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Sell btl or keep btl?

(12 Posts)
Gonzo33 Wed 31-Aug-11 06:14:00

Two and a half years ago I got married and let my property out because my husband was moving overseas with work. Since then we have had another baby and cannot move back into the house (it is a 2 bed, my children are a DS and a DD and there is 9 years between them).

I am currently only clearing £80 per month from the monthly rent after paying out for Mortgage and insurances. This figure does not include paying out to maintain/repair any part of the property.

I did quite a lot of work to the property whilst I lived there (new boiler/new soffetts and fascia's/new fence/new flooring throughout the whole house/new doors) and since then have been lucky that there has not been many maintenance issue's, although I have had workmen round to complete minor improvements that I did not get the opportunity to get done before I moved out.

Late last year a different tenant moved in to the property. Since then there has been a catalogue of issue's which have cost me over £1000 (ie starting into negative figures). As I now have to look at this as a business I am thinking of selling.

On the emotional side the agent aren't helping very much with the maintenance and a lot of it is left to my parents who live around the corner. This week they have been called out about six times. My Mum has broken her foot as well, so my poor Dad is really stressed out, which in turn is making me feel incredibly guilty.

To give some background to this we are due to move back to the UK next year. We will have accomodation, but as my husband only has 4 years left in this job we will have to buy a family property. We are going to be buying in a place that is a about 20-30k cheaper than where my current house is.

The tenancy agreement comes to an end in February. The LA has said that I can have the house on a "rolling agreement" from then on and have the house on the market with them at that time and that as long as I give the tenants a minimum of 2 months notice to vacate then it will be fine. I do feel a bit guilty about doing this, but I cannot keep up the cost of repairs if it continues and save for the house we will need.

I have spoken to my financial advisor who is looking into the best instant access savings accounts for me, and I am going to get agents from the area we want to move to to send me regular updates on houses that meet our specifications so that if the market starts to pick up we can look at buying instead of just looking.

Sorry it is long, but I needed to get it off of my chest with someone (many) that isn't either related to me or that has a vested interest.


scaryteacher Wed 31-Aug-11 07:30:49

Get the rolling tenancy going. My tenants are on that whilst dh is serving overseas. It means that if we had to move back quickly, I could get them out in two months, rather than having to move back into an SFA, and then home again.

Are you paying for a fully managed service? If so, tell the agents you'll be either moving to a different agent if they don't buck their ideas up. My letting agent (who does nothing but lettings and property management) is expensive but fab, which is a massive weight off my mind, and I know any issues will be referred to me for a decision, but dealt with by her and her team. This is important to me as it's a hell of a way from where we are to the Devon/ Cornwall border.

If your dh is Forces, then keep the house until the redundancy notices are out and you know what is happening; it's a bolthole if nothing else in the short term, and if he is made redundant, you'll need to buy where he is working, rather than anywhere else.

Gonzo33 Wed 31-Aug-11 09:11:02

He is Forces, but he will not be made redundant because he is at the stage where they would have to pension him off immediately.

The service I am on is fully managed but they seem happy to leave everything in the hands of my parents, so your right I do need to tell them to buck up. The property is in a good area for schools, etc and has never been left vacant.

We are currently over 2200 miles away from my property. So yes, your right, it can be a nightmare.

scaryteacher Wed 31-Aug-11 12:01:52

My dh only has another 2.5 years until he has to retire, so we are in the same boat as you. Sounds like you are somewhere far more exotic than we are as well!

If the service is fully managed then kick the buggers. If your property is in the Tavistock/Tamar Valley area, then message me and I'll give you my letting agent's details as she is fab and scares the shit out of me. She is like a very firm headmistress and deals with the tenants accordingly. Your parents should not be being used by the agents - the buggers you are paying should be dealing with everything.

herhonesty Wed 31-Aug-11 12:29:07

Are you still on repayment? You could consider changing to interest only which could give you a bit more each month, and then anything left over you can save towards repaying the mortgage. I wouldn't sell until I had to in this market. Also be wary of your iIFA's advice - he has a vested interest in you not keeping the property.

Gonzo33 Wed 31-Aug-11 16:15:00

scaryteacher the property is nowhere near Tavistock unfortunately, but thank you for the offer. By the way we're in Cyprus grin Nice but expensive.

herhonesty. I am actually a qualified mortgage advisor by trade ironically. I have been out of the country two years though, and am due to do another year! I have looked at my mortgage options, but to be honest I only have a 49k mortgage so it would make less than £50 a month difference.

In relation to my IFA normally I'd agree, but he is a good friend and he will point me in the direction of the savings account and I will approach them.

Most friends and EA's I have spoken to in UK don't think that the market is going to pick up at all over the next couple of years. Most are saying it will stagnate or reduce a little and that it is worth taking the chance given my circumstances. Between my husband and I we can save about £1500 per month between now and when we return to UK anyway (am very very lucky to be working out here). Plus at most we will be out of the market six months, or my Mum will go looking at places we like (this is her hobby! - She doesn't mind looking at houses, just hates maintaining them)

I don't know why I feel so emotional about it, I wish I could just say sell without having feeling like this. Maybe it is because it was my home.

scaryteacher Wed 31-Aug-11 19:34:17

My db did a couple of years out there with the RN. He enjoyed it too. He said the prices weren't too bad and he managed to save enough to clear his credit cards before he came back.

This was well before the slash and burn on LOA though.

Gonzo33 Thu 01-Sep-11 06:03:42

Yes, the LOA cut has hit us hard. Luckily I managed to get a job at the school which has given us the opportunity to clear any debts that we had (only small thankfully).

I think the worst expense was buying a car out here. They charge 5k for a 1998 Rav4 out here. Disgusting. Plus you are very limited on what you can bring with you so you have to buy many things the DA doesn't cover!

Lovely posting though so mustn't complain.

tyler80 Thu 01-Sep-11 08:53:07

Can you afford a long void period?

The first thing we did when our landlords put the house we were renting up for sale was to give a months notice and find somewhere else. Our landlord of course were keen for us to stay until the house sold but we preferred to get settled somewhere else than have it hanging over us and allowing viewings too.

Property remained empty for 5 months after that until it sold.

Gonzo33 Thu 01-Sep-11 10:53:39

We can afford to have the house left empty, but the building insurance company would put some very strict conditions on the insurance.

tyler80 Thu 01-Sep-11 10:56:32

The other option in that case may be to offer a rent reduction whilst the house is on the market.

We would have accepted something like this to stay in the house until it sold but our landlords wouldn't entertain it - something like 15% would have been enough of an incentive to stay and put up with viewings.

Gonzo33 Thu 01-Sep-11 10:59:15

I would have to speak to the agents about that - may be a way forward - because they are the ones that set the rent. Technically they are the tenants and they sub-let as I am on a guaranteed income scheme that is how they arrange it.

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