House Buying Quandry

(25 Posts)
Whataracket Sun 21-Jun-20 10:21:35

We are in the process of buying a house, solidly built, but needs a fair bit of work - new kitchen, new central heating, new gas fire, new windows, so quite a bit of expense. The owners are not willing to negotiate on anything and have told us they will pull out rather than concede anything.

We are considering whether to pull out and go for a second hand new build, which is slightly bigger and wouldn't need as much work, but it could be argued is not as solidly built.

What would you do?

OP’s posts: |
didireallysaythat Sun 21-Jun-20 11:04:04

If the first house priced as if it's got an older boiler, kitchen etc or is it priced like it's all brand new?

We bought a similar sounding house, boiler was 34 years old, kitchen from the 80, bathroom from the 70, but it didn't occur to us to try and get a reduction in price as all of these things were obvious from viewing it. If they had been newer the house would have been £25-40k out of our range. I guess it depends on whether you're the kinda of people who like a house to be perfect when you move in or if you can live in it and do it up bit by bit as you find the money

Whataracket Sun 21-Jun-20 11:49:35

We could do it up then live in it, but both houses are the same price.

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notheragain4 Sun 21-Jun-20 11:50:18

What do you mean by solidly built? What is it you're after exactly? New builds aren't made of match sticks, they meet strict building guidelines, it's not going to blow over in a gust of wind.

The only difference in terms of "build" for us in our new build vs our old houses has been using wall plugs for heavier pictures as the walls aren't as thick but that really isn't a reason to avoid a house. Have no issues with sound proofing or anything like that.

notheragain4 Sun 21-Jun-20 11:51:39

(Although I'm generalising as obviously not all houses are built equality, new or otherwise- but I wouldn't avoid a house on perceptions, research the developer etc)

Whataracket Sun 21-Jun-20 12:26:43

Thanks @notheragain4. The new build is a Barratt house, traditionally built, as in breeze block insulation and brick, so not timber framed.

OP’s posts: |
notheragain4 Sun 21-Jun-20 12:31:04

Even better! Although even timber frame doesn't need to be feared.

We are in the process of buying a Barratt house (from new) at the moment actually. The benefit to buying a second hand recent new build (like our current house) is they've done all the snagging and you're not paying the premium that comes with new builds.


strawberry2017 Sun 21-Jun-20 12:51:52

Which house do you want more?
It's possible they are bluffing but the only way to find out is to call their bluff.
Has it been priced to take in to account the work that needs doing already?

RHRA Sun 21-Jun-20 12:59:45

new kitchen, new central heating, new gas fire, new windows
All things you’d know from the 1st viewing or looking on line at the house particulars; not a revelation from the survey.
I think the things you’ve mentioned are not things to negotiate on after starting the process & handing over money. The house is most likely priced to sell, so stop trying to mess the vendors about.

Whataracket Sun 21-Jun-20 13:40:40

@RHRA the state of the gas fire plus a couple of other issues weren't apparent at first.
At the moment it is the vendor messing us around and not vice versa.

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HforHotel Sun 21-Jun-20 13:46:52

I was also going to ask what you meant by “solid”, but I think you’re fine with the newer one. We previously lived in a timber frame house and it didn’t feel very solid, but I think that was more about the shoddy builder!

The newer build will have worked out the snags by now, so just make sure you have a proper survey.

I’d give the older house a miss unless you can do a proper review with a builder. I’m horrified about building costs at the moment.

Honeyroar Sun 21-Jun-20 13:52:13

I’d prefer the older house personally. New builds always feel a bit creaky and thin walled with tiny gardens to me, so I understand what you mean. Which house do you prefer? Would the new windows/kitchen etc add to the value of the “solid” house?

MartinJD1976 Sun 21-Jun-20 14:05:35

All of the stuff you've mentioned should have been apparent from your first viewing, so it sounds as if you're now trying to chip some money off after agreeing on a price. I would tell you to do one If I was the vendor as you sound like a chancer.

Whataracket Sun 21-Jun-20 14:13:42

We are not trying to reduce the price agreed at all.

Several things that have come to light via the paperwork and more and more things need checking and sorting - think covenants, consents and safety checks. Vendor has said they won't do anything and they will relist it unless we suck up every single thing.

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Pipandmum Sun 21-Jun-20 14:59:14

If it's a matter of covenant and consents then walk away. Ridiculous they wont sort it - no solicitor is going to recommend a purchase without these dealt with, so the vendors will have the same issues with the next purchaser. I pulled out of a purchase because the vendor hadn't got listed building consent for an alteration and said she would not apply for retrospective permission. My lawyer even consulted a specialist lawyer about this and warned me off. I would have had to apply for it and this risk was I wouldn't get it, knocking thousands off the value (she had divided a room in half to create a second bedroom). It took her another year and a half to sell her flat.

MartinJD1976 Sun 21-Jun-20 15:38:57


We are not trying to reduce the price agreed at all.

Several things that have come to light via the paperwork and more and more things need checking and sorting - think covenants, consents and safety checks. Vendor has said they won't do anything and they will relist it unless we suck up every single thing.

You mentioned " new kitchen, new central heating, new gas fire, new windows"

All of this stuff should have been immediately apparent to you from viewings. All of that should have been factored into your original offer, not negotiated during the sale.

woodlandwalker Sun 21-Jun-20 15:44:17

If there are restrictive covenants and/or issues shown by survey in addition to the obvious modernisation, the vendor should deal with these or drop the price. If they refuse, it is best not to buy.
If a new built is as big as the older house, it sounds a much better buy. The usual problem with new builds is that they are so small.

tanstaafl Sun 21-Jun-20 15:50:26

I’d be looking at how long it’s been on the market. If it’s a while , clearly the ‘no budging’ policy looks to have put other buyers off too.

The things you mention need replacing, if they’re working now , the seller uses them, then I can see their position, kind of. You want a ‘solid’ house but also want reduction in price because it’s your preference to change them to your style.

If you’re talking about serious modernisation to bring them up to modern comfort and safety standards and efficiency and they are not budging then unless it’s a good price, time to walk away.

Honeyroar Sun 21-Jun-20 16:24:59

But surely the modernisation needed is reflected in the price? As I mentioned before, would the modernisation you want to do increase the value of the house when you sold it? Perhaps the house completely modernised would be £15-20k more? And what restrictions etc are you talking about?

Are you a first time buyer? Surveys often throw up issues that aren’t half as bad as they doing. The mortgage company’s survey is the one I’m interested in - if they will give you a mortgage on it then it’s valued ok.. (obviously unless you’re putting a huge deposit down).

tubbatops Sun 21-Jun-20 16:30:24

Walk away, they sound like pain in the a holes. Some on here would advise you to still go ahead even if the house had been destroyed by a bomb 🙄

BlueLadybird Sun 21-Jun-20 16:42:19

If you’re taking a mortgage it’s unlikely you’ll be able to exchange with covenants etc outstanding. It sounds like you’re not in love with the house either. I’d walk away.

Busybee434 Sun 21-Jun-20 16:45:51

@notheragain4 im buying a barratt home as well !! Im buying the 4 bed alderney which one are you going for x

Sunshineboo Sun 21-Jun-20 16:48:39

I bought of a vendor like yours. The property searches came back with a few issues which could be dealt with through purchase of insurance policies. He refused. We loved the house so paid. I think we will be here for life - it is perfect for us.

If I had not really loved the house I would have walked away.

My first house was a new build and I was glad for it as the maintenance costs were very low. We didn’t have much cash so that was ideal.

Do what feels right for you now.

SeasonFinale Sun 21-Jun-20 16:51:52

Restrictive covenants are what they are. It sounds like you are being pernicketty and if I had buyers being like that I would assume you were messing me about and out it back on the market.

redastherose Sun 21-Jun-20 17:00:36

Pull out if they won't sort out the problems. It sounds like the Barrett house is the better buy tbh if it is larger and newer. It sounds like the other property is going to be more trouble than it's worth.

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