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"we are willing to move into rental" & uncertainty
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homeownerwannabe2022 · 14/05/2022 09:19

Hi everyone. Would love some advice on what do do in this situation as a FTB. I am currently in rental and after looking for a house for about 1.5 years, my partner and I had an offer accepted on a property 2 months ago. It is a lovely house that the current owners have been in for about 2.5 years, but I know we had to overpay to get an offer accepted. That said, I understand how competitive the market is in my area, and I'm just keen to be done with buying a house in England.

The problem is, the owners (young family) we are buying from told us that they are keen to stay in the same area, which I know from personal experience is very competitive (30+ viewings, always best and final). I am not sure if they knew how difficult it would be to buy, but so far, they have had no luck in getting any offers on properties accepted.

I was told by the owner that they would consider moving into rental, but because the rental market is also very competitive, they would need to be able to move into rental quickly. That can't be done right now as we haven't done any forward movement with mortgage applications or the survey, as we were waiting for them to find a house before we proceed. Not to drip feed, but the owners had this house on the market a year ago and then took it off, so I'm a bit cautious of them changing their minds again, hence us not wanting to lose thousands of pounds in legal fees and surveys if they are not serious about moving. When I asked the agent why they took it off, they said it was due to personal circumstances.

So mumsnet, that leaves me to my question. What would you do in this situation? My gut tells me not to proceed with the survey or mortgage until they find a house, because I find it a bit hard to believe that they would genuinely try to move into rental with a small family just to get our sale done, as we are at the end of the chain. I'm also wondering if I should continue looking for another house where the seller's situation is different while I still have this offer accepted (eg a house where the sellers are downsizing, moving to a new city, it's a vacant house). It would be so awkward if we saw the owners we are buying from at a viewing! :(

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thewaitislong · 14/05/2022 23:51

We were also told the lie of moving into rental. By a man in his sixties living alone, so not even a family. I grilled the agent many times about whether he would move as quickly as we wanted to and every time the agent assured us that the seller is very keen and if his purchase isn't ready in time he will move to a friend's place which is available to him so nothing to worry about. But of course 1.5 months into the process, a couple of days after arranging a survey, the seller decided to back out from his onward purchase and also immediately "lost" his friends place too and wouldn't be able to rent anymore.
Not sure why he was insisting he would rent really, not sure what he gained from it. But like you I was suspicious of the "will move into rented" promise and which is why I grilled the agent about it on multiple occasions, but decided to trust him as he was so insistent.
Don't make the same mistake as us 🙃

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thewaitislong · 14/05/2022 23:55

Oh and this seller also had listed the house 3 times in the previous 3 years, so I always felt suspicious of whether he really intended to sell. Should have listened to my gut. He pulled out on us, then listed a month later for the fifth time in 3 years, at a higher price every time he did so.

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Namechanger355 · 15/05/2022 00:00

I don’t know - we were that family who did move into a rental after selling a small 2 bed in inner London to try and find out family house in suburban London.

our offers were constantly refused despite being asking and so we decided to up sticks, sell and rent - to get cash in the bank and be chain free sellers - and then take our time over finding the one.

I guess that was between different areas though which is different to yours

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CellophaneFlower · 15/05/2022 09:21

It's a tricky one, but unless they're not convinced by your commitment to buy, I can't see what they have to gain by lying?

Also, why would they be viewing similar properties to yourself? Surely they're not selling to buy like for like? If they are and are wanting to go into rented quickly, I'd be more concerned if there's something going on. Either issues with the house itself or awful neighbours etc.

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Xfox · 15/05/2022 09:23

"It would be so awkward if we saw the owners we are buying from at a viewing."

Well my biggest concern would be if they are looking at properties so similar you might also be viewing, and in the same area, why are they selling? Especially after just 2.5 years.

But aside from that, I'd keep your offer on the table without incurring costs until the chain is complete, but keep looking.

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homeownerwannabe2022 · 15/05/2022 16:47

It is a weird one, right? They told us they they wanted to move to the other side area code (around a mile away but the same area) to be closer to family, but it did raise an eyebrow. The house is in what looks to be very good condition (it was when they bought it judging off what I've seen on Rightmove), and they would be making a very good profit on it (around 70k from when they bought it thanks to this awful sellers market) so I thought that might be the incentive to sell? Nothing looks fishy about the neighbour situation but I guess you can never tell.

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HavfrueDenizKisi · 15/05/2022 16:54

Hmmm I'd be incredibly suspicious why they are selling after only 2.5 years. It's expensive to move house - sellers fees/stamp duty/conveyancing etc. You do not do that after two years UNLESS there's a huge issue with the house/neighbours. Especially to move one mile away. So don't believe that for a minute. They probably would go into rental if they are desperate to sell though for whatever reason so you could be lucky there.

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TokyoSushi · 15/05/2022 17:03

Be very careful, I know from bitter experience that 'oh we'll move into a rental' is a 'the cheques in the post' of house moving...

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trailrunner85 · 15/05/2022 17:09

We went into rental to keep our buyer, and had two young kids and school upheaval to consider. So people do do it.

But.. you need to be wary here. Selling so soon, yet staying in the same area, is a massive red flag.

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homeownerwannabe2022 · 15/05/2022 17:20

I appreciate everyone's comments, and I'm sorry to hear about those who have been messed around with by the lie of moving into rental.

I also appreciate the caution around these owners selling so soon. It does give me worry that I might be making a huge mistake. As I mentioned, I'm not from the UK, and we are only living in the city we are living in due to my partner's job (I work too, but I could get a job in any city given the nature of my work). Should something go wrong with my partner's job at any point, we would need to sell, as we would not stay here if it was not for work.

That said, should something happen in the next 2 years for example and my partner loses their job (it is unlikely but you never know), I'm worried we would lose a LOT of money but also have a hard time selling due to the house being sold in 2020, 2022 and so on. We plan on being here for a while/we don't have plans of leaving any time soon, but I am an over-thinker about these things.

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homeownerwannabe2022 · 15/05/2022 17:26

Aside from being wary, is there anything I can really do to make sure the neighbours are not awful? I was planning on getting a very thorough survey that would hopefully identify any major issues with the house and would pull out if anything was alarming.

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SatinHeart · 15/05/2022 20:43

If the property market is that competitive in your area, I would seriously question why they would bother agreeing to go into rental in the first place.

We moved house last year during the stamp duty frenzy. We sold our house but then our onward purchase fell through. Our buyers asked if we'd go into rented (to be clear, this was NOT something we'd ever said we'd be prepared to do). We said no, they pulled out, we resold in under a week for a higher price.

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CellophaneFlower · 15/05/2022 21:19

homeownerwannabe2022

Aside from being wary, is there anything I can really do to make sure the neighbours are not awful? I was planning on getting a very thorough survey that would hopefully identify any major issues with the house and would pull out if anything was alarming.

I can only think of staking the place out at different times of the day 🕵I mean it could backfire and you'll get arrested but needs must! Obviously they're supposed to declare any disputes, but that's only reported ones and not sure how much recourse you'd actually have should they lie.

At the very least, check out the neighbouring houses to see if anything looks off-putting. Are there any shared areas that could be causing issues etc. Does next door have a garden full of rubbish?

It's a shame you can't get a survey on neighbours. Think I'd rather unwittingly buy a dodgy house than inherit dodgy neighbours. At least a house can be fixed!

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homeownerwannabe2022 · 16/05/2022 12:21

I agree - I wish there was a way to get a survey on your neighbours, especially with a terraced house! Would I be a total oddball if I knocked on the door of the neighbours to introduce myself and say hello, I am buying the house next door, lovely to meet you? Can I ask the seller to introduce me? I know it sounds awkward, but I'd rather be award than make a huge mistake that could impact me financially and mentally for years.

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RidingMyBike · 16/05/2022 13:00

Our neighbour's purchasers knocked on our door to ask questions about the area. Think they also went to the local pub and the neighbours on the other side. They wanted to get a full picture of what it was like.

It's also worth joining FB groups covering that particular area and I've found NextDoor particularly enlightening about problems in some locations!

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Jarstastic · 16/05/2022 15:01

In two years of house buying process we are the only people we know who actually did move into rental.

we even had a vendor pull out on day of exchange having said all the time time they were moving 100miles away to a rental. So I’l think you are right to he wary.

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