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We love absolutely York, but...

(26 Posts)
Deebydoo Sun 16-Aug-15 20:29:46

...we don't know where to live!

Hi everyone

We're new to mumsnet so please accept my apologies if I've posted in the wrong forum.

We're moving to York from Edinburgh in a few months and we've started to look for a house to buy. We're very excited, but it's daunting as I'm sure you know!

As York is 200 miles away, and we only have limited free time for visiting, we'd like to narrow our search down to make it as productive as possible.

If push comes to shove, we'll consider renting for a few months, but ideally we'd like to avoid that as it will be very expensive.

We're looking for somewhere with an easy commute to the University of York at Heslington, and I have a couple of questions, if anyone can help.

Firstly, are there any nice areas we should focus on or any to definitely avoid? Someone told me that the old mining villages weren't too friendly, but I don't know if that's true, or even where they are.

Also, what's Osbaldwick like as we've seen a few nice looking houses there?

Any other advice would be most welcome too.

Thanks in advance. flowers

YellowTulipsYork Tue 18-Aug-15 14:29:43

Hi There,

So the good news is that as the Uni is not far off the A64, you have a great choice of villages within an easy 15 min commute.

In general terms, housing in York is most expensive in the centre, followed by villages to the West (due to being on the right side for Leeds), North then the East and South - the futher away you go the more you will get for your money.

Based on the Uni, you should be looking at the South, East and West (in the case of the latter as even though the Uni is SE of York, the A64 put the nearer villages well within an easy commute).

You dont mention children, but rather if this is a factor then my starting point would be the secondary schools and finding a village that was a "feeder" for the best 3 - Tadcaster Grammer (villages west of York), Fulford (South Outskirts of York) and Huntington (East of York).

Tadcaster Grammer:
The "Thorpes" are very popular - Bishopthorpe/Compmanthorpe. Both with good local facilitities and excellent primary schools. Varied housing stock (period/new etc). Askham Bryan and Askham Richard are nearby and very pretty, but with less aminities.

Fulford itself is nice, with good local shops. Nearby villages in the catchment area are Dunnington, Naburn, Elvington and Wheldrake. Naburn is by the river and very charming - but the road into it can flood. Some people are also put off by the water treatment works. Elvington is very pretty with a village green but the old WW2 airfield is used for F1 testing and there have been complaints about noise from some residents (its not a year round activity however).

Huntington itself is very popular. Less local facilities than some of the larger villages like the "Thorpes" and spread out down the main road it straddles. You also might want to look at villages like New Easwick and Strensall the latter being the larger. Osaldwick is also in the catchment area. Its a nice enough village in itself, but there is some contention about a proposed large development

Anything else you want to know, just post and I'll check in again in a few days.

Deebydoo Thu 20-Aug-15 09:49:43

Many thanks for all that brilliant information! It's very much appreciated.

We're coming to York on Sunday/Monday so we have viewings all over the area from Copmanthorpe to Strensall. We're seeing 13 properties in a day and a half, so our heads will be scrambled even more than they are now! smile

We decided against looking at the Osbaldwick properties as they're in a flood warning area, although they're only threatened by Osbaldwick Beck, so maybe we're being a bit too wary.

I'll be back in touch if we have any more queries which, after our hectic visit this weekend, I'm sure we will!

Thanks again.

YellowTulipsYork Thu 20-Aug-15 12:06:47

No problem - I'll look out for any posts :-)

YellowTulipsYork Thu 20-Aug-15 12:22:11

One thing possibly worth mentioning if you are looking over the weekend....

Villages to the South (like Wheldrake, Deighton and Escrick for example) are served by the A19. At weekday peak times it can get very congested so you might want to keep that in mind wrt travel times to the uni.

Andasliceofcakeplease Fri 21-Aug-15 17:19:26

Just to mention that the traffic this weekend is not representative of York - it is the Ebor Festival on the Racecourse and it really defects the central and southern bits of the city - we moved into a house on the race traffic route on Ebor day a number of years ago and wondered why it was so busy but as we had been house hunting from a distance the race meeting wasn't something we knew about.
We live in one of the "Thorpe" villages mentioned above and DH cycles to the uni - takes him about 20 mins . currently both villages are in catchment for Tadcaster Grammar and Bishopthorpe is also in the Fulford catchment.

Hope your house hunting goes well.

Deebydoo Sat 22-Aug-15 09:07:51

Thanks for the warning about the Racecourse.

Fortunately for us, we're not coming down till tomorrow so the meeting will have finished.

I did panick though. Between 2.00pm on Sunday and 3.30 on Konday, we have 14 properties too look at so slow traffic is all we need! We'll be muddled and exhausted after all that, but we don't have much option.

We've considered renting for a while to give us time to get to know the area a bit better, but am I right in thinking 12 months is the minimum rental period? We'd consider 6 months, but not 12.

YellowTulipsYork Sat 22-Aug-15 12:00:08

We rented in York for 3 months after our house got flooded hmm (we were in the centre then - have since moved out to a nearby village), so you should be able to do a short term rental - it's just you tend to get charged a bit more.

Andasliceofcakeplease Sat 22-Aug-15 12:48:40

Glad you will miss the traffic - and the city will be less crowded with the aftermath of the race goers.
Hope it goes well - we had a similar situation - travelling up to do one overnight to see as many houses as we could - I found it really useful to make notes straight after so that I could think about them later.

yorkieduckie Sat 22-Aug-15 13:58:37

We moved to York last year and were in a similar sitution and managed to rent a place right in the city centre for 6 months while doing intensive house hunting! A two-bed flat for around 820 pounds a month.

YellowTulipsYork Sun 23-Aug-15 15:33:21

Good luck with the house hunting today grin

YellowTulipsYork Tue 25-Aug-15 18:44:32

How did you get on OP?

Deebydoo Sun 30-Aug-15 10:24:47

We say 14 houses between 2.00pm on Sunday and 3.00pm on the monday. You can guess what I was dreaming about that night!

We saw a few possibilities, but haven't moved on anything yet. There a couple of lovely houses in Strensall, but although it might only be a 15-20 drive from the Uni at Heslington, public transport isn't great if I don't have the car for any reason. Not totally ruled out yet, though.

We're coming down again on Thursday, but only for 1 night so we'll cram as many viewings in as possible. I'd love to get this sorted quickly, but the system for buying houses south of the border is completely different from in Scotland and it's a bit worrying.

We just can't allow ourselves to be left homeless because someone can't sell/buy or makes a higher offer. Scary!

Andasliceofcakeplease Mon 31-Aug-15 00:34:57

Hope it goes well on Thursday.

YellowTulipsYork Tue 01-Sep-15 16:51:34

Well good luck and hope you find more options on Thursday.

The English system is very different, but you can take some steps to mitigate the risks.

I've moved houses quite a lot and always insist on the following as part of an offer:

1. Once the offer is accepted all marketing of the property must cease within 24 hours. So no more viewings (any booked must be cancelled), removal of detail from Estate Agent windows/shelves, the EA webite and "rollup" websites such as RightMove.

2. My offer is conditional of a completion date of x (it has to be a reasonable date!). If the "chain" above gets held up i.e. the sellers are delayed in being able to move out then it is incumbent on them to find alternate accomodation to allow the sale to proceed as planned.

3. All offers are subject to survey i.e. if the survey turns up something structural (bar subsidence) then the cost of any remidial works would be taken from the asking price. Re: Subsidence - the deal is off.

In doing this I've not had a sale go pear shaped, but you have to accept that by insisting on this, you can't also press the price really hard - you have to make a "fair offer" in return. However, you can also state that if the caveats above will not be accepted then you would reduce your offer by x amount.

Having said that conditions 1 and 3 are never negotiable in my book (though option 2 has been - but that really depends on circumstance). If someone insists on continuing to market the property, then they are not fully committed to your offer and it's likely you will get gazumped if the opportunity presents itself.

Happy Hunting!

Deebydoo Tue 01-Sep-15 17:40:37

Brilliant advice, thank you!

My next worry is how much to offer. I don't want to pay more than I have to, but I don't want to be rude by offering too low.

Houses in Scotland are usually offers over or fixed price.

YellowTulipsYork Tue 01-Sep-15 18:11:25

Start with finding out how long the house has been on the market.

It's worth registering with sites like mouseprice and zoopla (I think the latter is the better site - both are free). If you know the postcode you can see the value of other houses nearby and their sale dates, plus the local market trends - which can give you a basis for your offer e.g. "the very similar house 2 doors down sold 6 months ago for x less than the asking price for this one. In that time, the local market only went up by x%, so on that basis we feel a fair offer would be Y, which is Z amount below the asking price, which we feel is a bit inflated for the current market"

At the end of the day a house is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it irrespective of the asking price (but some sellers seem to forget that!).

Its also worth mentioning that if you put in a low bid and the offer is rejected, there is nothing to stop you putting in a higher bid in the English system - it's not a one time only play.

Very few sellers would refuse to sell to you because of a low opening offer, so its often worth what I call a cheeky first bid, especially if the house has been on the market for a while. You can always raise it if its rejected. On the other hand if a house is new to the market and getting a lot of interest you may just want to "sew up the deal" and offer the asking price outright on condition it's taken straight of the market.

YellowTulipsYork Tue 01-Sep-15 18:24:23

If it helps as an example, my current house was on the market 8 years ago for £550k. It had been for sale for 6 weeks by the time I got a viewing.

Its a popular village and a period house and had been getting a lot of interest. I had a deadline to move (school term dates!).

So I put in an opening offer of £520. This was rejected (which I pretty much expected). So I went back with an offer of £535 (i.e. split the difference between the asking price and my offer) and this was accepted on the basis of the sale being completed in 8 weeks (the sellers wanted a quick sale because they wanted to secure a house in the South of England - as such they were happy to compromise on price as we had no chain so could commit to the 8 week deadline - this also suited me on the school front but I didn't disclose this - poker face!).

If you are not part of a chain that's defiantly worth pointing out as part of your offer in the UK as this is the reasons most sales fall through and thus that security is worth a lesser offer to many sellers.

Deebydoo Tue 01-Sep-15 22:45:25

Thanks again!

I'll let you know how we get on this weekend.

elmocat Tue 08-Sep-15 09:07:23


elmocat Tue 08-Sep-15 09:12:03

Hi sorry, just checking my login wad working then.
We've just moved here from Gloucestershire.. Been here a month or so and all good. We are renting for the same reasons as you mention, buying just seemed too impossible to co ordinate without risk. Weirdly renting isn't totally stress free though as tenancy agreements are only signed on the day, not in advance which we didn't like! But it all worked out fine.
Did you say you have children? This affects where i would suggest in terms of areas. If you message me separately, I don't know how to do that, I'm happy to offer any help as we're probably in the same boat, although we are already here! It's lovely though, no regrets!

Deebydoo Wed 09-Sep-15 16:59:54

Exciting news! we put an offer in for a house in Strensall.

Less exciting is the fact that they rejected it! we might go back with an increased bid, but we have seen another property we like too, so it's quite a challenge to get the balance right.

Good to hear you have no regrets about moving, Elmocat. I'm excited and nervous at the same time! :-)

YellowTulipsYork Wed 09-Sep-15 17:25:37

Congratulations - sounds like you are making progress :-)

I think with a house it's about gut either "calls" to you as a potential home or it doesn't.

Deebydoo Sun 13-Sep-15 13:19:11

We've had an offer accepted and it's off the market!!!!

Woo Hoo!!

And today's the first day of viewing for our house in Edinburgh.

In Scotland, we advertise open house between 2 - 4 pm on a Sunday so we don't know how many people will arrive. Hopefully loads, obviously.

I'm ridiculously nervous!

Andasliceofcakeplease Sun 13-Sep-15 16:44:10

Hope it all goes well.

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