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Buying a flat - should I proceed

(15 Posts)
liinyo Wed 23-Mar-16 21:21:28

DH (after many years of hard graft) received a substantial amount of money when the business he is a very junior partner in was sold.

We debated long and hard about how to invest this money. There is no point in leaving it banks as it won't earn any interest and we eventually came up with the idea of buying a small flat in a very trendy, party-time seaside town that we love to visit. We could use it at weekends, share it with our DDs and various family members and friends and it would be a capital asset we could sell when we are older.

We found a tiny but beautiful conversion flat in a great location and offered the asking price. The survey threw up various minor issues which have been resolved but there is one major flaw in that alarge window needs replacing as it is warped and leaking. It is a grade 2 listed building and any replacement windows have to be handmade in materials and the style of the original Windows. The vendors ( a property development company based 200 miles away) have been delaying and prevaricating about this, and the estate agents seem unable to communicate well with the vendors or with us.

We are due to exchange and complete tomorrow and I was despairing of ever getting the window fixed so I proposed today that we could either reduce our offer by 1% and fix the window ourselves OR retain 1% of the purchase price until the window is fixed. I waited all day for an answer and at 6.30pm the estate agent emailed me to say she didn't have a response from the selling company and would be away for the next 2 weeks.

We cannot delay the purchase beyond next week as the stamp duty rules change then and would add £9000 to the cost of the flat, but I feel if I just bite my tongue and complete at the asking price I am being mugged off.

Should I go ahead and buy what really is a dream property and risk having to replace the window at our own expense at some point or stick to my guns and risk losing the flat?

just for the record DH loves the area and the flat as much as I do, but is very busy at work and is leaving this one up to me.

caroldecker Wed 23-Mar-16 21:37:24

Based on what you have said, they will not pay. Any other flat is going to cost you £9k extra for the stamp duty, so unless the window will cost more, buy it and fix it yourselves.

Bearbehind Wed 23-Mar-16 21:42:57

You are arguing over 1% of the purchase price???

Really hmm

It's a bloody expensive window if it's worth forsaking a dream property and incurring the stamp duty hike.

It sounds like the vendor couldn't care less who they sell to- if you want it then you need to suck this up.

whois Wed 23-Mar-16 21:51:16

Who is in the position of power?

Is the seller likely to be able to sell it for the same asking price to another buyer post stamp duty rise? If so, you're fucked. Just exchange and deal with it. You've already paid out in surveys.

If you think the delay and hassle of finding another buyer is a big issue for the seller, and finding a new flat for yourself is not a big issue - then stick to your guns.

TBH for 1% of the purchase price i'd suck it up and complete.

MyKingdomForBrie Wed 23-Mar-16 21:54:13

Doesn't matter if the estate agent is away! They're irrelevant to the legal process really, anyone in the company can hand over keys. Speak to your lawyer not the agent.

lalalonglegs Wed 23-Mar-16 22:12:52

The flat must cost £300k if the extra stamp duty is £9k. Unless the window is very, very specialised, it is unlikely to cost you £3k to replace it, unlikely to cost even £1k if the conservation officer isn't, for example, specifying hardwood frame etc. It is really annoying that it is work that has to be done but I think you should go ahead. I also think that you will need to speak to the freeholder and local conservation team before you go ahead which might explain why the sellers haven't been able to come back to you with any clear undertaking themselves.

liinyo Fri 25-Mar-16 00:07:26

Not for the first time MNetters kicked my arse and made me step up. After a very stressful day travelling around SE England dropping off various documents, we completed about 4pm. And I love, love, love it. The window is nearly fixed - we will have to pay out to refine it a bit, but on the whole it is pretty damn good.

Thank you everyone for your metaphorical kicks up the bum. Totally appreciated.


ChubbyPolecat Fri 25-Mar-16 00:11:02

Good news op I'm glad you got it!

lertgush Fri 25-Mar-16 00:18:04

Congratulations :-)

AvaCrowder Fri 25-Mar-16 00:26:27

Is it Rye?

sailawaywithme Fri 25-Mar-16 00:30:29


MattDillonsPants Fri 25-Mar-16 00:33:28

Has it got concrete gutters OP?

liinyo Sat 26-Mar-16 21:04:06

Hi Ava , not Rye. Rye is lovely, but quieter and a longer journey for us.

MatDillon. _ no concrete gutters as far as I know. Why? Should it have? Are concrete gutters a good thing? or a bad thing?

MattDillonsPants Sun 27-Mar-16 23:43:19

Oh good! No..concrete gutters are a bad's just when you said the window was warped...I took it to mean bowed...which can happen with concrete gutters....and then the whole thing has to be replaced!

liinyo Tue 29-Mar-16 22:58:37

Hi Matt

No, not concrete gutters. It has a massive metal velux style window which may or may not be warped and need replacing. This window also had rusty turning rod handles which have been replaced but the replacements have handles about an inch too long so if I try and open the windows more than about an inch the handles get stuck on the eaves. It isn't a problem atm but I want to get it fixed before the summer. It isn't a big thing but it is specialist.

On the plus side we ordered lovely sofa beds for the living room at the Ideal Home on Saturday. I am going down tomorrow to measure up the kitchen area as I really want to put a 50s style diner booth and table in there, but am not sure it will fit. I hope it will as I can remember sitting in a booth like that in the same town when I was a very little girl.

Now the stress is over, the fun can begin.

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