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what to offer on partially built steading

(11 Posts)
hopefulhousehunter Mon 04-Feb-13 11:36:32

Looking for some advice on a partially-built property and also possibly a reality check - is this too good to be true??

We've seen a steading conversion in our village. It's been on the market for ages (work began at least 3 years ago) but has been sat for a long time, since the market for expensive new builds went pooft really. Exterior finished, walls,roof, windows, but very little done inside, with lots of scope to play about with layout of rooms etc. 268 sq metres apparently.

It's not really being marketed but I found it on the solicitors website (we're in Scotland btw) for offers over 240k. It's an end of steading with plans for 2 reception, 5 beds - it's basically enormous and has the most phenomenal view over open countryside/hills.

A friend lives opposite and says the builder of the steading seems to be keen to get rid of it - offered it to her builder some time ago for 200k. However her builder was going to ask even less - 150k - and thought the guy would probably agree.

So. Enter us. The house is much bigger than we could ever hope to afford as a finished product. BUT if this chap really is willing to sell it for a knock-down price we could probably afford to buy it and spend another 50k? ish? finishing the interior, then we would end up with a brilliant big family home for what I think would be a bargain.

Too good to be true?

Is it realistic to offer 150k for a partially built but very large property?

Could we finish such a large place for around 50k and could we then afford to maintain it? Is there such a thing as a house that's TOO big?? (I wouldn't previously have thought so - we have a LOT of stuff - but now I'm wondering..)

Basically, I need a reality check before I drag DH through any more long-winded discussions about property, finances, mortgage, building etc etc.

If you're still reading - thanks! And any words of wisdom/experience will be gratefully received.

lalalonglegs Mon 04-Feb-13 13:50:51

I can't tell you if it's worth #150k or not (I'd wonder why the builder didn't buy it if it was such a bargain) but I think 50k on finishing the interior would be tight if it's a shell inside and so presumably no pipework, cables laid etc. However, if it's got lots of space, is there any way you could fence a bit of it off and refurbish that area when you have funds/need the extra rooms?

karron Mon 04-Feb-13 13:59:52

Can't really give any advice other than you need to check if it is mortgagable. I think you need to have running water and some level of kitchen.

hopefulhousehunter Mon 04-Feb-13 14:14:45

Aha, karron this is something I hadn't even thought of - can you not get a mortgage on a plot or partially built property? How do you go about buying one?

lalalonglegs if we're going to seriously consider going ahead with it, the next step will be to take a builder friend round to give us a good independent estimate

HaveToWearHeels Mon 04-Feb-13 15:35:36

If it has no working kitchen or bathroom then it is not mortgagable. But then a working kitchen and bathroom are just that, a sink, toilet, bath, etc, not something completely finished. Would builder be willing to do these if you pay him (I suppose it depends on if the plumbing is there), then it would be mortgagable. As for price and money to get it finished I have no idea, but £50k sounds tight.

lalalonglegs Mon 04-Feb-13 15:52:24

You can get specialist self-build and renovation mortgages if it isn't covered by a conventional one.

hopefulhousehunter Mon 04-Feb-13 18:35:05

Ok, another question then - what if we offer the builder more to buy the property finished? The schedule indicates he's willing to negotiate a price finished or unfinished. Can we just get a 'normal' mortgage for that? I'm guessing we'd need to supply some kind of deposit? Never bought new before so I don't know how it works?!

And if we did that, how much control can we have about how he finishes the build ie materials, flooring, appliances etc?

lalalonglegs Mon 04-Feb-13 20:51:36

I suppose it would be worth finding out what spec he had for the building (ie: the quality of fixtures and fittings) and the price he had in mind for that. You could then either upgrade or downgrade it depending on your budget - eg. go for an Ikea kitchen rather than a hand-made one. In theory you could exchange contracts with a 10% downpayment and pay the rest on completion but as he hasn't got any money to finish the property himself, you might have to give him more money up front to do it up for you - and that's never a good idea with builders...

hopefulhousehunter Mon 04-Feb-13 20:56:15

Lala we did ask the other other day and he suggested 60-70k for a high-spec finish, but admitted you could do it cheaper. For the other steadings on the plot he'd used expensive German kitchens etc.

Another thing which might save a few ££ which we would definitely consider would be to take away a couple of ensuites and possibly even a bedroom. Who has time to clean FIVE toilets??

lalalonglegs Mon 04-Feb-13 21:22:16

Yes, it sounds as if you could lose a loo and, no, you don't need a German kitchen (Swedish ones are pretty good, imo wink) but you don't want to underspec it - if it were me, I would get the pipework and just wait until I had enough money for fittings, flooring, tiling or whatever in certain rooms.

The thing to worry about, if you can agree on a price, is how you get the work done to your satisfaction as the builder probably has cash flow problems and, depending on his honesty, that could be a problem for you.

hopefulhousehunter Mon 04-Feb-13 21:35:23

Good points lala, definitely giving me some things to consider if we decide to go ahead with this.

One part of me is excited about the potential of snagging ourselves a great value home which we'd never outgrow, but the other half feels totally out of my depth - and worried it would all go pear-shaped confused

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