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Access to new house before completion - help me prioritise

(15 Posts)
silversixpence Mon 22-Feb-16 17:20:13

We have access to our new house since exchange last week, and have almost 4 weeks before we move in.

The house needs:
wallpaper stripped, replastering where walls are damaged
paint/wallpaper throughout
all carpets removed and replaced with wood flooring (downstairs), tiled hallway with underfloor heating
Stairs and floors sanded upstairs and then painted
New stair runner
Light fittings replaced in bedrooms and living rooms (x3)
Garage door and gate replaced (rotten and falling apart)

What would you do before completion and what can wait? We are thinking wallpaper stripping, plaster and paint as much as possible then get upstairs floors and stairs done before moving in so furniture can go in rooms. Ideally also downstairs flooring.

Twitterqueen Mon 22-Feb-16 17:23:02

You are aware that if the sale falls through for any reason you will not get a penny of your money back? the house is not legally yours until completion...

Just so you know OP.

ChubbyPolecat Mon 22-Feb-16 17:36:46

I wouldn't do a thing before completion

ThroughThickAndThin01 Mon 22-Feb-16 17:41:18

I would, I'd get as much done as possible. Anything that causes mess and dust first.

Twitterqueen Mon 22-Feb-16 17:44:18

You could strip the carpets, put down lovely new wood flooring, do the underfloor heating - all of which are very difficult to do if you're living there.

Strip the walls, repaper.

And then the owners could take it off the market and put it on again 2 weeks later at a higher price - thanks to all the work that you've already done for them.

MiniCooperLover Mon 22-Feb-16 17:48:47

They could but very unlikely once exchange has taken place. But it's not really advisable to do anything to a house before completion.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Mon 22-Feb-16 18:17:35

If the scaremongering is putting you off OP, just do all the messy stripping and ripping out. No vendor would put it back on the market in a worse state than it started out.

bilbodog Mon 22-Feb-16 20:16:31

As the house doesn't belong to you yet you will need permission from the current owners to get access. We did this with an empty house, but only stripped out the carpets a s we wanted to have the house woodwormed before we moved in. Not a good idea to start spending time and money before completion and they may not let you.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Mon 22-Feb-16 21:05:02

The OP has said she has access.

DelphiniumBlue Mon 22-Feb-16 21:12:54

Access doesn't mean access to start doing work, it means access to do thongs like measuring up for curtains, unless you have specifically agreed that you can start specific building/ decorating work with the seller. Usually the deposit would be released to the seller on exchange, so that they that they are not out of pocket if things go wrong.
If all that has been dealt with, and you are insured, then stripping wallpaper and replastering would be the best place to start.

VitaSackvileVest Mon 22-Feb-16 21:14:02

Does "we've got access" mean you've got a front door key, or have you actually asked if you can do these things?

RaphaellaTheSpanishWaterDog Mon 22-Feb-16 21:32:59

I agree that it's rather risky to start 'improving' the property, OP.......but twice previously - including this house purchased in Dec 2014 - the vendor has allowed us access between exchange and completion to move stuff in wink

On both occasions the house was empty, the vendor having already moved out elsewhere and both were long distance moves that required several days to shift our ridiculously excessive amount of stuff. First time the vendors volunteered to let us have keys without any hints from us.

Second time it was more that our chosen removers were pushed for time, it being immediately prior to Christmas so we mentioned to the EA about allowing them a key to the garden only (garden is only accessible via a locked door) as they had a whole lorry load of garden furniture, plants in huge pots, statues etc. The vendor readily agreed.

Although both houses were major renovation projects - the first was unmortgageable - I'm not sure I would have wanted to actually start any work till it was 100% mine.......

RaphaellaTheSpanishWaterDog Mon 22-Feb-16 21:35:29

Sorry, meant to say that our garden furniture etc was already loaded up a few days before completion and our removers would have had to unload it into their storage facility had we not got access at the new house. Our move was actually spread over five days blush

silversixpence Mon 22-Feb-16 22:54:40

Thanks all, we have arranged a legal license to occupy drawn up by the solicitors and works have been approved by the current owners. As the current owner is a developer (they bought as a part exchange for one of their own new builds) they just want it off their hands and are extremely unlikely to pull out at this stage. Obviously it could all go wrong but it is a risk we are willing to take as the disruption of doing it with 3dc under 7 would be too much.

At the moment we are just stripping wallpaper and removing carpets but will try and do the plastering, painting and floors. Maybe we'll save the woodburner for when we move in just in case wink

ThroughThickAndThin01 Tue 23-Feb-16 08:04:17

Perfect. We've done this s couple of times, it's so nice to get a lot of work done before you move in. Good luck!

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