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first time buyer - please help me make sense of the timings

(11 Posts)
Chalalala Thu 13-Nov-14 12:00:08

hi,

we're about to start looking for a house to buy, but I'm sort of scratching my head about the timing of it all.

we're currently locked into renting until 1 September, then we'll have the option to either walk away, or sign a new contract for one year.

how do people normally negotiate the timing of completion? do they say, "I have to be in on 1 September, no sooner, no later"? Do they move in earlier if need be and take the financial hit of paying double rent/mortgage for a few months? Do they find short-term rented accommodation in case the sellers want to move out later?

it's all a bit of a headache, and we haven't even started looking, lol!

CheeseBadger Thu 13-Nov-14 12:11:12

I'd have thought that a fixed one year tenancy should just automatically turn into a rolling tenancy with one month's notice if you do nothing in September. You'd then only be in the hole for a month's rent at the same time as mortgage at worst. I've never heard of anyone being forced into signing a series of one year leases.

Can you talk to your landlord or lettings agent about what they expect to happen in September?

Chalalala Thu 13-Nov-14 12:16:45

thanks CheeseBadger, I didn't realize it was uncommon - we've been there for 4 years, so it's definitely what happens, we sign a new lease every year. Maybe because the flat we live in belongs to my employer, and the flat (and its relatively low rent) are considered a job perk.

I will definitely ask them, but I'm afraid they won't be too flexible, our contract definitely says we're liable for the rest of the rent if we move out early in the year.

Chalalala Thu 13-Nov-14 12:17:39

that was a lot of "definitely"s... oops grin

shaska Thu 13-Nov-14 12:27:22

We started looking seriously with about six months to run on our lease. We were 3 months from putting in an offer until moving in date, which left us with about a month of crossover, so basically about 7 months total.

The house we bought was empty though, and everything proceeded smoothly - I've had friends end up with much longer crossovers. It's probably easier to have to stay in/pay for your current house once you've bought a new one (though can be expensive) than to have to move twice. Then again, if you have somewhere you could go that was cheap or free then that might be worth it.

You can also request a certain completion date of course, but if you're in a chain or there are issues then you might not get it, and September 2015 might be pushing it if you were to, for example, find something now.

shaska Thu 13-Nov-14 12:29:31

Ah, just saw your current rent is quite cheap! Well, in that case I'd be aiming to have, if any crossover, it being on your current house, rather than a gap between the two.

Also, wouldn't recommend having to be out of your flat the day you get your new house. Stressful!

msfreud Thu 13-Nov-14 13:38:30

It depends on the length of the chain, if any - if your vendor is buying somewhere else, there'll be more people needing to negotiate suitable completion date. If you're buying something that is already vacant or the vendor is not buying something else, you might have more flexibility.

If possible, it's not a bad idea to leave a bit of crossover before you need to move out of your rented accommodation, especially if you're planning to get some work done to the new home.

CheeseBadger Thu 13-Nov-14 13:55:22

Definitely crossover - especially if you buy a place you need to do a bit of work on. Unfortunately it's hard to give guidance on timescales because so much depends on the vendor and any chain. I've heard of sales going through in a couple of months, but our place should have been simple as we were FTBs buying a vacant house. It took 9 1/2 months from acceptance of offer to completion.

It does sound as though you might need to get any purchase moving in plenty of time and budget for several months of dead rent money, but at least you won't have to move in a rush...

CheeseBadger Thu 13-Nov-14 15:06:01

Oooh! Idea! Is there anything in your contract preventing you from subletting it for the remainder of the contract? Is it in a nice place? You might find you could make up the loss in rental payments by putting it up on AirBnB once you don't need it...

Chalalala Thu 13-Nov-14 15:07:25

Thanks everyone. At least it's good to see that I'm not missing an obvious easy solution.

Our rent is cheap in the sense that we pay £800/month for a flat that would cost at least £1500/month on the private rental market. So, "relatively" cheap... wouldn't want to pay double rent/mortgage for too long!! But it is what it is.

Chalalala Thu 13-Nov-14 15:10:08

That's an interesting idea CheeseBadger! Our flat is in a very desirable location, and very touristy too. Will check the contract...

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