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Last minute nerves

(26 Posts)
Rooners Fri 11-Jul-14 19:40:19

Please be gentle with me as I've never bought a house before, and am stressed, and tired, and don't know how it all works.

But I'm having the jitters about a house we're buying.

Basically our offer is very close to asking price, and was accepted last December (I know, only 7 months ago)

It's a really lovely place but it's in a building with another maisonette. And it's in a town that no one likes - probably one of the nicest, poshest streets in the town but still, it's a very run down location in general with rubbish shops and only one secondary school, which we can't get a place at.

I don't even know why it has taken so long - the vendors' solicitors were just completely ineffectual from the start as far as I can tell, and apparently they are pretty miffed as well, but no one did anything about it.

We've been waiting and waiting and trying to get information and ask them to get on with it - there was an issue that the garden advertised as being private to our flat didn't actually belong to it at all. We found this out in MAY. Since then their brief has been sending our brief incomplete documents and just generally being crap.

I've been glued to rightmove every day and night for weeks trying to find something better so we could pull out. I must have viewed about 20 houses since May.
Literally last week I found something - in a better location, a whole house so no complicated leases etc, and really lovely, in fact it ticks nearly all the boxes and so we decided that unless the missing documents miraculously appeared this week, we would knock it on the head and offer on the other place.

You can guess the rest. I sent a slightly demanding email to the EA last week and suddenly, our solicitor says he has now got the contracts for us to see, and we can sign next week.

I'd stopped hoping, I suppose, and convinced myself it was a stupid place to buy a house in - even though the house itself is lovely - and what's more, we'll still be dealing with the vendor's solicitors as they own the other flat in the building so if anything comes up, it'll likely be more of the same incompetent legal work.

I don't know what to do - we aren't in a chain but we're renting here and it's damp and I want to be out by Christmas. The other house doesn't need much work, probably less than the flat, but we would have to go through all the survey/etc again and would also feel bad about withdrawing now.

This feels like getting married when you hate your fiance's family. Just that we don't know if the area will improve or worsen, and there's literally nowhere to go on foot if we move there. No decent shops or anything at all nearby.

The other house is in a village but a very short train ride or drive from a lovely town.

I feel knackered and like I'm about to make a huge mistake.

mipmop Fri 11-Jul-14 19:52:19

I think I'd go for the second one.

How would you feel if you tried to arrange a second viewing to be told it was off the market?

Rooners Fri 11-Jul-14 19:59:27

Well they have already had at least one offer. I am really gutted about it.

But how do you pull out at this stage? Wouldn't it just be really wrong? It's also not definite that we wouldn't have similar issues with the other house is it, it could be another 7 months for all we know.

Thank you for answering.

Kewrious Fri 11-Jul-14 20:23:29

7 months is v v v long. I doubt it will take that long the next time. We once waited 3 months for papers, gave an ultimatum and pulled out. Also better to pull out and be impolite than regret the costliest purchase in your life. I would go for the second one. You have to do what is right for you and house purchases involve life changing sums of money so you must go with your gut.

mipmop Fri 11-Jul-14 20:25:12

I think I'd probably visit the second one again and carefully look at everything from whether the rooms flow well, to where the current people store their Hoover. I'd compare both places to my ideal wish list, which would be arranged to ensure the one I secretly prefer wins.

Pulling out of the sale might make you feel bad, but if you spend that sort of money without feeling confident that you're making the right decision you could have horrible buyer's remorse. I think it's okay to have a bit of a wobble, but you don't seem keen on the first one. Seven months though, the sellers could surely have moved things along before now if they wanted to?

mipmop Fri 11-Jul-14 20:26:06

Great minds think alike !

Teaandtoast1 Fri 11-Jul-14 20:27:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hiccupgirl Fri 11-Jul-14 20:44:46

I would go and look at them both and then do a pros and cons list. It does though sound like you prefer the second one already.

We pulled out of a sale after we got the survey partly because of it but mostly because I realised it just wasn't the house I wanted. We'd rushed in because I was panicking about renting in between selling and buying. It was the best decision we could of made - I drive past the house nearly everyday and I never look at it and wish I'd bought it after all.

You're about to spend an awful lot of money and tbh if the vendor has faffed around for 7 months they've only got themselves to blame if you've had time to consider other options. Don't make an expensive mistake just because you don't want to upset them - you'll them be stuck trying to sell the place on.

Kitsmummy Fri 11-Jul-14 21:11:47

Do I understand this right in that you offered on a flat with private garden but it now turns out you're buying a flat without a garden? That's enough basis on its own to pull out on! Definitely go for house 2 and do it quickly !

DontPutMeDownForCardio Fri 11-Jul-14 23:14:00

Definitely pull out. You sound like you really dislike the first house.

IvyBeagle Sat 12-Jul-14 08:23:17

House one sound difficult to sell in the future, another good reason not to buy it! Why don't you make an offer on house two and see how you get on? As a chain free buyer you are in a great position smile

IvyBeagle Sat 12-Jul-14 08:28:12

Sorry, to actually answer you question, I would withdraw my offer right away. All the reasons you gave for going off house one are things you can't change and will annoy you for years. The area could get worse and location is really important. I would withdraw even if I had nothing to buy. Something will come up and you will be ready to pounce!

Rooners Sat 12-Jul-14 08:34:37

'I'd compare both places to my ideal wish list, which would be arranged to ensure the one I secretly prefer wins.'

LOL! grin

That is just what I would do, except I really do like both houses.

I think I probably sound like I like the second one better because I'm finding all the reasons to reject the first one.

But it is a gorgeous house/flat. It's just the location is shit.

Thank you all so much for your thoughts.

You are right that it would be harder to sell on. I hadn't even thought of that. And if the area gets any worse it won't hold its value either.

I'm also worried that someone else will buy the downstairs flat and then we will potentially have a difficult neighbour is they aren't very pleasant - it's more of a risk if you have to share the freehold and maintenance charges/arrangements etc.

The garden has now been transferred to us so that is Ok - they did a variation of lease which is what took so long, but they only began this in about May which was such a major cock up I don't really understand why they missed this information initially.

This I think leaves me with a bad feeling about it, like, what else don't we know?

Bit scared to pull out also and offer on something that may also go tits up, when we have a 'bird in the hand' as it were. This new one could be a hassle as it belongs to a couple splitting up. It's already been sold once and put back on because the vendor had an issue - that isn't great is it?
I don't know the village it's in either, it isn't the best village, but not the worst by any means and it's very near the nicer town.

I think I'll see if we can get in for a second viewing still, as they weren't sure if they were going to accept the first offer and it is still on rightmove.

Thanks again...lots of good suggestions.

IvyBeagle Sat 12-Jul-14 08:37:54

The lack of schools with house one is also a worry.

Good luck!

Rooners Sat 12-Jul-14 08:58:54

Thanks Ivy! They are going to be so pissed off if we pull out now. Gah.

I'll update...

MissMysticFalls Sat 12-Jul-14 10:29:42

There was a thread recently about house vs location and nearly every person who replied answered location (sometimes from bitter experience!). As they say, you can change a house but not a location.

I agree, even without a bird or two in the bush I would pull out under the circumstances. Imagine if they pulled out - does your gut say Phew?

Rooners Sat 12-Jul-14 11:33:47

Yes it does sadly. Not that it is so bad, but because there seems to be a better option now. I've been glued to rightmove for months now trying to find something better. Very little has come up in our budget and it's not likely to get easier as prices are going up still I think - or maybe they have reached their peak now, I don't know.

We've managed to get a second viewing booked in this afternoon. We're seeing the solicitor on Tuesday - so if we wanted to pull out, we would have to have our offer accepted on Monday.

The offer they had last week was withdrawn as the person had another property in mind that came back on. That made me go 'yes!' which I guess says something about how I feel about it.

Main points are, it's near the station and we could get to school very easily from there, without the daily drive being necessary. Much prefer trains to buses and the original place hasn't got a station nearby that goes anywhere useful. We would be heavily reliant on the car.

Secondly it's a house not a flat so it's far less complicated than something you share the freehold on.

Thirdly it's near a really nice town, with some decent shops, nice people and so on.
Also it's near the countryside so great for walks.
Fourthly, schools in the town are far better, and there are more of them.

The only down side to it is the layout is less ideal - it doesn't have three bedrooms, only two, and I have three children so there would be some decisions to be made on who was sharing! But both bedrooms are really big and the largest is potentially divisible.

Thanks again for listening and all the helpful ideas. It is really useful just to be able to write this down.

mipmop Sat 12-Jul-14 16:23:35

I think that even if you don't buy the new house, you should still retract your offer to buy the flat.

Even if it currently feels like you have the choice of two homes, that's false, others will appear.

I've had a similar situation with house-hunting indefinitely and feeling nothing better will come along. Then it did, and I'm so glad I missed out on the last two I'd felt I had to go for even though they weren't ideal.

With the flat it sounds like there are a lot of issues or potential issues that are out of your control. And things like longer journeys could really annoy you after a while. If you're the type to get buyers' remorse from purchases in tens or hundreds of pounds, you could feel horrendous after spending hundreds of thousands on the wrong home.

Good luck.

mipmop Sat 12-Jul-14 16:33:03

More to think about...

In the area you're looking at, do houses increase in value more than flats, or is it about the same? Could it be harder to move to a house later on if the price gap between flats and houses widens?

Have you seen both places during weekend afternoons and weekend evenings- do you know how much noise to expect, whether you can get a parking space etc?

If you have young children- will one home be better for access to the park etc? Will they meet more friends or be closer to their school friends in one rather than the other? And when they're old enough to be out alone, will one home be easier for them to get around independently while the other will have them reliant on you driving them around more?

Rooners Tue 15-Jul-14 14:56:00

Thanks so much Mipmop. Some really good points, especially about Buyers Remorse - which I hadn't even considered really.

We've withdrawn. The contracts still had a load of mistakes in them, things missing, etc and we had a meeting with our solicitor today and asked him if he would buy it. He said no.

I think it isn't so much that everything is so shoddy in terms of the legal accuracy and so on, if we were buying something that was just ours, it wouldn't matter so much. But buying into a freehold that we'd be sharing with these people seems like a really crap idea.

Basically if anything goes wrong with the building, or needs repairing etc we'll have to go through this palaver again, possibley multiple times, and we've just realised they have done building work to it without planning permission as well. No idea why people do things like that. It's so stupid.

So here we are 7 months after our offer was accepted, with nowhere to move to.

I rang to offer on the other house and they have in principle accepted an offer though they are waiting on finance details from the buyer, so we are trying to decide what our absolute maximum is and then they will put it forward to the vendor. The offer they've had is higher than ours, that's all we know at the moment.

It doesn't matter if it goes. Houses there do cost more in general, but we may find something else nearby which is also a better bet for transport than the one wot we just withdrew from.

So I think we're going to up our offer a small amount and if that's not good enough, we'll walk away from that too.

Thanks for talking me down. You know when you get into such a state and can't seem to think straight.

I'm kind of relieved but a bit apprehensive that nothing better will show up, as it hasn't in the last 7 months really.

Rooners Tue 15-Jul-14 14:58:57

Oh also the thing about being able to sell it on, later, well can you imagine if we had to declare that the other freeholders were unworkable with - well they seem like nice people but seriously a bit too laid back and their brief is shite.

And they would want to know when the building work was done and we'd have to declare that too and it just goes on and on.

IvyBeagle Tue 15-Jul-14 18:09:03

smile Well done. The market has cooled a bit, you will get somewhere!

Rooners Tue 15-Jul-14 18:20:25

argh. At the moment I'm scared we never will!! smile

mipmop Tue 15-Jul-14 20:28:16

I'm sorry things didn't work out with the flat, but to an outsider it sounds like you've dodged a bullet. It must have been reassuring to get that response from your own solicitor about whether they'd go ahead with the sale.

Best of luck with the house, or finding something new.

Rooners Wed 16-Jul-14 07:41:20

Thank you Mip, yes I'm sort of torn between being relieved and actually quite sad as we had got attached to it over the last 7 months. I'm just wondering what on earth they are going to tell prospective buyers about why it fell through.
And how much more they're going to put it on for now to cover their own expenditure - which won't be as much as what we have wasted.

You know when you begin thinking that every property you buy will have something wrong with it, and it's no good and nothing will ever be the right one? That's where I am now.

I expect it has a lot to do with how well you get on with the vendors though and if there is mutual respect and you're on the same page from the start, it must all feel so much easier.

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