein says thats enough, i know that that's not enough now...
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