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Buying a new house - normal to be absolutely terrified?

(9 Posts)
Trastevere Wed 03-Oct-12 17:17:47

My first post on Mumsnet! smile

Just wondering whether anyone else has felt the fear I am feeling now when buying a house? We have to move before primary school applications deadline and it's taken us ages to find anywhere we think is acceptable. The house we're buying is nice enough, but what really appealed was the big garden and great primary school. However we never felt "wow" about it, if you know what I mean.

The survey pointed out historic movement (not thought to be structurally significant) but of course we are worried now, especially as the area is very prone to subsidence. Also the garage is falling down and the roof could do with being replaced, but the vendor refused to lower the price any further. We are already stretching ourselves financially and are wondering whether we're biting off more than we can chew. The vendor has done lots of DIY - and very badly and as cheaply as possible. Lots of things will need redoing, and we won't be able to afford to extend for many years.

On the other hand, nothing else suitable has come up and if we don't move now then we're stuck where we are, in a tiny 2 bed house, and the local schools aren't great.

I've kind of resigned myself to the fact we're moving, and trying to be excited about the great school our 2 children will get to go to, and the big garden where we'll be able to grow veg (--if I can be bothered-- if I have time) and maybe have some chickens. But the negative feelings are slightly outweighing the positive ones! Is this normal?

lalalonglegs Wed 03-Oct-12 18:30:12

It's tough when there is so much money at stake. I don't know what your situation is at the moment but, if you are living somewhere in pretty good order and you know and like your neighbours and have everything you want (apart from garden and school) where you are at the moment, then it will seem a bit daunting. But a lot of it is fear of the unknown - having struggled to get my children into a decent school, being in the catchment area of a good one would compensate for an awful lot.

Get the roof sorted (I assume it is the house roof and not the garage roof which is dodgy), then just sit tight and laugh at all the house's oddities until you are able to afford to put them right. Concentrate on the garden which can be sorted out relatively cheaply and will give you infinite pleasure and almost instant rewards once you start work on it.

wendybird77 Wed 03-Oct-12 18:35:41

I don't know, but I'd be wary of lots of DIY from previous owner <bitter>. Can you not rent in the area and keep an eye out for something you feel more positive about?

FWIW we are buying a house we don't love, we can't afford the ones we love, but we can make this one really nice with minimal change or much better with a small extension. I do feel ok about the structure though and have been looking long enough to know we got a good deal and can sell in on without taking too much loss and perhaps a profit if it doesn't work out.

Trastevere Sun 07-Oct-12 09:45:51

Well, we have decided to pull out of the purchase. I called for some insurance quotes and because of the previous movement they all ticked the 'previous subsidence' box and came up with quotes of around £1000 a year for building and contents. I guess we could afford that but it's yet another cost, and more importantly could affect how easily (or otherwise) the house would resell.

To be honest, although we now have no idea what to do, we feel relieved. We never LOVED the house and had nagging doubts so decided to follow our gut instinct. £2000 in survey and fees down the drain, which is more than a little annoying, but hey...

We're now wondering whether to just sell to our buyers and move into rented accommodation until we find the place we want to buy.

Coffeeformeplease Sun 07-Oct-12 14:10:09

Op good plan. We rented for 18 months after selling, and have just moved into our new house 5 weeks ago. If you're not sure, don't buy. A little nervous is normal, but not major panic attacks.
Re subsidence, our new house has a history, and we nearly pulled out. But it's historic and the last owner's insurance took us on. We pay less now than we did for our sold property. (The major insurers won't take you as soon as you mention the "s" word it's "sorry, thank you, bye!" But there are companies that take houses with a history of subsidence, and even their quotes were much lower than 1k per year.)

We love the location, it's perfect for us. So we waited until something came up and it did. Good luck.

AlexanderS Sun 07-Oct-12 15:11:32

If a house has a history of subsidence for a small fee you can get somebody to come out, look at it, make an official statement to the effect that it's no longer a problem (presuming that's the case) and then you can get cheaper insurance - for more details see here: www.guardian.co.uk/money/2010/feb/08/subsidence-home-insurance-quotes-soaring

My parents did this and were able to save quite a bit of money.

But it sounds like you did the right thing OP, it would have been a money pit.

Coffeeformeplease Sun 07-Oct-12 15:22:09

Yes, that's what we did, a certificate of structural integrity. It was a structural engineer who came and it wasn't a small fee, it was around £150. But this scanned and sent together with the documents from the subsidence issue from 5 years ago (including a final statement that said there was crack monitoring and nothing happened) solved the issue.
Just in case the next house has the same history.

AlexanderS Sun 07-Oct-12 17:47:38

Sorry, yes, £150 isn't a small fee. But relatively small in terms of property stuff.

Coffeeformeplease Sun 07-Oct-12 18:59:26

I meant not small if you then end up not buying the house.
Yes, of course it's a small fee in the grand scheme of things.
(don't remind me of the overall cost of buying/moving shock)
I need wine now
got the hang of these smilies grin

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