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Buying a house that was previously council owned

(38 Posts)
Freezingwinter Sun 02-Oct-16 09:48:07

We've fallen in love with a house that was previously a council owned property. It's in a really nice area, the majority of houses and maisonettes have now been brought and privately owned, but certain family members have turned their noses up and said they wouldn't buy an ex council house! I wasn't bothered (and I'm not now either) but thought I'd ask - is it not generally the thing to do?! I wasn't even aware that anyone might think it was a problem. It's a nice big house built in the 1950s and feels sturdy and homely. Those family members can be a bit snobbish about other silly things.. What does everyone else think?

ShyFox Sun 02-Oct-16 09:51:13

I have bought an ex council house and personally I wouldn't recommend it.

Freezingwinter Sun 02-Oct-16 09:52:03

do you mind me asking why?

ShyFox Sun 02-Oct-16 09:56:15

Oops was meant to elaborate on that!

I regret it as the area has gone down massively. It was OK when we moved in but the council have really let the area go and now there is letter/ flytipping/ abandoned cars etc . House has gone into negative equity too as a result. But this is my experience.

If the area is good and you think that will probably stay like that then I would consider it.

Shinyshoes2 Sun 02-Oct-16 10:00:39

I'm currently buying my council house
I'm the last of 2 council properties along the road . I live 5 minutes walk from the district line and 10 mins from 2 outstanding primary schools
The area is nice
I'd do it if you're happy

Shosha1 Sun 02-Oct-16 10:00:51

We purposely looked and bought a ex council house ( rural, council houses tend to be on the edges of villages)

Reasons ?

Well made, large gardens, village location.

Freezingwinter Sun 02-Oct-16 10:01:28

It's not really a council area anymore. There are some one bedroom maisonettes but mainly lived in by older generation. The houses are almost all privately owned now, and there are about 300 new builds just around the corner. So, I can't see the area going downhill. My family seemed snobbish about the actual house, as though something may be wrong with how it was built?!

Giratina Sun 02-Oct-16 10:04:49

Both of my houses I've owned are ex council, when we were house hunting we found that these were much better for bedroom size than newer builds, both of them have had 3 decent size double bedrooms with no box room. Of course, you don't get frills like en suite bathrooms with ex councils unless you decide to sacrifice bedroom space to install one. We had no problem selling the old one and the one we're in now wasn't on the market long when we bought it so buying/selling hasn't been a problem for us.

Haggisfish Sun 02-Oct-16 10:07:54

Ime ones built before the sixties are very well built on large plots and have been well maintained.

MrsFinkelstein Sun 02-Oct-16 10:08:21

My house is ex council, and it's fantastic! Most of the houses in the street are now privately owned, and the few council tenants still remaining keep their properties really well.
It's in a great area (my gran used to live in the street so I grew up there). Close to local schools, parks etc.
Rooms are massive, high ceilings, bedrooms all big (even the smallest is a generous double size), big gardens.
Compared to the brand new build we had previously I would say it's definitely build better, walls are thicker etc, better sound proofing.
If the area is good, then I would have no qualms about the quality of the house.

pinkblink Sun 02-Oct-16 10:08:46

Our house is ex council, our end of the estate are all private, the other end are in the process of being bought, lived here 6 years and found the house is bigger than new builds we looked at and the gardens bigger.

I don't find it really comes up in conversation anyway (apart from now of course)

Eminybob Sun 02-Oct-16 10:08:56

I bought a previously council house. It's on a largish estate which is in the main privately owned now but there are a couple of blocks of flats that are still council/housing association. Our road is right on the edge and is lovely and quiet, mainly occupied by older folk but more is now being bought by younger couples with families. I'm really happy here, it's a nice road, but I wouldn't want to live further into the estate.

The house itself is a sturdy 1950s built semi with large front and back garden. No drive but we could (and plan to) put a drive in as here is space at the front and many other houses have done this.
You can't hear a peep through the adjoining wall, and it retains heat really well.

We couldn't have afforded a house this size in our town unless we had gone ex council. Even houses just across the main road, but not in the estate would be at least £50k more for the equivalent space.

Redglitter Sun 02-Oct-16 10:09:40

I'm house hunting just now and an ex council house would be my first choice. You get so much more for your money. The room sizes are great.

The area I'm looking at is pretty much all privately owned and is lovely. Really quiet gardens well maintained etc

I'd say go for it

MrsFinkelstein Sun 02-Oct-16 10:09:45

Oh and ex council houses round here always sell very quickly and prices are very good.

justdontevenfuckingstart Sun 02-Oct-16 10:11:35

We bought an ex LA house and it's amazing. Have the hoojest garden imaginable. Doesn't look great from kerbside to be fair. It's obviously 'council' but the best thing we did. Love it.

BibbidiBobbidi Sun 02-Oct-16 10:18:18

I own an ex council house. It's our first home and it's lovely!
The garden is massive, the bedrooms are massive, the living room is a good size, as is the kitchen.
The only downside to it is the fact it is built out of concrete instead of brick.
When it's hot, it's really hot and when it's cold it's freezing! Nothing popping the heating can't solve though.
Concrete walls also mean it's incredibly difficult to drill into the walls so if you want to put up shelves or pictures it's a bit of a challenge.
That's the only thing I'd say is naff about our home. Other than that I adore it!

Happy house hunting!

OdinsLoveChild Sun 02-Oct-16 10:27:29

I live in an ex council house. Check your deeds very carefully. Despite owning our home for over a quarter of a century we are still battling to get stupid rules lifted from the property.

No sheds/outhouses/coloured fences are permitted, no vans/commercial vehicles/caravans/motorhomes/boats etc permitted on your drive.
The front of the property must be predominantly lawned (no driveway extensions permitted) .
No hanging washing out on Sundays hmm.
No fence permitted above 5ft tall at the rear of the property and no fencing permitted at the front of the property.
No unnatural colours permitted on your front door (not sure about whats unnatural, I'm pretty sure I can find every colour in the rainbow 'naturally').

The council wont lift these regulations but have suggested they will turn a blind eye however if we sell and we have 6ft fences we will need to replace them with 5ft because they wont change the restrictions (money I think).

The houses are large but may not have all the up to date work on them. Mine will definitely need rewiring as its never been done but I cant afford to do it. The pipework has been slowly replaced because it doesn't meet up to date requirements. The heating had needed to be upgraded recently etc

GETTINGLIKEMYMOTHER Sun 02-Oct-16 10:35:28

One of my dds is in the process of trying to buy one. She's looked at several in what is a pretty expensive area of the SE.
Even just a mile or two apart the roads/areas do vary an awful lot. But the house and road she's offered on are very nice and to me the house is excellent value.
An awful lot of ex council properties are better built and a lot more spacious than equivalent new builds that cost quite a bit more.

If you've found a good one in a nice road, than I'd say go for it. I think there was something of a stigma before, but since house prices have got so ridiculous a lot of people who would not have considered them say 20 years ago, are now very happy to do so.

ShyFox Sun 02-Oct-16 12:05:02

It's interesting that alot of people have mentioned how great they are built. Large gardens, large bedrooms and being built well is not how I would describe my house or others in my town! Maybe we have been very unlucky!

YoungGirlGrowingOld Sun 02-Oct-16 12:14:29

Totally depends on the area. I bought an ex-council maisonette as an investment property. It was fine for the first year or so then became a nightmare (although my tenants were brilliant). There was a row of flats below that used to be let to mainly pensioners, but each time one of them died or went to a care home, they were replaced with "problem" tenants, a few of whom had severe addiction/MH issues. My poor tenants had a young baby and the chap downstairs would regularly set his furniture on fire. The HA were no help at all.

I suspect that the proportion of "difficult to house" tenants in HA properties has increased because of the severe shortage of affordable housing. It's crappy for the other tenants and tbh as a buyer I wouldn't take the risk again.

pinkblink Sun 02-Oct-16 12:15:18

Maybe it's the age of them shy? Might have been built better to start then started cost cutting?

GETTINGLIKEMYMOTHER Sun 02-Oct-16 12:18:47

I suppose it depends on what you compare them with shyfox. I wouldn't describe the rooms in the house my DD is hoping to buy as large, but they are a good size, certainly when compared to so many newer, non council properties, where 'open plan' is an excuse to shove a kitchen at one end of a none too big living room, and there is so often hardly any storage space.

I used to have an ex council flat and it was way more spacious than more expensive new builds in the area, with very good storage. My other dd's first house was an ex council and though nobody could describe it as large, it was IMO extremely well designed to make the most of the space, was very light, and had plenty of big built in cupboards.

GETTINGLIKEMYMOTHER Sun 02-Oct-16 12:43:55

Should have added, I looked at several ex council homes with DD, and there were certain roads/areas we wrote off at once, because of litter, rubbish and old mattresses/sofas etc. dumped in front gardens, very messy front gardens that nobody evidently bothers with, very loud music playing, audible shouting or swearing - any or all of these really.

In every case there was nothing wrong with the actual houses or the physical area - it was just a great shame that too many of a certain type of tenant had made the area undesirable.
I don't like saying that, but it's a sad fact.

phoria Sun 02-Oct-16 13:37:15

i currently live in an ex-council as a tenant and they're amazing for space, really well-built compared to flimsy new builds. i think the main issue might be that you're liable for major works and that could be thousands of pounds. i certainly wouldn't be snobbish about buying one. just make sure the estate is a nice one and your solicitor checks if there any major works scheduled in the next 5 years.

ShyFox Sun 02-Oct-16 14:21:49

My house was built around 1960s so maybe the houses built before then were the better ones.

Our house is designed poorly. Parking is on the back street so everyone uses the back door as the front! Doors are not the average size, narrow doors have been used, there is a chimney that goes through the middle of the house which means that bedrooms have awkward shapes and space hasn't been used optimally, there is ugly white plastic cladding on the front and back of the house- the list goes on! I can't wait to move!

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