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Why is this house so cheap, and what should we do?

(33 Posts)
CoffeeMum Sun 21-Nov-10 13:36:40

We have been searching for houses in another city, 200 miles away, and plan to go this weekend to look at the houses we have shortlisted. As background, we will be in a position to move in a couple of months, and are 100% serious buyers.

However, yesterday, a house came up in our top road, but it seems bizarrely cheap. The estate agents are saying it just needs work, and the vendors want a quick, but I can't help thinking there must be something else going on, or something seriously wrong with the house that will cost a fortune to fix. It's probably about £20K cheaper than it should be, even allowing for the fact it needs work.

We know viewings are arranged this Tuesday, and as we're not due to go until the weekend, we are worried we will miss out on what could be an amazing house at a bargain price.

Basically, is it worth the major hassle of arranging to go up for the day this week for a viewing? It would be a hell of an effort to go 200 miles and back in one day, especially if we get there to find the flaw in the property is immediately obvious and we have wasted our time and energy.

Should we take the chance and wait until the weekend, and if someone makes an offer before then, be really cheeky and try and make a better offer? [house is such a bargain that we could do that]

Can you ever really get estate agents to be honest with you about why a property is so very cheap? If we knew more, we'd know whether to make the effort.

Confused and stressed, any opinions much appreciated! smile

CoffeeMum Sun 21-Nov-10 13:37:42

sorry - vendors want a quick sale

notpartofthelifeplan Sun 21-Nov-10 13:39:25

I would go and have a look asap.

Can you link to the property?

SingingTunelessly Sun 21-Nov-10 13:39:54

I'd be seriously tempted to travel and see it given what you've said. Why don't you Google Earth it first - you can see what's around it from above. You might just spot the abattoir at the end of the garden..... smile

CoffeeMum Sun 21-Nov-10 13:48:17

notpartofthelifeplan, i'm a bit dubious about posting a link as i'm a bit in love with the house already and i don't want to draw attention to it! blush It is lovely though, big victorian house, lots of original features. Clearly does need lots of redecorating, but certainly could be lived in quite happily. The only alarm bell that rings for me is that there is no picture of the kitchen or the bathroom online, but ones of every other room hmm However, it's so cheap that we could happily replace both if required.

SingingTunelessly - well, we know the road well and know it's one of the nicest in a nice area, that's why it's odd that it's so cheap. As a guide, we looked around an immaculate house in the same road [with one less reception] - that was £235,00, this is at £179,000! shock

But yes, i'm seriously tempted to get over there and look for myself...

Thanks for replies

notpartofthelifeplan Sun 21-Nov-10 13:53:54

If you looked at an immaculate one for £235,000 I would say that £179,000 for one needing complete refurbishment is about right.

I'm intrigued as to where you are off to to get a victorian house for that price. I'm looking at relocating to other parts too. I promise I won't steal your house, I couldn't handle all the upheaval with children. It was bad enough doing up a property without children. We are looking at bland newbuilds next time. If we could find an immaculate victorian house for around £200,00 that would be great but they don't seem to exist anywhere these days.

violethill Sun 21-Nov-10 13:55:20

I would go have a look, because although it's hassle, I think you'd kick yourselves if you don't, and then feel you might have missed a bargain.

There are all sorts of reasons why it could be going cheap... maybe the vendors need to relocate for work, maybe they can't afford to live there any more, maybe there is some neighbour problem... that's why it's worth doing some digging to find out as much as possible.

Anything really seriously wrong with the house would show up on a survey, and any 'hidden' problems such as neighbour disputes, building developments going up nearby.. these will show up somewhere along the line, so I don't think there's any point worrying unduly at this stage. You need to see the house first hand to know whether you want to proceed.

CoffeeMum Sun 21-Nov-10 13:57:10

It's in a city in the northwest, sure you'll be able to work it out from there wink

CoffeeMum Sun 21-Nov-10 14:00:08

Thanks violethill, i suppose I am just very cynical as my only experience of buying or selling property is in London where it's all quite cut-throat. Obviously we would get a full survey. I suppose i'm just wondering if it's worth DH rejigging his complicated work schedule for a visit, but actually just typing that makes me realise he can arrange ONE day off if it means we get this amazing and cheap house! To be fair, he's happy to do it, but it will just be a big, big hassle...

Meglet Sun 21-Nov-10 14:02:25

It's not near a river is it?
Or next to a potential new development?

PrematureEjoculation Sun 21-Nov-10 14:02:52

when you go to see it, see if any of the neighbours are about and have a chinwag to snoop perhaps?

take a close look at the walls for signs of damp (so esp round windows and doors, round the corners of ceilings) and at the exterior see if brickwork and roof is in good state of repair.

CoffeeMum Sun 21-Nov-10 14:05:44

It's in the middle of a very established, residential area, can't see there being space for a new development. It's off a local, busy shopping street that already has a big Tesco. Can't think of any nearby areas that have enough space for flats etc - they'd have to pull down perfectly decent houses. Nowhere near a river. Intriguing!

Good points though, thanks Meglet

CoffeeMum Sun 21-Nov-10 14:08:05

Top tips Premature, thank you. Had planned to quiz the neighbours fully as we have annoying party lovers next door at the moment. Good point about the damp, as we are currently in a Victorian property and damp is the bane of our life. I suppose survey would show any specific problems, I guess I just want to know what it is NOW! <stamps feet impatiently>

Meglet Sun 21-Nov-10 14:09:39

Nightmare on-street parking?

thisisyesterday Sun 21-Nov-10 14:09:42

have a look on one of those sites like "upmystreet" or whatever it is called

you can put the postcode in and see what other properties on the same road have gone for. that will give you a good idea if it is underpriced or not

i would imagine that "needs some work" could well mean that it needs totally re-wiring, new kithcn, new bathroom, new flooring.... all of which could be well in excess of the £20k you are "saving"

but i would DEFINITELY go and have a look at it. because if it's a bargain then it will almost certainly get snapped up straight away

CoffeeMum Sun 21-Nov-10 14:13:52

Meglet - yes, yes, parking on the street IS considered a nightmare, but we think we can live with it as it's a great location otherwise. Doesn't explain why it's still so cheap, even for that road...

thisisyesterday, hmm, you are right, 'needs work' can cover a multitude of issues. Thing is, it's actually £40K under our 'lowest budget', so i suppose even if we had to do major work, we'd probably still be okay, AND have a lovely house in our fave road. But i am loving the 'upmystreet' suggestion, thank you smile - off to do that now!

And yes, i've got to see it haven't i? Will be kicking self otherwise. And the fact i'm writing about it here shows it's got under my skin...hmm

AliceWorld Sun 21-Nov-10 14:16:03

Could it be because it was put on the market later? If you are comparing to ones that have been or for 6months, or a year or something then they might have been put on when the market was high, and although reduced to reflect the drop in the market I don't think people always do that realistically as it seems like such a loss.

We once had about 5 houses for sale at once in our street of just over 20. I thought it looked totally sus, like there was something dodgy going on and would have been nervous to buy. But there really wasn't anything. Just a coincidence.

So maybe it is a combination of all those things resulting in a coincidence that makes it cheap.

BaroqueAroundTheClock Sun 21-Nov-10 14:16:26

Not quite the same as I'm in rented.

But I had a similar thing with the house I'm now living in.

Saw it on Rightmove about £60 cheaper than anything else you'll find round here (and with this towns rental prices that's quite a huge gap. No pictures at all though.

I walked past it (as it was on the street next to where I used to live) and from the outside it look a bit "meh" - single glazed windows at the front, old wooden front door........I assumed the inside would be similar.

BUT I arranged to look round anyhow.

Letting agent opened the front door and i was shock. It's lovely inside, and the only other "old" window/door is the back door - the rest of the house is fully double glazed.

I've been here since March now, and as yet have no found any reason (aside from the single glazing and wooden front/back doors) that it was so cheap.

I can quite imagine (having been on the property trail before - buying) that if it had been up for sale for much less than the others - based on the window/door issue.

In short - go and have a look, as others have said any major problems should show up during surveys etc. and it could just be they want a quick sale (or maybe the other house you viewed it was just rather optimistically price?)

TheProfiteroleThief Sun 21-Nov-10 14:18:08

Def google postcode and street name and anything else you have in case someone was murdered there!

Seriously refurb can cost ££££££ so may not be a bargain.

CoffeeMum Sun 21-Nov-10 14:19:36

Thanks everyone. Seems i'm being far too suspicious and it could be a genuine bargain. Okay, must get DH all ready to get a short-notice day off work, and brace self for a very long day travelling 400 miles. But DO love the house though! grin

WhatsWrongWithYou Sun 21-Nov-10 14:21:28

Could there be an electricity sub-station right next to the garden, or particularly nasty telephone wires obstructing the view?

BaroqueAroundTheClock Sun 21-Nov-10 14:22:46

google street maps is great, and ourpopertyprice for what houses have actually sold for (as opposed to what they were on the market for grin) is also useful

CoffeeMum Sun 21-Nov-10 14:29:08

WhatsWrong, yes, all possibilities - I suppose my issue is that I just want the estate agents to level with us about the actual reason why it's so cheap before we go to the hassle of going up. Presumably, all will become clear the minute we see the house. But I suppose that's the nature of house hunting in another city...

Baroque, have just had a look, and a house in the road went for £234k about six months ago. Admittedly, market could have dropped off since, but it's still alot more than this house...

Igglybuff Sun 21-Nov-10 14:34:33

There was a house similar on our road - and the house next door which was identical was also on for £50k more. The first house hadn't been touched in decades while the house next door was immaculate. (5 bedroom house with massive garden).

So it is possible! You may be able to negotiate if you're in a good position.

Igglybuff Sun 21-Nov-10 14:35:00

There was a house similar on our road - and the house next door which was identical was also on for £50k more. The first house hadn't been touched in decades while the house next door was immaculate. (5 bedroom house with massive garden).

So it is possible! You may be able to negotiate if you're in a good position.

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