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our offer on the house has been accepted -- now what?

(14 Posts)
JJ Mon 24-Jan-05 19:13:11

Thrilling news in that it was accepted, but we hadn't expected something to happen so soon and aren't quite sure what's required now. I know we need an attorney (anyone know someone - we're in E London) and a survey (how do you do that?) and a mortgage (that's under control, I think). What else? What should I expect? How often do things fall through? I'm so excited about this -- I want to 'manage my expectations' as my husband likes to say.

It's very different than the US, which is where we've bought houses (being Americans and having lived there and all ) . Anyway, the systems are so different, I'm having trouble knowing what we should and expect when.

Lonelymum Mon 24-Jan-05 19:16:19

The mortgage company often arranges the survey (you choose the level you want to pay for though). You definitely need to get a solicitor although I believe you can just use a conveyancer (someone who specialises in conveyancing). Good luck with it all. If things fall through, it can often be as a result of the survey or because there is a chain of people buying and selling and someone further up the chain makes thing difficult for everyone else.

spacedonkey Mon 24-Jan-05 19:17:09

hurray JJ, where is it? still in hackney?

Lonelymum Mon 24-Jan-05 19:17:18

Also, be prepared for a long wait. From offer to moving day is often three months. Don't know how that compares with the US.

JJ Mon 24-Jan-05 19:23:39

LM, thanks! We're prepared for the wait and are flexible about it as we're renting. Ideally, we'd move in about 3 months from now, but anytime after we get our mortgage until about 1 June is fine with us. Thank you, too, for the info about the survey -- I had no idea how to set it up! What are the different levels of surveying?

SD, it's right around the corner from where we are now. I love Hackney.

spacedonkey Mon 24-Jan-05 19:24:45

Excellent news

I am (fingers crossed) moving to earl's court in a couple of months

Lonelymum Mon 24-Jan-05 19:27:26

I'm a bit out of date and I am sure other Mners have more recent experience than me, but there used to be three levels of surveys:
1) very basic, just told you that the house was standing.
3) very detailed, only for use if the house is very old or you want to do major renovation, etc
2) in-between and what most people used.

I do think though that the mortage company can insist you have a certain survey done and if you want to have a more detailed one, that is entirely up to you.

Help! someone else advise here!

kolakube Mon 24-Jan-05 19:31:16

Good luck with it all. Once the survey is done (the idea behind it being that the mortgage company want to know they can get the amount they lend you back from the sale of the property if needs be) local authority searches are done. These can throw up any potential changes near the property that could affect you e.g. widening of the motorway leading to more noise etc. Then you "exchange" contracts and pay a 10% deposit - this is where things are more secure and have less chance of falling through as I think if the buyer drops out they will not get their money back. I'm not sure what happens if the vendor drops out. Finally you "complete" the purchase, pay all the money and start picking out new curtains.
It is v difficult not to start picturing yourself in your new home but until exchange the vendor could accept a higher offer than yours and bugger your plans. Fingers crossed for you.

Frizbe Mon 24-Jan-05 19:32:51

umm our last survey was arranged by the building society as part of the mortgage, they used their agents in the area, it came back saying things like, house not in a flood zone, house not in a mineing area, no heavy industry nearby, no structural damage, etc etc! so that's what to expect from that, usually takes them about 4-6 weeks to produce that, even though it can be done a lot quicker, ho hum.....
We just instructed a solicitor we were buying and gave them the estate agents details and they took it from there, getting all the info needed from the estate agents, we handed over the money when asked and moved! So that was our story...anyone else!

LIZS Mon 24-Jan-05 19:33:47

Hey JJ you are getting settled ! More details please !!

Your mortgage lender should be able to advise you of a suitable surveyor. If it is going to be used for their purposes (ie to check securiy of their loan then you should use someone off their panel list).There are different levels of survey, and that affects the detail of the report you get.
- basic valuation - to make sure lender isn't risking losing their money and may highlight work which needs doing to maintain the value of the property but not beyond.
- homebuyer's report - which looks at above plus perhaps more detail of what needs doing but still fairly superficial unless it is very obvious.
- full structural survey - should examine in detail things like roof , damp issues, rot. The surveyor should poke around in attic, cellar etc to get a full picture of the house and any modifications. If you have ideas for the house you can always ask him to look at their feasibility and costings for you.

You can organise your own independent surveyor but the bank or whoever is loaning the money may insist upon their own valuation too.

The buying procedure can be pretty longwinded, and could vary from weeks to months, although as you are chain-free that should help. The number of properties which are in the "chain" above you and what stage their sales have already reached may dictate the timescales. Your solicitor deals with the contracts and legal searches (to check for any outstading development plans in the local area such as neighbour's having extensions built, land redevelopment or new roads, exchange of money, correspondence with the vendor's solicitor etc.

I hate pretty much the whole thing (apart from nosing at houses of course), v stressful and the smallest detail can turn into a crisis, and dh won't let me deal with any of the estate agents or solicitors as he seems to think I can be too rude !! Yet we will probably go through it all again within the next year or so ( still assuming we come back this summer of course !).

Good luck

JJ Tue 25-Jan-05 08:40:50

Wow - thanks everyone. I now have a feel for what to expect. We'd like the whole hog survey, I think, just to be sure we won't run into any huge expenses in the next couple of years. One of the attractions of the house is the fact that it doesn't need any renovation.

LIZS, once we move I'll unpack. I still haven't done it! The people in the house want to move end March/ beg April, which is perfect for us. I'm very excited.

SM, Earl's Court! Sounds fun -- and closer to your boyfriend, right?

JJ Tue 25-Jan-05 19:51:32

Ok, why did no one tell me about stamp tax? ARHGGGHHH

And as we don't have a permanent right to reside here, we're having trouble getting a mortgage. ARGGHGHHGHGH

I'm calm.. I'm calm...

Kaz33 Tue 25-Jan-05 20:01:57

Oh yes stamp duty - up to 4% of value.

Space monkey - you are moving to my neck of the woods Earls Court, do you have a place lined up? If so where is it roughtly. We are of course trying to sell our flat but who knows when that will happen.

JJ Wed 09-Mar-05 16:12:07

Just an update and a huge thanks. We're closing on 30 March! Haven't exchanged contracts yet, but that's because we're behind; they're ready and waiting. There is one possible thing that could go wrong, but it shouldn't (Conservation Area and making sure their renovations conform to the rules).

Thank you thank you thank you. I'm organizing the move and my husband is taking the boys away for a week so I can do it properly.

And if anyone needs a recommendation for an IFA or property attorney, let me know. Ours have been great and both respond quickly to email (always a plus in my book!).

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