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Buying next to public sector housing

(21 Posts)
purplecloud123 Tue 09-Jun-15 21:25:04

We're in the process of buying a property and have just received a copy of the valuation report. The surveyor has noted that 'the property's location close to public sector housing may deter some purchasers and affect marketability'.

Has anyone come across this before? Would it bother you?


Bragadocia Tue 09-Jun-15 21:44:38

Recently, some friends who identify as politically left and socially liberal admitted one of the reasons they didn't buy a semi they were interested in was because the other half of the pair was Council-owned. I'd bet a lot of people think like this. So it could limit your market for selling, possibly, but that doesn't matter much if you're intending to be in this home for a considerable length of time.

In loads of Vic/Ed terraced streets, there are small post-war Council blocks. Is this the kind of situation for you, or are we talking adjacent to a vast estate?

With the house we bought last year, there was a similar sentence in the valuation about the nearby school. There are about 100 houses closer to the school than we are! The surveyor is just covering all possible issues.

Neffi Tue 09-Jun-15 21:47:37

Bad neighbours come in all shapes and sizes and types of housing...

Allbymyselfagain Tue 09-Jun-15 21:51:02

A friends recent survey mentioned seagull noise possibly causing a problem. Well duh! The house is right on the seafront the EA made a huge selling point of it. But surveyors have to cover their arses.

purplecloud123 Tue 09-Jun-15 21:54:51

Thanks. I don't think it's the street which, as far as I can tell, is mainly 1950s-ish semis. The next street is social housing though, I think.

I plan on living there for a long time, so I'm not too concerned with resale at this point. I suppose it just made me wonder whether I'm wrong not to be concerned.

FoodPorn Tue 09-Jun-15 22:17:11

I used to live in a small block of flats adjacent to a near identical block, our block privately owned, the other social housing. The difference between the two was noticeable - unruly unsupervised children, rubbish, drug dealing, anti social behaviour from the social housing block and no issues from the privately owned one.

When we moved, I checked how close we were to social housing and will do the same when we move again. I would be put off in certain circumstances.

JasperDamerel Tue 09-Jun-15 22:26:13

I live in an ex council house and I love it. Around a quarter of the houses on the street are privately owned. The residents are a real mix - professionals, tradesmen, minimum wage earners, students, unemployed, retired, elderly, young makes for an interesting place to live. When our house was burgled a few years ago, an elderly man in one of the councils houses saw some suspicious activity and phoned the police who were able to get there in time to catch the burglars and recover our property. Nobody did that when I was burgled in a street of private housing.

GirlInterupted Tue 09-Jun-15 22:28:53

I live smack bang in the middle of a council estate and I love it. People are really friendly and look out for each other.

scribblescrabble Tue 09-Jun-15 22:32:19

I had exactly that same quote on the survey of my second home, a 3 bed new build 18yrs ago, it was the street next door to a 'rough' estate, I had 18 brilliant years there and sold it to a friend recently, I paid roughly 15% less than similar property in a 'nicer' area and the same percentage was reflected when I sold it on - df is delighted at their bargain house, bought in the knowledge they were getting a lot of house for their money.

scarlets Tue 09-Jun-15 23:40:20

It will put off some buyers. The surveyor has been factual and has done the job properly. The lender needs to know about potential blights.

Would it put me off? No. Before offering on a house, I'd have done my homework on the area, visited it at various times of the day etc. My grandmothers both lived happily in council houses for a while, so social housing doesn't deter me automatically.

I recall a time when some lenders wouldn't lend against ex council properties at all. They're obviously still a bit jittery.

peteneras Wed 10-Jun-15 02:39:42

"The surveyor has noted that 'the property's location close to public sector housing may deter some purchasers and affect marketability'"

Deter some purchasers and affect marketability? The surveyor really has to wake up to the 21st century and get up to speed, I'm afraid.

wonkylegs Wed 10-Jun-15 06:26:44

Personally the tenure of the housing wouldn't bother me, I would research an area before I bought but tenure don't automatically mean good or bad to me. A good social mix generally gives a healthier community but getting everybody to believe that can be quite difficult hence the arse covering statement by the surveyor as people's perception of an area can cloud judgement without any real basis.
Private house owners can cause just as many problems as those social housing and usually with less chance of getting it sorted as they own the place so you have no landlord to talk to.
My dad lives in a very posh road of private houses with a real problem family neighbour (drugs & police involvement) but they own the place and aren't going anywhere.
I'm not saying social housing doesn't have problems just that problems can exist anywhere so I wouldn't judge on a perception without visiting and experiencing an area.

Stinkersmum Wed 10-Jun-15 06:44:08

peteneras your comparison is slightly off balance unless the OP is also buying in Kensington & Chelsea.....

Speaking as a 'council house kid' myself, it would put me off slightly. My mother bought a new build on a development a few years ago. As with all developments over a certain size, a proportion of the housing had to be allocated for social housing. In a close of 22, there were 2 houses allocated to social housing. And you could tell which ones they were. Shitty gardens, filthy windows etc. I would suggest the OP has a look at the whole area in general. From purely a property point of view though, I do think that old stock council housing is fabulous. Far superior to cardboard new builds.

peteneras Wed 10-Jun-15 13:54:05

You are missing my point Stinkersmum. I concede that not everybody is buying in Kensington & Chelsea but if you are living in London like I do, you’ll soon find out even the prices of public sector housing is edging beyond the reach of most average families.

The OP stated that the surveyor ”has noted that 'the property's location close to public sector housing may deter some purchasers and affect marketability'”. This note by the surveyor has clearly unsettled the OP as though public sector housing is some kind of a cancer best to be avoided. I’d suggest that some public sector housing imo are much preferred to many of the private new builds that I’ve seen, these are properties with cramped rooms, low ceilings, thin walls, non-existent gardens, ridiculous prices, in fact just about everything that puts me off buying one of these so-called posh private units.

IssyStark Wed 10-Jun-15 14:28:36

I'm with Jasper, live in ex-HA with HA renters on either side and a realy mixed and vibrant community. Yes there are problems sometimes but unlike friends who live in privately owned areas and suffer problems, we have a robust mechanism to deal with it though our area board.

And of course we got a huge amount of house for our money grin

IsabellaofFrance Wed 10-Jun-15 17:39:45

Our last house was a 1940's semi on a street that was a mix of social housing and owned. The only way you could tell which houses were which was when the council did work in bulk, so not long after we moved in they replaced all the windows in 'their' houses, and not long before we moved they replaced the rendering.

IsabellaofFrance Wed 10-Jun-15 17:42:26

And I agree that ex council houses are much bigger rooms etc than you get on new builds. Loved my big kitchen.

SevenAteNine Thu 11-Jun-15 23:49:37

My DW has a council flat which she was living in before she met me. She has the right to buy it for £14k so we will probably be doing it.

It's in the middle of a big estate. One or two problem neighbours, but they either own the houses or are living in privately owned properties let through letting agents. Councils are actually really good landlords and as has been said by others the quality of the properties are generally fantastic.

WhatsGoingOnEh Fri 12-Jun-15 00:02:17

I bought an ex-council house on a cul-de-sac of mixed council/private houses last year.

The rooms are BIG and I couldn't have afforded 3 beds anywhere else in this town.

Most of the houses down my bit of the road are council-owned, but there are only one or two slightly "lively" (shall we say) neighbours.

I've never lived this close to council houses before, and it's FINE. Like PP have said, the council keep everything tidy and well-maintained, and if I did have an issue, I'd know who to contact.

Occasionally I get a wave of panic that we'll never be able to sell and move on in the future, but then I tell myself there will always be families who need roomy 3-bed houses on quiet roads near shops, schools and within walking distance to the town centre. I might not make a huge profit on it, but it's not an obviously bad investment.

But do what I did: go visit it at all times of day and night first.

WhatsGoingOnEh Fri 12-Jun-15 00:04:24

I hope I don't sound horribly snobbish in that post!

JasperDamerel Fri 12-Jun-15 07:31:01

I suppose it does depend a lot on circumstances. There is a big shortage of family accommodation in the city where I live, so there really isn't a stigma about council housing itself - I have a three bedroom house with a garden in a fantastic area (outstanding state schools, great local shops, lots of interesting community events, within walking distance of most places I might want to go etc). The equivalent privately built house would either be a cheap new bold with small rooms, thin walls and a tiny square of grass for a garden or a Victorian terrace with no garden and noisy student neighbours.

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