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Max out budget for 'forever' home? WWYD?

(34 Posts)
Sleepybunny Thu 25-Aug-16 18:51:36

I've fallen in love with an old property. It's a real fixer upper but in a good area. We offered after viewing as it really is the forever house. Our offer has been rejected though as there's been quite a lot of interest, so it's going to a closing date/sealed bids.

I'm devastated to be honest as I don't think we can offer the amount to win. However we're going to throw a bid in. He who dares wins right!?
Question is, do we throw everything we've got at it (would still be under valuation but as its damp etc....)
If we win we would be saving each month and doing things bit by bit. We can do a lot our selfs, but new kitchens and bathrooms will still cost ££££.

Believeitornot Thu 25-Aug-16 21:52:33

I wouldn't but that's because I would rather have some wiggle room if money is tight.

Sprig1 Thu 25-Aug-16 23:51:15

It depends how much you want it really. Do you have children? If so then slumming it for an extended period of time is probably not fair.

ChunkyHare Fri 26-Aug-16 07:40:31

We blew our decoration budget to buy this house. It is our forever house but we knew it would take 5 years to renovate it and extend it.

We are 6 years in now and have a couple more things to do but it will be completely finished then.

I suppose it depends how long you are prepared to live with stuff being as they are. I have just ripped out gold wallpaper from the bathroom and have lived with that but it was worth it to get the house. For 6 years I have hated it but it wasn't a priority.

Mine isn't old though. So I didn't have to cost in electrics/plumbing upgrades etc. But new boiler, radiators, bathrooms, kitchen extension, garage conversion, garden renovation etc and we know what we can do ourselves and what we needed to get people in to do as this isn't our first renovation.

OnePlanOnHouzz Fri 26-Aug-16 08:16:17

Old properties can need constant money spent on them just to keep them standing !! I live in a really old cottage and it's taken about 11years to get it almost right ! I dread to think how much we've spent over that time ( I purposely haven't kept a tally) so as long as you are prepared to take a hit financially for a long time - go for it !! But maybe get a thorough survey and valuation done first !!

GoldFishFingerz Fri 26-Aug-16 08:19:02

What works need doing? Bathroom and kitchen you can possibly live with for a few years? Do more urgent things like electrics and gas need doing? How damp is it?

GoldFishFingerz Fri 26-Aug-16 08:20:55

How much is the house? How much do finished houses go for in that area? How much work needs doing? How much will that work cost?

GoldFishFingerz Fri 26-Aug-16 08:21:47

What's essential work? What work can be done years down the line?

MiaowJario Fri 26-Aug-16 08:34:45

Well, sometimes things go to closed bids to whip up interest/price, so you could put in an offer a few hundred quid higher than your last offer and see.

Things I would be thinking about are:

How old is it? We had a property 120 years old, and that was relatively easy to do up. Also one about 300 years old, that wasn't so easy. Things like planning permission, specialist materials, uncovering old renovations/improvements in unexpected places.

How much of the work will you be doing yourself, how much will you buying in?

Although the housing market seems to be beating up well post Brexit in many places, there is still a good chance of future disruption or slow deflation/stagnation. So I wouldn't be maxing myself out just now. Once parliament is back, some real movement on what is going to happen in the future gets underway, there could be some disruption. There could also be disruption in 2+ years when exit actually occurs. You'll know yourself how well insulated you are from that in terms of job security, savings etc and whether you could weather that kind of storm if it arises.

My aunt and uncle took 25 years to gut and completely redo a four storey townhouse themselves (including landscaping gardens, lift and basement conversions). Soon as it was finished, it was time to start round again like the Forth Bridge. It's an amazing house and their hobby, but I would grudge that amount of time/money/effort continually being accounted for.

RebelandaStunner Fri 26-Aug-16 08:36:26

Google tips for sealed bids. We offered about £200 more and got it against numerous others a lot higher than that. We were in a better position than the others and also wrote a letter to the vendors (via estate agent) why we wanted it.
I never thought we would get it at that but we weren't prepared to go higher. Definitely don't go to your limit, you need to live a little too.
OTOH we would never buy a fixer upper again they go on and on and can cost a lot more than you think.

GetAHaircutCarl Fri 26-Aug-16 08:39:43

We've done up two beautiful homes.

Here is what you should know; it always costs more than you budget. It always takes longer than you think. Some of the work is hellish (I did not move into the second one, until it was finished as the first was a killer with DC).

PigletJohn Fri 26-Aug-16 09:56:15

And there is always another house.

LumpyMcBentface Fri 26-Aug-16 09:57:59

We stretched ourselves for our dream house but it's a New Build so maintenance costs have been zero so far and other than paint and furniture we've spent nothing on it.

Have never regretted it.

frank2011 Fri 26-Aug-16 12:24:21

Oh my we have been in the exact same position recently. Dream home in best location- massive, private sale and seller asking lowish price for it all. Actually bit big for us. Immaculate but so old and so grandma esque lol. Decor so old fashioned etc. Even replacing curtains would be thousands as massive bay windows. Kitchen okish but bathrooms bad!
We have 3 children and really would be maxing ourselves to pay what he wants- although JUST doable.
After much heartache we have decided to pass as we would have zero money left to do it up, maintenance etc. Still gutted as opportunities like this come one in a lifetime. We love holidays etc and felt too many sacrifices would have to be made for the house. It's the type of house that would need expensive furniture and lots of it. We don't really have the time & resources to put in it.
My husband is a high wage earner and I work part time. Worries about him losing his job etc played a big factor. We have only another 10yrs left on our current mortgage - know we will have to increase for our next home but to go back to a 20 year mortgage made us nervous.
Honestly I lost sleep over it. It wasn't totally perfectly as being an older property that was vast it only had one bathroom - no ensuite. Whole bottom floor was office space that we didn't need but could have made an amazing family space if we had 100k spare. Garden vast- would need a gardener. Things like this sort of made it out of our reach. We were definitely going to buy but brought family to second viewing- they sort of brought us back down to earth about the upkeep costs. Still gutted but sort of relieved as I felt it would have taken over our lives.

Another property has come up much cheaper and smaller although still lovely so remember that! Thing is I think it will always be the one that got away. We have offered on this and been accepted.

I have been told by various people that older houses although beautiful are money pits. We have only had newish properties before.

Wish you good luck on your office. We are probably risk adverse though. Having done an extension to our newish house it was a nightmare living here with the kids for months on end with builders in & out of the house- amazing when done though.

Spickle Fri 26-Aug-16 13:10:04

I think if you're young, no health issues and careers/jobs are secure then perhaps you'd regret it if you decided not to try and get this property.

On the other hand, if there is the slightest possibility that jobs are not secure, you are in your 40s and some slight health issues, I would strongly advise against it.

Bobochic Fri 26-Aug-16 15:28:38

The only way I could ever contemplate living in an old house is if I could strip it right back to the bones and renew everything bar the original decorative features (which I would restore).

I moved recently in Paris and my new apartment is a generation older than my previous apartment. It is exquisitely beautiful and I don't need to do too much to it (a bit of restoration and a new kitchen) but that's enough work for me. My tolerance for hardcore domestic work is limited.

heron98 Fri 26-Aug-16 15:39:22

There's no way I would throw all my money into a house.

Life is for living - having adventures, seeing the world, enjoying yourself. It's not about slaving away trying to pay off a huge mortgage and then dying at the end of it.

No house is worth sacraficing your family finances. A house is just bricks and mortar and somewhere to live. It doesn't need to be perfection.

LumpyMcBentface Fri 26-Aug-16 15:45:57

I disagree, up to a point. We're a family of five and we were miserable in a small house. Stretching for a big-enough detached property has improved everyone's quality of life.

But I think so long as your house is big enough to suit your family, stretching beyond that would be pointless.

PigletJohn Fri 26-Aug-16 16:21:25

It only needs a downturn in trade, or a bit of a recession, or spending cuts, or a client failure, or an outsourcing, to crash your plans. I've been through several ups and downs and have been lucky enough not to be in a hole I couldn't climb out of. If I'd been more stretched though....

TrailingIvy Fri 26-Aug-16 17:15:25

RebelandaStunner I am fascinated by your successful letter to the vendors... what did you put in it???

TrailingIvy Fri 26-Aug-16 17:19:30

And Sleepy you're in the same position as us, it's devastating isn't it! It's so tempting to throw all your money at it... I guess the one good thing about a closing date is that you do then have a set period of time to think long and hard about how much you want the house. Best to try to get some cold detachment from it I suppose, as hard as that may be.

RebelandaStunner Fri 26-Aug-16 17:35:38

It took me two hours to write Ivy dh still laughs about it!
Just put how it was exactly what we had been looking for for ages, how much our family would love it blah blah!
It worked alongside the fact that we had nothing to sell and had made the first and offer.

RebelandaStunner Fri 26-Aug-16 17:37:39

Meant to say and we were cash buyers. So thinking about it probably had no impact whatsoever grin

TrailingIvy Fri 26-Aug-16 17:56:19

Haha! No I'm definitely putting it down to the magic letter wink

I would write one but I strongly suspect the evil bastards estate agents for the house we want wouldn't even bother to pass it on.

GingerbreadGingerbread Fri 26-Aug-16 17:59:00

It depends if you feel you could manage the monthly repayments on the mortgage without falling into debt and without having to restrict finances to a level you're uncomfortable with. Can you cope with the pressure of the mortgage? If yes then go for it, if realistically it's no keep on looking.

I would have to know there was some wiggle room with finances and I wasn't over stretching every month just to pay for my home and not feel like I had to panic if I got an unexpected expense.

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