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We would be mad to buy our council house????

(9 Posts)
NotInTheMood Mon 08-Oct-12 13:27:14

We are currently in a 2 bed house in a nice central location. We really would like to have another child and so have been trying to swap for a 3 bed. Each time the house or area has been wrong there's not much choice. And a lot of people dont seem to get the idea of downsizing and seem put off that their furniture will not fit into ours.
I have a potential swapper for a very small 3 bed in fact same size as ours except has the layout for small box room again I'm wondering if its worth moving. Two small bedrooms and a tiny box room, small lounge smaller then ours. Its a nice location but further out of town and quite small. The thing is dh is eager to get on the property market as we are in lur early 30's. We have tried before when dh was in the services and spent out on surveyor fees etc but housing was at its peak and I had cold feet and pulled out thank god.
We were rehoused by the council when dh left the services so we will get a discount for time spent in married quarters.
The thing is do we carry on renting our 2 bed hoping for the ideal perfect swap or buy the house or do we swap for a small 3 bed and carry on renting or buy that house.
We are so lucky that we have a council tenancy and security but the downfall is lack of choice and living in cramped condions. Where we live the wages are shit and the house prices are huge.

NotInTheMood Mon 08-Oct-12 13:28:23

Should we use this opportunity as a stepping stone??? We would never afford to buy on the open market it's just not fair especially when dh is relatively on a good wage and works hard.

VinegarTits Mon 08-Oct-12 13:34:28

i have a feeling you may get jumped on by the 'if you can afford another child, you can afford to rent privately' squard on this thread

but buying is always a good investment

DivineInspiration Mon 08-Oct-12 14:15:28

I think that ex-council properties are often very good value for money. I've owned and lived in a couple of ex-council properties in the past and still own an ex-council property which I let out, so I don't think you'd be mad, but there are several things you do need to consider when buying council properties. I've always bought on the open market rather than through Right to Buy, though, so before you make any decisions about staying/swapping to faciliate a plan to buy do make sure you would be eligible for Right to Buy and that any home you might swap to wasn't excluded.

Have you spoken to a mortgage broker about the likelihood of obtaining a mortgage? Some lenders have an outright policy of not lending on council/ex-council property, others will only lend on 'traditional constructions' such as houses made of stone/brick. Do be aware that many council houses built in the 40s/50s/60s can contain significant amounts of asbestos which a survey would pick up.

You should also consider that former council homes can often be difficult to sell on, largely because of the stigma some people still associate with living on a council estate/in a council house. Additionally, many lenders and surveyors are very cautious about ex-council property, especially during periods when the property market slumps. As an example, when I was selling a previous ex-council flat, several people were quite happy to offer £X, but were unable to proceed when their lender's surveyor returned valuations below this.

NotInTheMood Mon 08-Oct-12 14:33:11

Thank you will check it has rtb although tbh both houses current and potential swap are the only council house in the cul de sac and they are quite modern hence why prob smaller. The decision is do we stay in a 2 bed house or swap to a similar if no smaller 3 bed. We cannot really afford. 3rd child not yet but I am getting older now so if circumstances change then why not. My husband does work hard and we are no liming benefits.

lalalonglegs Mon 08-Oct-12 16:52:25

I am pretty sure that you have to stay in the house you buy at a discount for some time afterwards so you will have to make sure that you will be able to fit in it for several years to come. If it is a house, rather than a flat, is there room to extend once you buy?

avivabeaver Mon 08-Oct-12 21:16:52

you need to find out what the open market value is of your house, and then see what you can buy it for under rtb. If it is significant, this will give you some instant equity which will give you something to play with. eg house is worth 100000, you can buy at 15% discount. This gives you instant equity of 15000. You then have the choice further down the line to buy a bigger 3 bed a little further out.

narmada Mon 08-Oct-12 21:25:38

if it would be a saleable property on the open market and you can a) get a mortgage and b) get a right to buy discount then it must be a no-brainer .

Is there any potential to extend into loft or out the back?

If yours is the only council owned property on the street you are in a good position.

None of the lenders we approached had a problem with ex council properties that were houses and of traditional co suction. Flats in blocks not viewed so favourably.

narmada Mon 08-Oct-12 21:27:16

co suction ?!?!? wtf ? construction !

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