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Please help me decide what to offer! He paid £129,500 in June 2006 but wants £134,500!

(29 Posts)
lingle Fri 19-Jun-09 13:20:44

I really want to buy a particular 1-bedroom flat. I've had my eye on it for years (long story)

When I go to the nationwide and other houseprice calculators and plug in that the owner paid £129500 in the second quarter of 2006, it tells me that I should pay between £109 and £112K - though this is a figure for March and doesn't take into account the small rises since then.

The zoopla site allows a much more detailed specification and came up with a higher figure taking into account the plush postcode, views and period features of £119000.

The agent indicated that the seller's psychological perspective is to get what he paid for it (£129,500). It's a "bachelor pad" - period conversion - all wood floors - that he's leaving because he's got engaged and is moving in with fiancee (I presume!)

It's just gone on the market the day before yesterday..... we would have no house to sell so should be attractive buyers.

Help! If the websites were saying to me "It's worth £129K" I'd offer that and all would be well - but I'll feel such a fool if I overpay and prices continue to drift down for several years (though we would hope to keep it for 10-12 years and therefore get our money back long term at least).

Should I visit the agents, explain I have no house to sell and can complete in six weeks, but bring the print-out of the website with me and ask them to explain the discrepancy?

lingle Fri 19-Jun-09 13:23:31

Oh, in case anyone is wondering, the flat neighbours my maisonette so I would merge the two (complicated but feasible) giving me 4 bedrooms instead of my present two.

my "best alternative to an agreement" is to let someone else buy on the assumption that the property will continue to change hands every 3 years or so and that I may get it for less next time.

All property lovers' views greatly appreciated!

BecauseImWorthIt Fri 19-Jun-09 13:31:55

What does the EA say?

moshie Fri 19-Jun-09 13:41:29

I think that whatever various websites say about the value of the flat is irrelevant because; a: any property is only worth what someone is prepared to pay for it, and b: the seller decides the lowest price he can afford to accept.

By all means make a low offer, you can always increase it, but I wouldn't bother with the print-outs.

lingle Fri 19-Jun-09 13:58:27

estate agent? she's lovely (showed me round lots of properties a couple of years ago) and told me how they've all accepted a pay cut at her office.

It was the estate agent who indicated that the seller would be hoping to get what he paid for it.

do you think I should make a lower offer straight away (on the basis that I am worried it will continue to lose value)? If I played it cool and waited for it to sit on the market a long time then I'm sure he would reconsider but would be sad if I lost it.

lingle Fri 19-Jun-09 13:59:01

<waves to seller's fiancee just in case she is reading!>

CarGirl Fri 19-Jun-09 14:00:51

I think I'd go in with an offer of £125,000 and you will complete within 6 weeks and see what he says.

lingle Fri 19-Jun-09 14:04:17

<buys cargirl glass of wine>

lingle Fri 19-Jun-09 14:07:19

anyone else?

CarGirl Fri 19-Jun-09 14:16:28

Will you get planning permission to use it as one residence?

lingle Fri 19-Jun-09 14:18:49

I would have thought I wouldn't need it as it was originally one property. I would just be removing a stud wall. Query building regulation consent.

solicitors' fees could be a bit painful with the one residence issue!

jeanjeannie Fri 19-Jun-09 14:21:42

Well, I'm sort of with Cargirl - go in with the 125K, stressing your ability to move quickly. Are you prepared to pay the asking price? Sounds to me like it's probably very desirable and as there are so few decent properties out there I imagine there will be much interest...regardless of what he paid for it.

I'm in Bucks and half decent places are going to sealed bids. Yep, it may lose value...but you don't know that and it will actually add value to your exisitng place anyway. If it goes - sounds like your plans would go too.

Mmmmmmm *rubs chin quizzically* Funny, we're all looking to see how much something sold for now the prices are falling/stabilising/plateauing yet when they were shooting up, we were happy to pay anything they were marketed for - and more! Fix yourself a price and don't go above it.

trixymalixy Fri 19-Jun-09 14:22:23

The flat is worth what someone is prepared to pay for it.

Would you be kicking yourself for years to come if you missed out on it over a couple of thousand pounds especially if you are planning on being there for a long time ?

What would the properties combined be worth? more than the sum of the two properties or less?

We stupidly didn't buy the flat above ours and were kicking ourselves for years to come especialy as we really hated the people that bought it, made our lives a misery.

CarGirl Fri 19-Jun-09 14:23:57

if you don't legally make it one residence then you will have to pay 2 lots of council tax, if you change it to one residency will you have problems turning it back into 2 seperate properties at a later date?

lingle Fri 19-Jun-09 14:41:28

Thanks for further replies - interesting that people seem to be crystallising around the £125 figure.
There's certainly quite a checklist of things to think about with the 2-into-1 thing. I'd need freeholder's consent to remove the partition and, crucially, to reinstate it later as later sales conditions might favour reselling as two separate properties rather than one.

Maybe I'll phone up and offer £125. I've made an appointment with Nationwide to go over everything and, as I'll need to do an equity transfer of our existing property into my and DH's joint names (guess who earns more now?) it would take until between 24th July and 7th August to get the money.

I guess at the end of the day, the Estate Agents agreed that £134K figure with him with the aim of getting something within at least touching distance of that......

lingle Fri 19-Jun-09 15:05:06

Have left a message for estate agents to call back. Am going to offer £125. Our friends are coming to stay on 7th August and it would be so so nice not to have to give them our bedroom and sleep in the study as we usually have to!

spicemonster Fri 19-Jun-09 15:11:24

My friends were in exactly this situation a few years ago. They ended up paying more than the asking price (although this was boom time) because they were prepared to outbid the other potential vendors. Although it really stung at the time, the fact that they now have a huge house without having the pain of moving has softened the blow enormously. The house is also worth a lot more than the two separate flats (whole houses are rare as hen's teeth round here). So you might want to take all that into consideration too.

lingle Fri 19-Jun-09 15:23:18

thanks spice! These agents know me fairly well (it's a small town) so I'll play with a straight bat here.....won't pretend I can't afford the asking price or any of that sort of thing. Will just say I'd feel a bit foolish if I offered more!

Fizzylemonade Fri 19-Jun-09 19:34:36

I have said this on many a thread but my own house comes up as a certain price on zoopla and doesn't take into any consideration the amount of work we have done to this property, it merely goes off what we bought it for which was subsidised from the top to get a completed chain.

We have gutted it from top to bottom, new boiler, new bathroom and en-suite, kitchen, whole house replastered and redecorated. We will have a photo album ready for any viewings so that they can see what we have done.

I think too many people rely on zoopla and the likes but you have to take each house on its own merit.

My own view would be to go in at £125k but be prepared to pay £135, it would be a great opportunity to create a 4 bed and I think you would kick yourself if in 10 years time that flat never came back on the market and they were waiting for YOUR flat to come on the market with the same idea as you grin

goldenpeach Fri 19-Jun-09 20:11:14

Well, I read a similar dilemma on another forum, although it was land rather than a property and the man ended up paying over the asking to outbid somebody else (and happy to have secured it). All the advice given is really good and Sarah Beeny proved in this week's programme that two flats don't achieve as much as one good house as there is such an oversupply of flats in the UK. After all it's only a few thousands more and you live next to it. Obviously if you have no competition than you have an edge.

lingle Sun 21-Jun-09 21:37:56

You guys are great - thank you so much for the advice and it was so helpful having several different people crystallise around the same figure.

I put in the offer on Friday and they haven't responded yet - makes sense to see what the weekend brings I guess.

The good news is that I made an informal request to the freeholder asking to indicate whether he saw any problem with granting the various consents I think I would need. He responded positively saying he didn't see a problem subject to advice. This is a relief as previously he has himself had an eye on the flat as an investment property - but buy-to-lets are pretty unattractive at the moment I suspect. So it's great not to be bidding against him as I'd feared I might. I put a call in to the estate agents to let them know I'd had this response as the seller knows the freeholder's character and this should reassure him.

DH woke up yesterday morning saying "oh I want to go into my new study" so now I feel I have to get it for him.......

lingle Sun 21-Jun-09 22:00:10

should add that I put in the offer you'd all recommended (of course!)

brettgirl2 Sun 21-Jun-09 22:12:26

It also depends what he's done to it. The records may say I paid a low price for my house, but they don't mention that the place was a cesspit that needed gutting!

katz Sun 21-Jun-09 22:19:56

i'd look at how much your place is worth and how much a bigger place with all the space you want would cost inc all the costs ass with moving (sol, removal van ect) and see which is the better deal. Also factor in the time and hastle of packing and moving versus the disruption of moving. I'd also ask the estate agent how much it would be worth knocked into 2. I'm not sure but i'd also check with the planning office that it's ok to return it back into 1 dwelling. A quick phone call should answer you question there.

lingle Sun 21-Jun-09 22:31:47

Thanks for the further replies. He's done nothing The place itself is in a good state of repair/presentation (though not excellent).

The communal areas (which I'm pleased to say I wouldn't have to use) are very offputting - one window has had cardboard in it for over a year!!!!!!

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