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How long to find a property to buy?

(36 Posts)
Werk Thu 27-Aug-20 17:32:52

When you are under offer on your sale?

We accepted an offer on our house last week. Before we had the offer we viewed two houses which we liked and offered on but both offers were turned down because we had not sold. Fair enough.

Now we are under offer I am getting so impatient! Nothing seems to be coming on the market - literally nothing in my search area and budget in the last week. We are in London, the market is bonkers at the moment.

I know I need to be patient, I assume some sellers might wait until schools have gone back/ holidays are over before listing <clutches straws>. How long did you have to wait to find a new home? How long should we give it before making the decision whether to proceed with a sale and moving into rented?

<refreshes Rightmove for the 1,000th time today>

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JoJoSM2 Thu 27-Aug-20 22:38:12

We’re painfully picky so we’ve ended up in rentals whilst waiting for the right place to come up.

How small is your search area? Are you looking for something quite standard like a 3-bed terrace or sth less usual?

LividLaughLovely Thu 27-Aug-20 23:08:07

Same position. Everything hit the market end of July. By the time we had gone to market and sold (in days) everything gone and we’ve lost out on two houses to chain-free buyers.

Have viewed all the wildcards too.

jeremypaxo Fri 28-Aug-20 14:11:37

We're in the same position @Werk. Saw a dream of a place a couple of months ago but we weren't even allowed to view it as ours wasn't on the market at that point. Now we've sold and there is absolutely nothing coming on to buy! We're in S London. Nothing decent has come on in our neighbourhood for weeks, not even properties outside our price range. Getting slightly nervous now!

FManc Fri 28-Aug-20 15:18:36

The number of properties that we're interested in within our chosen areas in South Manchester have really plummeted! Whereas in June and July there was a steady stream, in the last few weeks it's really stagnated.

Wearyheavyladen Fri 28-Aug-20 15:36:04

Same here and getting worried by the day. It would be good to hear from an estate agent what they think about the coming weeks in terms of homes on the market.

Werk Fri 28-Aug-20 15:52:26

Maybe we are in the same area @jeremypaxo!

We are looking for a 4 bed terrace/semi/detached (in our dreams) with a decent size garden within a couple of miles of DC's school - it is a very residential area but prices quickly go up beyond our budget (I search on Rightmove with no max price - I can dream) but literally nothing has come on in the past couple of weeks.

I feel bad but we have gone back to the seller of one house we liked but had our offer rejected on because we hadn't sold and offered to match the offer they accepted and set out our position (our buyer is chain free). We did it by letter through their door because I don't trust the agent (I think he has another property in their chain so he doesn't want it broken). Probably not that ethical, but.... waiting to hear back from them now (to be honest, if I were in that position I would stick to my word but I thought it worth a try).

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JoJoSM2 Fri 28-Aug-20 16:16:31

OP, any 3-beds with good living space downstairs that you could convert the loft in?

Werk Fri 28-Aug-20 16:21:02

@JoJoSM2 yes, absolutely- the house we offered on last was a 3 bed but with a loft that could be converted and had an office in the garden.

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BrowncoatWaffles Fri 28-Aug-20 16:30:37

We had exactly this situation. We agreed a sale and waiting a horrifying four weeks where NOTHING came up in our budget in our town (the weirdest thing, we knew we wanted between £500-600k but there were dozens of things going up below the stamp duty holiday threshold of £500k and then loads at £650k but nothing in between).

We ended up looking at something that we normally would never have considered, fell in love even though it needs ridiculous amounts of work and are now going through the process.

You have my utmost sympathy - I don’t know who was more terrified at the lack of things coming up that were of interest to us, us or our buyers!

Werk Fri 28-Aug-20 16:49:31

Ok four weeks.... I could probably be ok with. Did you end up compromising @BrowncoatWaffles? I don't want to end up buying somewhere just because that's all there is.
We are also at a tricky price point - we just need the right house to come up.

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Werk Fri 28-Aug-20 16:54:27

Should we just view everything?

We had discounted a particular road because it is a bit of a rat run, there is no off street parking and so it can be difficult to park. But a beautiful house has come on the market today. I really do not like the street (it is really scruffy too, not somewhere I imagine spending 7 figures on a property) and so although the agent asked if I wanted to see it before it went online, I said no.

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jeremypaxo Fri 28-Aug-20 16:58:05

I would definitely go and see it if I were you. You've got nothing to lose by viewing it!

EL8888 Fri 28-Aug-20 17:56:17

Another vote for consider the wild cards. I have organised a few viewings like that, my fiancé and l have been outside and he’s been like here?! We have got in there and he has gone yep, love it and l see your angle!

Just need to sell ours now!

JoJoSM2 Fri 28-Aug-20 17:58:52

7 figures on a scruffy rat run? Doesn’t sound very pleasant. Is it families living in the road or it is full of rundown bedsits sort of stuff? Personally, I don’t love the sound of it for a long term home.

Werk Fri 28-Aug-20 18:06:40

@JoJoSM2 it is a mixture really, commercial at one end, 1950's council blocks, some big Victorian detacheds most of which have been converted into flats (and are not looked after) although I know at least one is a rehab facility/ HMO and other than that standard London Victorian terraces. Parking is virtually impossible which puts me off too.

I tend to go by- buy the worst house in the best road rather than the other way around!

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JoJoSM2 Fri 28-Aug-20 18:11:44

Werk, oh my goodness... I think I’d find that road depressing... but then I’m used to zone 5 pricing. With commercial premises, rundown rentals and a council block, it doesn’t sound like the road will smarten up any time soon.

Luckily, you haven’t been under offer for that long so sth should come up soon.

FManc Fri 28-Aug-20 18:31:01

I personally wouldn't bother, especially if parking is a nightmare. After seven years of rarely being able to park anywhere near our house, it's one of the main reasons we sold up.

BrowncoatWaffles Fri 28-Aug-20 19:05:31


Ok four weeks.... I could probably be ok with. Did you end up compromising *@BrowncoatWaffles*? I don't want to end up buying somewhere just because that's all there is.
We are also at a tricky price point - we just need the right house to come up.

We compromised in as much as we viewed a few things at normally would have been on the ‘not a chance’ list.

We had a super specific (three road) area with lots of David Wilson homes that were really nicely specced out. We literally walked the roads looking at house sizes and then wrote letters to every house we thought we might be able to afford (to no avail!).

We didn’t pick something just because we needed somewhere - we’d already decided if we didn’t find something that worked before our buyers lost patience we’d give them the money they’d paid for their survey and pull ourselves off the market and just wait a few years.

But we did view something (a bungalow!) that normally we wouldn’t have looked at. It was more a thinking outside of the box rather than desperation thing.

KnobChops Fri 28-Aug-20 19:31:48

I think we’re going to end up like this. Signed up today and 3 viewings tomorrow with house not even photographed yet. Hopefully we’ll benefit from this mini boom but pretty much resigned to then renting for a bit. Am very fussy about next house as will be forever home. Restricted to 3 towns and I want a view or lovely garden, wider plot and the nicer streets.

SecretOfChange Fri 28-Aug-20 21:20:37

I just completed and kept an eye on the market throughout lockdown thinking about alternatives (just in case) and came to a conclusion that the options are very very limited at the moment. Worse than a year ago.

Notsurewhatsgoingon Fri 28-Aug-20 21:31:34

In exactly the same way position.
We have viewed and offered on everything that matches our criteria and budget. All the ones we have offered on have sold to people in better positions eg cash or ftb despite us offering more on a couple of occasions.
We are now viewing everything just above our price range, hoping they except a lower offer and ones we looked at on line and did not like at all. I'm hoping that they surprise us.

Notsurewhatsgoingon Fri 28-Aug-20 21:32:31

Way position?
That was supposed to just say position but my phone has a mind of its own.

InescapableDeath Tue 01-Sep-20 16:49:06

How long will first time buyers (or any buyer) generally wait for?

We haven't actually sold yet, but there is only one house in the area I like and all the others have been going quicker than they're being replaced...

Werk Thu 03-Sep-20 20:18:48

Rat run house sold for asking on the first day of viewings (we didn't see it as we couldn't make the timings work, plus, the road).

Then I got a call about a house not yet on the market, location not ideal (about 2.5 miles from school) but sounded promising.... get there and IT HAS NO GARDEN! just a side return yard - I specifically asked about a garden and thinking back to our conversation the agent didn't actually answer that question.... complete waste of time. Aargh.

And that's it, the only two four bed houses coming to market in an approximate area of 4sq miles in London in a week.

The sellers of the house we liked messaged me to say that they are sorry we missed out but they are going to stick with the original buyers (fair play to them, I would too). They sounded really sweet and said they have told their neighbours that we would be interested if they want to sell.

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