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Scottish Mumsnetters! Help me understand buying, please?

(20 Posts)
soundsystem Thu 09-Jul-15 22:00:25

So I'm from Glasgow but have only ever bought property in London. Which is a very, very different beast.

I understand the technicalities of the Scottish system (I think!) but I'm not sure about how to play it, if that makes sense.

Example: a property is on at offers over an amount, but has been on the market since November 2014. Where do you start in terms of how much over you'd need to offer? Not at that stage but finding it hard to get a sense of what price things actually go for.

Raasay Thu 09-Jul-15 22:12:14

Have a look on Zoopla for similar properties that have recently sold in the area.

Chat to the estate agents, they'll often give you broad hints what the vendors want/need to sell for.

Ask the sellers (they won't always tell you) but sometimes do.

It used to be 10% over asking price but that's no longer the case. We paid about 4% over last time as did the people we sold to.

INeedSomeHelp Thu 09-Jul-15 22:15:18

It will very much depend what the Home Report value is too. Lenders are unlikely to lend over that amount so you would need to have enough cash to cover your deposit as well as top up the difference.

Keeptrudging Thu 09-Jul-15 22:28:31

If it's been on the market for a while you can offer below asking price, we did with ours and they accepted it. The worst that can happen is they say no.

wigglylines Thu 09-Jul-15 23:59:58

I've got a Scottish property question too, ok if I join in?

I'd like to know how ownership works if you're in a converted flat or tenement?

In England, a flat can either be leashold or share of freehold. The freehold relates to the whole building. Most flats are leasehold meaning that you din't actually own them,.it's effectively a verying term rental, usually from a property management company. You pay then ground rent and probably extortionate service charges for doing bugger all .
You have the right to buy out the freehold is everyone in the building agrees to do it together.

A Scottish friend said it works differently in Scotland but I didn't know how, does anyone here?

Keeptrudging Fri 10-Jul-15 00:05:19

Think it's generally freehold here, don't recall seeing leasehold when hunting.

sleepyhead Fri 10-Jul-15 00:13:14

When we sold/bought a couple of years ago in Glasgow, estate agents seemed to be deliberately putting the o/o price at a level where the expected selling price would be around 10% over (I was very hmm about this - why start at a deliberately low point and just waste everyone's time?).

As pp have said, the Home Report value was more important. We got our HRV when selling (surprise, surprise, around 10% over the o/o), but paid less than the HRV when buying. The property we bought had been on the market for a while and had failed to sell in the past (was rented out in between) so they were open to reasonable offers.

Another property we failed to get was priced very low, nearly 20% under the HRV and had been on the market for ages. We put in what we thought was a reasonable offer (and nearly our best price) and were turned down flat. Turned out the vendors were a divorcing couple in serious negative equity - it didn't sell and is currently rented out.

So, if you're the only interested party it's fairly straightforward. Find out what the surveyor thinks it's worth (via Home Report) and use that as a guide, not the o/o price. Take into account what you think it's worth and maybe if it's been hanging around a while consider whether a lower offer might be worth a punt, otherwise you should be aiming around the Home Report.

It's fine to haggle a bit and start low. Our buyers put in a really cheeky first offer but a bit of toing and froing between the solicitors over the next few hours got us the price we wanted. I then did the same when negotiating with our place. Took a couple of hours back and forth to come to a price we agreed.

If there's lots of interest and it goes to a closing date and sealed bids, then obviously all bets are off and it's about how much it's worth to you.

Good luck - maybe we were fortunate but I found the process really simple, albeit nerve shredding...

sleepyhead Fri 10-Jul-15 00:14:23

Freehold always I think, unless you're buying on an Estate (as in landed gentry).

wigglylines Fri 10-Jul-15 01:05:30

I think maybe there's a difference in what freehold means?

In England, if I've understood correctly (which I many not have!) you can't ever actually own a flat freehold.

Only the whole building can be freehold, not individual flats.

What you can own is a share of the freehold, and the size of that share is usually proportionate to the size of your flat, relative to the others in the property. (Apologies I'm sure there is a simpler way to say that but it's late and I can't think of it!)

So, when you see a flat in England and Wales I think too, advertised as "freehold" it's not genuinely freehold, as in owned outright - it's really shorthand for "share of freehold". (The exception to this is if a flat is sold with the freehold to the whole property, which sometimes happens - so the other flats in the building would be liable for ground rent and service charges to whoever owns the flat with freehold).

In my old flat I had a share of freehold. But actually, technically I still had a 125 year lease, that the freeholders (myself and the other two flat-owners) had awarded to me.

I think in Scotland you simply own it outright, is that correct?

wigglylines Fri 10-Jul-15 01:17:03

How does it usually work with shared responsibilities like paying for a new roof when it's needed/ general maintenance of shared areas if you're in a freehold flat in a larger property?

Is there a generally accepted way of sharing these kinds of responsibilities or does it vary?

sleepyhead Fri 10-Jul-15 02:07:58

Normally the flat owners employ a factor (management company) who manages communal areas and things like building insurance.

This isn't mandatory however - you can sort out repairs etc on an ad hoc basis with each owner paying a share. The upsides are that you don't get fleeced by robbing bastard factors grin, the (major) downsides are that it can be a long and futile road trying to get everyone to pay up, for eg if the roof is leaking and you're the top flat but no-one else is that bothered, or the front entrance is unsecured and you're the ground floor flat but the top floor are less concerned as to the urgency of the repair.

In Edinburgh it seems to be less common to have factors than Glasgow, and I believe that the council have stepped in on occasion and done urgent repairs and billed the residents.

My last flat had the local housing association as factors as we were owner occupiers in a block that was otherwise owned by the HA. That worked out well and was cheap compared to the commercial firm that manages my new flat.

I didn't put in an offer on an otherwise promising property because it had no factors - a necessary evil imo.

soundsystem Fri 10-Jul-15 21:09:26

Thanks all

I've seen some places advertised with the home report available, but not others. If it's not mentioned, when is a reasonable time to ask for it? Is it acceptable to ask for the home report before viewing the property? I'm just thinking that might be useful as would avoid wasting people's time (including mine, when I'm not nearby)

soundsystem Fri 10-Jul-15 21:11:04

wigglylines, that's correct in Scotland if you buy a flat you actually own it, you don't just own the righ to lease it for a very long time! Bonkers!

As others have said a "factor" performs a lot of the same functions as the freeholer does in England with regards flats

Rangirl Fri 10-Jul-15 21:17:48

The Home report should be available before the house goes on the market so you should ask for it

sleepyhead Fri 10-Jul-15 22:32:45

I asked for Home Reports after viewing, but I don't see why you couldn't get it before. As Rangirl says, the seller has to commission the home report before putting their property on the market so it will be available.

INeedSomeHelp Fri 10-Jul-15 23:40:34

If you're looking online the Home Report should be available to download along with schedule. Or there should be a way of requesting it from the solicitor/estate agent. I would always look at it before viewing - gives you an idea of any areas to particularly look at when you view.

Crutchlow35 Sun 12-Jul-15 11:31:46

Local councils often negate the need for a factor. They can place a communal order on a block meaning that if someone tried to sell without paying their fair share it will come up on searches and the amount would need to be paid out of the prOceeds of sale.

As for offers over as has been said it depends on the HR valuation which must legally be given to you once asked for. It has a MVR (mortgage valuation report) which will tell you what the property is worth.

For property on market since nov 2014 it depends on area. My area is still relatively slow so 6 months is still fairly newish to the market.

Swannykazoo Sun 12-Jul-15 11:35:16

You don't need a home report if its a business property so someone who is using their house as a B+B might not have bothered getting a home report (though that would put off most sellers) just by the way....

Rangirl Sun 12-Jul-15 14:24:18

A mortgage valuation is not a legal requirement of a Home report Most do have a mortgage valuation
It is true that not all properties need a home report but the vast majority do

soundsystem Mon 13-Jul-15 14:56:10

Ah puggle that's useful to know. The place I'm looking at is currently used as a B&B! I was thinking that might be why there was no obvious mention of the home report.

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