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A developer is interested in our house/plot - anyone with any experience of this?

26 replies

Surfermum · 10/12/2007 13:32

We've had an unsolicited letter from a developer who is interested in buying our house. Ours plus next door's sits on quite a large plot of land in a prime spot.

I'm going to contact them and meet with them, but just wondered if anyone else had done this and if anyone had any advice.

I'm at work, so will check in later. TIA.

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DingDongMummyLinOnHigh · 10/12/2007 13:36

hi surfermum,my brother is currently going through similar thing,but not to buy the actual house just some of the back garden,along with the same from a few more people adjoining him.This is at Ensbury Park.

DingDongMummyLinOnHigh · 10/12/2007 13:37

Ps pub has just changed hands again !!! you know which one i mean.

mistlethrush · 10/12/2007 13:40

What do you want to know? If they want your house you should be able to get quite a bit above the open market value as they will presumably be able to build quite a lot more houses.

An alternative approach would be to get together with your neighbour, employ an architect and or town planner and apply for planning permission yourselves (probably outline planning consent fine unless you are in a Conservation Area or have any trees issues) - you would then be able to sell on the 'plot' with planning consent and get quite a bit of the uplift in value resulting from the grant of planning consent yourself.

newgirl · 10/12/2007 13:44

if you decide to sell make sure you get lots of other offers first - there are loads of property developers out there - you could even talk to your local estate agents - they will know some too - even with some sort of arrangement fee, it could be worth getting an agent involved - just dont accept the first offer!

lalalonglegs · 10/12/2007 14:02

Don't do anything unless they are prepared to make it very worth your while - IMO it should be a very life-enhancing offer, ie make it possible for you to move to significantly nicer place.

Unfortunately, most won't give you a bean until they have planning permission on site so that could mean sitting in your home for a year or more with all other neighbours staring daggers at you because there will be some bloody great estate or block of flats on the plot. If it's a small community, it can end up quite tense while the plans go through.

Also, if they do mention a price now, make sure that is the amount they will pay you when agreement is finally signed - you don't want all the aggro only for them to say: "But the market's gone down so we're revising our offer."

Issy · 10/12/2007 14:14

I agree with lalalonglegs.

Most developers won't buy a house outright but will give you a sum of money for an option to buy your house for a certain sum if they obtain planning permission. This sort of arrangement tends to be heavily weighted in favour of the developer e.g. if they don't obtain planning permission on the terms they are looking for (e.g. number of units) they don't have to buy your house.

Our neighbours opposite did this. They met a very vociferous and concerted neighbourhood campaign, lost most of their local friends and then in a process that lasted for over a year lost the first stage of planning approval and then lost the appeal.

Obviously this can work (look at all the new developments that are built) but it is likely to be a long and stressful process and remember that you need to find somewhere to move to and incur moving expenses and stamp duty.

We get similar unsolicited letters about once every couple of months but we ignore them because we love our house, love the location and don't want to move.

Surfermum · 12/12/2007 20:43

Thank you all, this is helpful.

I have already said that it would have to be a life changing offer, as we are happy with where we are as the location is perfect, and although the property is small, we are in a sought after area, well within catchment of the best local schools, and walking distance of local shops and sport centre. I really wouldn't want to move unless it was to something significantly better.

We have spoken to them and they are meeting with the council, and will then contact us as they will be in a better position to say how much they would offer.

What we don't know yet is if the neighbours have been contacted, but I would have thought so. There's our adjoining neighbours and the house behind us (unusual old cottage with no road frontage). The plot of the 3 of us would be worth a mint we reckon. We have discussed contacting a builder with our "behind" neighbours in the past, but next door weren't interested and we didn't take it further.

Will definitely make some other enquiries at other devlopers or maybe the agent who sold us the house.

Thanks again .

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Surfermum · 12/12/2007 20:44
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ChristmasSendsMePsycho · 12/12/2007 21:12

dingdong (sorry to but in surfer...)
me thinks that my DH is the one gonna build said houses were you are

he has been pricing up recently some house where he said they are being built in peoples sold of back gardens!!!!!!

oh god, now think me may have scared ya...

ChristmasSendsMePsycho · 12/12/2007 21:14

but hello too...

and sorry for all the typos in my other post....

LIZS · 12/12/2007 21:21

We had one the other week, the previous owners had had one a few years back too. Very doubtful they'd get pp for anything meaningful enough to justify it as htey 'd need to buy ours and next door as a minimum since our plots are long and narrow and we front a main road.

Waswondering · 12/12/2007 21:24

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LIZS · 12/12/2007 21:27

Agree. In our village they have built a row of 4 behind the front houses in the conservation area and it caused a lot of ill feeling with many objections. Now they are very slow to sell too overpriced and unwanted ?

Surfermum · 12/12/2007 21:37

Thanks, we're definitely going to tread carefully. But are you able to say how the neighbours lost financially? I can't see how that could happen. I wasn't planning on it costing me a penny!

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Waswondering · 13/12/2007 19:19

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FluffyMummy123 · 13/12/2007 19:25

Message withdrawn

Surfermum · 14/12/2007 11:03

Thanks Cod, I was thinking that we might need to get a lawyer involved. I really wouldn't want to be taken advantage of. .

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fridayschild · 14/12/2007 12:48

I do a lot of work for property developers. The hardest thing for a developer is when all the neighbours speak to each other and act as one- we like to pick them off one at a time. I'd talk to your neighbours if I were you.

Waswondering · 14/12/2007 20:13

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wilbur · 14/12/2007 20:21

My family home was bought by developers from my dad, knocked down and replaced with a massive mansion type place. One thing the developers did was insist on a v long time between exchange and completion and it was only afterwards that we realised they were taking that time to get planning permission so they didn't have to part with cash before they were ready to build. My dad had to complete on his new house way before he got the money from the developers, or he would have lost it, and so had to take out a bridging loan to cover it. Developers are v clever and will do whatever it takes to minimise their outlay, so just make sure that whatever they are suggesting does not cause problems for you.

Surfermum · 17/12/2007 20:25

Thank you, more helpful comments.

Luckily we do get on really well with both lots of neighbours, so will definitely be speaking to them about it, and I think it helps that one of them was definitely open to the suggestion in the past.

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KristinaM · 18/12/2007 21:24

lots of good advice here. do not, as issymum says, let them take out an option on your plot. if there is a delay you can be tied up for years and you cant sell to anyone else or withdraw

get together with your neighbours and get some professional advice - i woudl approach a good firm of commercial surveyors.

also look at your local plan to see what your area is zoned for & what has recently been granted planning permission

your plot might be worth more if you coudl built flats on it or even a nursing home

be wary of estate agents - they can tell you that your plot is worth x, then have a friend buy it for that price and get planning permission and sell it to a developer for 3X

Surfermum · 19/12/2007 11:47

Thanks, Kristina, that's helpful too .

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Lotstodo · 21/12/2007 15:42

About 20 years ago my mother-in-law was offered £5000 approx, which was the going rate for a small strip of her garden by her wealthy next door neighbour, the reason being was that he wanted to have a garage built at the end of his garden and wanted access to build a small driveway into the garage. When this was investigated further, it was discovered that some flats were being built in the next road and what this strip of land was actually for was for the next door neighbour to buy and then sell on to a property developer who was interested in both strips of land. Apparently this land was so valuable, in the region of £40,00 at that time. The flats couldn't go ahead and be built without this access to them and the next door neighbour would have made an absolute killing with the profit on the deal. Needless to say, much friction was caused.

jaype · 27/12/2007 16:19

Yes- beware. Lots of councils are getting a bit narky about building in gardens nowadays. Had a newsletter from our local MP about it recently, also. In our road (London) we have just successfully defeated a developer's plans to change a 3 bed house into loads of flats as it would make parking (more of) a nightmare. So there are no guarantees! At least if all the neighbours want it then it won't cause huge divisions between you but remember, the developer is out to make money, so look closely at how they plan to do this and whether it will be at your expense!

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