Buying neighbour's house/not sure how fast ours will sell and other dilemmas...(6 Posts)
I've had brilliant advice in this section before (years ago) but have namechanged for this. Basically, we hadn't particularly thought of selling our house (although we knew we wouldn't stay here forever, we have three DS under 7 and it feels too small already!) UNTIL we heard our neighbour was putting her house on the market. She is two doors down. We live in the country, the two properties are quite different. If we moved to her house we could retain many of the advantages of ours (close to school, bus stops, stuff like that) but have a bigger house. Smashing.
Background - she tried to sell a few years ago (we have been in our house about 5 yrs). In fact, hers was on the market when we moved in. She just couldn't shift it. Three years she had it on and then she gave up and started letting it (as she was now living 300 miles away). It's a lovely big house, and I think it is really gorgeous, but it has 5/6 bedrooms and only a tiny courtyard garden. And it is on the main road (like our current house). But we don't mind about the road. And have a genius solution re: garden. Our own garden is split into two. Due to the weird layout of the houses around here, it would be possible to keep the top half of our current garden, and only sell the bottom half with our house. It wouldn't be weird, no one ever thinks the top part is ours anyway, it is cut in half by a right of way. So we may be her perfect buyers!
We have viewed the house and she knows we like it. She said she is looking for about 500k for it, but it isn't on the market yet. I think that's about right, although it looks like it needs a bit of work (I don't mean decorating) and a survey might throw up a few things, but that doesn't put us off. However, it would mean putting our house on the market straight away and it's not ready! I think we would need 2-3 months to get it right and then I am scared about how long it would take to sell. It's a nice house, we renovated it, so kitchen, bathrooms etc only 4-5 years old. It is also opposite an excellent and oversubscribed primary school, and the bottom half of the garden we'd be selling with it is large and has recently been landscaped. BUT...
(1) It's on the main road. Evidently that puts some people off
(2) Like several of the houses round here, it has no drive and you can only park adjacent to the house
(3) We have a solid fuel burner which we were about to convert to oil (it's an old system, it powers the central heating, it's rather messy and inconvenient and I cannot see another family standing for it. However, it IS cost effective. Cheaper than oil and LPG (no mains gas around here!)
Thank you for reading this far. I thought I might offer to rent the lady's house whilst we get ours in shape/hopefully someone buys it and it goes through. She has vaguely indicated she could be 'flexible' but I have no idea if that extends to waiting that long. We do want to buy it, for sure, but how could we stop her selling to someone else, potentially? I keep trying to think through all the worst case scenarios but I don't think I am necessarily thinking calmly as I just really really want the house! Any advice? Am I missing something?
Could you do some sort of part-exchange? That would give her the cash to sort out your current house (central heating, etc), and the smaller house should sell quicker.
I know two families who done this.
oooh, do you mean where we would sort of swap houses? I have never heard of this. Willing to consider anything really. One thing is that I do think our house would sell much faster without us/all our crap in it. Our current house is over 200 years old and very light on storage though we have tried to address it a bit (one of the reasons we want to move) and so our house looks horribly cluttered. Drives me nuts.
I like Lammily's idea. Could you offer to project manage the renovation for her of your current house? You'd need to agree how you'd pick suppliers/price jobs etc but it might be a quick no hassle solution for her.
I will look into it but given that she has spent years trying to sell her own house, I wonder whether she would want another house that might be harder to sell! Our own house mainly needs the conversion to oil (which involves an oil tank in the garden and new radiators). But maybe someone would buy it as it is. I just don't know. It doesn't need renovating. Just some finishing off...but maybe a couple of months of finishing off.
Bung it on the market as is then. Test the waters but keep the dialogue with your neighbour going. If she knows you then you're worth several £k in no messing.
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