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Is this an insulting offer?

82 replies

macneil · 31/08/2007 18:20

Have fallen for a house in the north of England in a university city. It's on the market for £275,000. Last year the buyer paid £230,000. They have sanded the floorboards and decorated it beautifully, but done no structural work. The estate agent says house prices haven't gone up all that much in the last year. The thing is, we just can't afford it, especially as going over £250,000 means stamp duty of at least £7,000, over £8,000 at £275,000. They haven't had any other offers. But if we make an offer at £249,999, will they hate us so much they wouldn't take a bigger offer? The absolute most we can afford (and basically this would mean eating nothing but rice for the rest of our lives) is £260,000. Would it be smarter to say 'We've spoken to the bank and this is absolutely our top offer, we understand if you can't take it' first of all. Or do we take a risk and try the £249,999? Does anyone have any idea how the house market is going at the moment?

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macneil · 01/09/2007 09:50

No, not an anti-Beeny money-making scheme: they'd be charging extra for the stove, the carpets, etc. none of that is listed and that was what they spoke to us about being willing to sell. They're a really lovely couple with two kids who made their house the way they wanted it to be and got pregnant again. Their range fits a perfectly sized nook in the kitchen, so I expect they'd be okay with leaving it in the nook if we paid them for it, but would be damned if they'd leave it if we didn't.

The thing is, all the things that make it look so lovely, and worth more than £230k this year are also things they want to charge for! So it's like they're saying these things make it worth £275k, plus if you want to keep them, we'll sell them to you too. Apart from wallpaper, paint etc. which neither of us has any choice about them leaving.

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WideWebWitch · 01/09/2007 10:15

Oh ok, I see!

StripeyKnickersSpottySocks · 01/09/2007 11:05

I know someone who bought a 280k house for £249,000 then paid an extra 31k for the carpets, shed, cooker, etc. It was obviously to get away with not paying the extra stamp duty and they managed it - they had to make an itemised list.

Niecie · 02/09/2007 14:43

You have to be very careful paying separately for fixtures and fittings to avoid stamp duty. Our solicitor refused have anything to do with it when we sold a house for £260k as he said the revenue don't look kindly on tax evasion and were looking closely at transactions around the £250k mark. I am sure that £2-3k would be OK but anything more might be a problem.

I am sure some have managed to get away with it but you need to be careful.

Hope you have some luck tomorrow, if you do make an offer.

macneil · 02/09/2007 15:33

Thanks, Neicie. We couldn't see the last house on our list that we still haven't seen, so are trying for Monday. There haven't been any other offers on 'our' house yet, so we still, I hope, have a few days to play with. It is crazy, isn't it, that you spend longer trying on a pair of shoes than you do looking round houses you're going to put an offer on? Well, I do. Well, maybe not shoes, but definitely coats.

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LittleMinx · 02/09/2007 21:51

You do need to be careful regarding paying extra for fixtures and fittings.

I am in estate agency and it is a big problem trying to shift houses worth just over 250k to be honest and a lot of them will eventually take just under 250k because people wont pay the extra stamp duty.

Go in for the offer you can have nothing to lose. To be honest, your estate agent should have a rough idea on whether or not the vendor would accept your offer and should guide you......thats what we get paid to do!!

Good luck and let us know if your offer is accepted!

If it isnt then you will find something else, trust me. we get so many people upset and heartbroken but do you know what, the end up finding a house they like more and say they are glad they didnt get the 1st one! whats meant to be will be and everything happens for a reason..... i am a great believer in that!

macneil · 04/09/2007 09:31

We agonised about this and my dad persuaded us not to start any lower and in fact my dad kept saying 'start at £260k and let them know it's really all you can afford', but I really don't know that he was right. We put in the offer at 4.30pm yesterday and it is their only offer since they put it on a month ago, so they turned it down quickly enough to catch the 5pm post because our rejection came in the post today. My dad says 'offer £260', my husband doesn't want to offer more.

I love the house over the road from this one, too, and it's lots cheaper (the side without a view) and I could make it really pretty, but it has serious damp on a CENTRAL wall, which is apparently extremely rare, and although the seller is supposedly fixing the damp, no one knows where it came from so I just feel like there's a ghost burial ground that seeps raw sewage there. If only it were NORMAL, I would go for that one in a heartbeat. I think we can only find out about the mysteries of it by putting in an offer, having it accepted, and then getting a survey, so that's obviously putting us off.

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macneil · 04/09/2007 09:32

Oops, forgot to say we offered £249,999. Anyway, all quite thrilling to make an offer on an actual house, whatever happened.

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PippiLangstrump · 04/09/2007 09:48

macneil DH and I were selling a flat in london. estate agent said will try 270000 and see what happens (london market crazy though so lots of flat overpriced - mine went after two days 20k over)

anyway because it's above stamp duty, like yours we only got offers at 249950, which we accepted happily (as it was a lot more than we thought anyway).

so you've done well. do not be a wimp, you can alway put the price up later.

PS we were wimps when we bought the house, I bet we could have put the price down at least 10k but I was scared it would go we offered asking price straight away. idiots!

DarrellRivers · 04/09/2007 10:01

I think the vendors are crazy, no-one will offer more thatn 250 becuase of the stamp duty and i bet they are sweating about you not having offered higher.
You made the right offer.

titchy · 04/09/2007 10:13

I'd leave it a few days, let them stew a bit. If it's their only offer and they are pressured time-wise being pregnant, then they may well start regretting turning down your offer. Need nerves of steel though! If you haven't heard anything by Friday then say you're prepared to offer £2-3k in addition for fixtures and fittings but that's it.

As for the house over the road doesn't hurt to offer on that one as well. Don't worry about having to pull out if dream house vendors accept your offer later - 40% of offers never proceed. If you end up with damp house make sure your solicitor takes out an indeminity policy so if the damp continues to be a problem your are covered for the cost of sorting it out.

PippiLangstrump · 04/09/2007 10:40

let us know how it goes

thehairybabysmum · 04/09/2007 10:41

Whereabouts in York is it?? I live in Holgate in York (theres a couple of houses on my street for sale more in your price rage!)...i htink property prices have gone up in the last year but not by that much....230 to 275 seems an awful lot in 1 year just for decorating. I would have actually said that to the agent too.

FWIW i think you have done the right thing offering the 250k and as others have said the tax bracket thing will really affect them getting offers over the 250k so you never know their agent may well be back in touch if they get no more interest.

Which agents is it?

macneil · 04/09/2007 10:54

Bootham, and the estate agent is Ashtons, who were the only people who showed us the sort of size and price we wanted. Loads of other estate agents seem only to have around the £300k for central York, and because I'm used to central London, I'm being a bit dickishly scared of moving out of sight of a M&S. I think this is obviously going to change once we've been looking for a bit longer than 2 weeks!

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thehairybabysmum · 04/09/2007 11:09

Depends what you class as central...area i live is 15-20 mins walk from centre...defo in range of M&S as i practically live in the food bit (especilaly as pg at the mo!)

Bootham is v. pricey...have you looked at Bishopthorpe Rd area...v. close to c.c. and a bit cheaper than Bootham, though prob not by much. Also has a nice row of local shops, deli etc and nice park fact i would say nicer than Bootham.

What type/size of house you after??

York is lovely to live in so whichever house you end up with im sure you will be v. happy here.

macneil · 04/09/2007 11:22

Yes, we saw one yesterday smack bang next to the park. Dh utterly delighted with this because he likes to run and it's next to where he'll be working too. However, the house was AS expensive as the one I like and had crazy floor which was half stripped pine and half cheap plastic tiles which were set at exactly the same level as the pine and weren't dig-uppable, just put-overable. Also terrible kitchen. He seems to think this is all easy work, but I know him and he won't be doing the work. I moved into a really grim flat 12 years ago and remember how much work easy work actually is. But on the other hand, Phil and Kirstie would tell me not to be seduced by paint.

I think we have to see more of the city, it's true, because you know what it's like when you don't know somewhere and you get scared just because you turn down two streets from the only street you've ever seen, where you can place things, and then when you've been there a while you're like THIS was what I thought was far out? Was I BLIND?

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macneil · 04/09/2007 11:24

Oh, and fortunately because we're used to a one bed flat on the third floor in London, we don't have very grand hopes for gardens and space, we just need an attic conversion so dh can work at home without seeing any of us.

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hoxtonchick · 04/09/2007 11:29

how about the groves? or somewhere up haxby road. cheaper than bootham & still v. central. what you really need is to get my mum on the case . oh, & i think the evening press property section is on a thursday.

Dinosaur · 04/09/2007 11:31

I didn't know your folks were in York, hoxty! Mine are not that far away - about 20 miles away (when they're in England, that is).

Fimbo · 04/09/2007 11:31

Could you rent for a while? We rented for 6 months when we first moved from Scotland to Norwich, it helped us to settle in and from word of mouth eventually found out the good areas and bad. That is how we found the village that we now live in, it wasn't even on the list of supposedly good areas to live in that Dh's employers provided!

But I guess, even in 6 months prices are continually rising....

thehairybabysmum · 04/09/2007 11:33

Obviously im biased as i live there already but i think you should look at Holgate as you will get (slightly) more house for your money than bootham or B'thorpe rd whilst still being v. close to city.

The downside to being close to the city is that you will generally be looking at a terraced house with only a yard or small garden (if you lucky)...personally id rather live close to city centre...same as you i guess.

Also the groves area is v. close to c.c and is vic terraces but is more studenty...some streets much better than others Emerald St nice i think.

Have you seen the website tells you exactly what houses went for and when.

hoxtonchick · 04/09/2007 11:33

how funny dino! yes, my parents are still there too, in fact they now live just off bootham.... give me a clue where yours are.

thehairybabysmum · 04/09/2007 11:36

right going to try and link you some houses in nice streets around me... this is one of niceset streets in York but not quite as near to c.c.

thehairybabysmum · 04/09/2007 11:50 dead opposite to a lovely park...not the character of a vic terrace but i guess more for your cash because of this.

samee with this one cheap as has been up for sale for ages but i guess at that price you could pay someone to sort kitchen and decorating. Tis a v. nice street even though house itself not he prettiest.

better looking house here on same st overlooks allotments and bowling green so v. quiet.

For nice vic terrraces in Holgate ask agents about Murray St and Lindley St, Beech Avenue, St Pauls Terrace and Railway Terrace (1st three prob nicest).

Also re B'thoorpe dont want to be too near the park due to flood potential...up the hill a bit fine though.

The same applies to Bootham...if you are on the river side of bootham then you can make flood noises to the agent to help your case as to why not to go too high with your offer. There are flood defences protecting here so actually unlikely to flood but no harm in mentioning it i reckon.

Dinosaur · 04/09/2007 11:53

They're in a small town called Howden, in East Yorks.

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