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To buy a flat with a 60 year lease?

(35 Posts)
Flossyfloof Mon 03-Apr-17 16:39:02

It will see me out, that's for sure, but I think ideally you would want a longer term? This flat is sticking, I think because the agents have tried to contact the freeholder to enquirer about extending the lease but not got any response.
My understanding is that the shorter the lease the less desirable the property, so aibu to buy if?

edwinbear Mon 03-Apr-17 16:40:03

I think you may struggle to get a mortgage on it if you need one?

MatildaTheCat Mon 03-Apr-17 16:42:07

I wouldn't because if you need to sell for any reason it will make life very difficult for you and may even make the property unmortgageable.

Enquire about extending the lease and see how much more it will cost.

FruitBadger Mon 03-Apr-17 16:46:13

No necessary unreasonable, but your choice of mortgage lenders could be quite restricted (they will have a policy on minimum number of years remaining on the lease at the end of the mortgage term, so it depends if you need a mortgage and how many years your borrowing will last). You should also be careful that the purchase price reflect the short lease, the property won't be worth the same as it would with a long lease. Your ability to resell will be affected, both price and range of buyers (due to mortgage restrictions) if you wish to sell before extending the lease. You may also find that the longer you leave it to extend the lease, the more expensive it will become in relative terms.

Make sure you fully understand what you're getting into before you commit.

pilates Mon 03-Apr-17 16:46:19

I wouldn't, it doesn't reflect well on the freeholder if he doesn't answer enquiries. Also, not sure you would be able to get a mortgage with such a short term which also limits who you could sell to.

Flossyfloof Mon 03-Apr-17 17:42:51

I first viewed it in December. There seemed to be an issue between one office and another. I was asking about the freeholder and the other office said they did know who the freeholder was but they couldn't tell the office I was in! 🙀
Hasn't thought about the mortgage issue, thanks. Looks as though they are going to have real problems selling it.

ImperialBlether Mon 03-Apr-17 17:43:37

No way! You might as well rent.

aintnothinbutagstring Mon 03-Apr-17 17:50:49

Not many mortgage lenders would lend on less than I think 80yrs and you would only be able to sell to cash buyers at a much reduced rate. The seller should have extended the lease before putting on market or make clear in the advert they're selling to cash buyers only. Seems lots of people are unaware on how length of lease affects value of leasehold properties, it's really worth educating yourself on it before taking the plunge and buying one.

Flossyfloof Mon 03-Apr-17 17:59:26

Thanks very much. I believe the owner died, leaving the flat to a friend who has decided to sell it. Freeholder must be someone else. But surely they would have to be contactable if a sale were to actually go through? Because presumably there would be a new contract?

senua Mon 03-Apr-17 18:12:54

You have the right (after two years, so then 58 years left) to extend the current lease, by a further 90 years, so you will end up with a 148 year lease.
The fewer years left, the cheaper the lease (so it's cheap now).
Conversely, the fewer years left, the more expensive to extend (in 2 years' time).

Lenders won't like a 60 year lease but if you can buy now for cash it's a foot on the property ladder. You can then move up to the next rung (extend the lease) when you can afford it.

SillySongsWithLarry Mon 03-Apr-17 18:16:56

I bought a flat with a 72 year lease because it was so much more affordable than any other flat. It cost me £6k to extend the lease. The longer you leave it, the more it costs. If your lease term expires you lose the flat.

DarrylsLilAssKicker Mon 03-Apr-17 18:17:07

No! The freeholder can charge what they like for lease extension. I've seen £20,000, and never less than £10,000. Just a bad idea.

DarrylsLilAssKicker Mon 03-Apr-17 18:18:20

Sorry, YWBU.

ZaraW Mon 03-Apr-17 18:19:06

It's not First Port originally called Peverel as it sounds like their incompetence. If it is avoid at all costs they have a really bad reputation.

Toomanycats99 Mon 03-Apr-17 18:19:24

If you like the flat and cn trace the freeholder you can extend lease with sale. So my flat had 72 years I think. £8k to extend. The vendor paid £8k to freeholder at same time they paid me the balance.

Flossyfloof Mon 03-Apr-17 20:01:36

I haven't tried yet to trace the freeholder but I do have a possible connection! I get the impression, possibly quite wrongly, that it's an individual. They are likely to be fairly elderly when the lease expires so I would have thought it in their interest to extend it now. I think I will pursue that line along with every thing else. I can't understand why the agent hasn't bothered. Surely there must be ways and means!

Whatthefudger Mon 03-Apr-17 20:17:46

Noooo. You won't get a mortgage I don't think. If it's just a solitary freeholder they may want to sell it. Otherwise extending it is a ballachy expensive do

Natsku Mon 03-Apr-17 20:27:01

Forgive my ignorance here but leaseholds mean you buy a flat but its only yours for a set period of time and then you have to give it back?? That seems like a rather bad deal for buyers.

Olivialoves Mon 03-Apr-17 20:40:36

I'm pretty sure if the lease holder can't be found, and you make attempts by certain means (newspaper etc) then you can petition the court to buy the lease.

edwinbear Mon 03-Apr-17 20:52:55

www.lease-advice.org/

OP have a look at the link to the Leasehold Advisory Servive who have lots of information on this. DH and I once sold a flat with less than 80 years on the lease (the short lease hadn't been highlighted to us by our conveyancer) and the stress and expense of forcing the leaseholder to extend, as was our right and a condition imposed by our buyer, was an experience I never want to repeat.

The leaseholder as Natsku suggests, truly believed our flat would revert to them once the lease expired and they had planned to give it to their grandchildren. You can imagine the fall out once it was highlighted to them this wasn't how it worked. We were backed into a corner as we needed to move and they knew it. I think it cost us about £20k (plus expenses) on a flat worth about £300k and our lease had only dropped to 70 something years. I'd give it a very berth personally.

caroldecker Mon 03-Apr-17 20:53:06

Leaseholders cannot charge what they like to extend the lease. There is a negotiation, but you can appeal. the calculation is the 'marriage' value, ie the difference between the current lease length and the freehold.
Buying a long lase/freehold interest is not necessarily automatic for a flat - check with a solicitor.
Also check management charges etc

edwinbear Mon 03-Apr-17 21:11:23

carol I agree, but the time and expense of taking it to tribunal meant in our case, we just paid so we could get on with our move. I think the valuation we obtained was something like £8k and theirs was £20k, as it's not an exact science. <shudders thinking back to the whole debacle>

AllFurCoatNoKnickera Mon 03-Apr-17 21:38:17

Our first flat had a 58 year lease on it. Our lender stipulated we had to have 30 years left on the lease at the end of the borrowing time before approving the mortgage. Waited the two years and extended the lease for 15k and the value doubled overnight so it was worth it for us.

I personally don't think ywbu but it is hassle you don't necessarily need when the process of buying a property is stressful in itself

ZigZagIntoTheBlue Mon 03-Apr-17 22:14:29

My lease on my old flat was about £200 to extend from 80 to 100 (the max term available for that block) we did it whilst buying which was an unnecessary pain in the bum. If I did it again I would buy first then extend. Good luck!

Flossyfloof Mon 03-Apr-17 22:22:47

Brilliant advice, thank you so much.

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