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 Post subject: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 22:14 
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It turns out I am a massive man-child with no real idea of how the world works, so I am going to ask for advice here about just how you go about buying a house.

I've done a bit of research obviously, and started on the path to getting a house, but it seems quite mustifying as to what to actually do next. We've had a look at a couple of houses, and even got a decision in principle from Nationwide. So what's the next step?

We've seen a house we quite like so do we put in an offer, or do we apply for a mortgage first because apparently the mortgage application values the house as part of the application (I guess to check that it's worth what the seller says it is). Perhaps the decision in principle is all the estate agent needs to accept an offer and temporarily take the house off the market?

Basically, tell me about each step you took when buying a house please, and help us understand the process if you'd be so kind?

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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 22:16 
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Yes, I second this request for help. It's really all so new to us, and kind of scary and exciting, but we are list and we'd both live any advice.

Please, use simple layman' terms, as we are complete n00bs.

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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 22:23 
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Gogmagog

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Put offer in.
Offer gets accepted.
Get survey done on house. Revise offer.
Get mortgage info over to your solicitor.
Keeps sending solicitor money until he tells you to stop.
Pack kettle last.
Move.
You packed kettle first.
Buy new kettle.

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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 22:25 
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Ok, but just starting at the beginning... how do we put the offer in, and to who? How do we know what to offer?

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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 22:27 
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Count the money you have saved.
Wave goodbye to that money.
Enjoy instant noodles.

But seriously, good advice above. Always low ball your first offer in case the sellers are desperate


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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 22:28 
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Mimi wrote:
Ok, but just starting at the beginning... how do we put the offer in, and to who? How do we know what to offer?

25% below asking price is a nice start. And you make the offer to the estate agent. Have you done viewings?


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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 22:29 
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Mimi wrote:
Ok, but how do we put the offer in, and to who? How do we know what to offer?


Call estate agent.
Offer asking price less X% but not more than you can afford. Expect first offer to be knocked back. Check zoopla sold prices.
House likely to remain on market until contracts exchanged.

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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 22:35 
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Cheers guys. Yes, we've been viewing and gave seen this one place a couple of times now. Seller seems quite eager to sell as unfortunate divorce. They've only been there a year but done a lot of nice work in house.

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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 22:36 
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Gogmagog

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And don't be nice about it. To anyone.

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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 22:38 
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Gogmagog

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Mimi wrote:
Cheers guys. Yes, we've been viewing and gave seen this one place a couple of times now. Seller seems quite eager to sell as unfortunate divorce. They've only been there a year but done a lot of nice work in house.


Divorcees are probably the best people to buy from below the asking price. Push it down!

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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 22:46 
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Woo! Misery and despair = cheap house!


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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 22:46 
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Don't look too keen.

Ask how long it's been on the market (if it's ages then be cheekier with offer)

Casually mention there are other houses you've seen / are seeing in the area.

Be friendly but don't try and be their friend. This is big business.

Good luck!

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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 22:47 
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MaliA wrote:
Mimi wrote:
Cheers guys. Yes, we've been viewing and gave seen this one place a couple of times now. Seller seems quite eager to sell as unfortunate divorce. They've only been there a year but done a lot of nice work in house.


Divorcees are probably the best people to buy from below the asking price. Push it down!

Murder houses command lower prices too.

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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 22:54 
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Zardoz wrote:
Murder houses command lower prices too.

With modest planning, any house can be a murder house.


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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 23:04 
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MaliA wrote:
Mimi wrote:
Cheers guys. Yes, we've been viewing and gave seen this one place a couple of times now. Seller seems quite eager to sell as unfortunate divorce. They've only been there a year but done a lot of nice work in house.


Divorcees are probably the best people to buy from below the asking price. Push it down!


I'd counter that with a "don't take the piss" as you don't want a vendor that hates you and will take a later higher offer from someone else.

Anyway, the done thing is to let the estate agents know your offer and take it from there.
Assuming it's accepted your next steps are to get mortgage approval and a solicitor.

The mortgage company will often cover legal costs if you use their preferred solicitors who won't be the fastest or most efficient but they are cheap. You can pick your own if you have recommendations from friends.

There will need to be a valuation which is basically to reassure the lender that if you run away they can sell it and get their money back.

They will do a survey but won't show you the results. You can pay for your own survey which can cost a couple of hundred up to over a grand depending on the level of detail. If it's an older house it can be money well spent and you can use that to gaggle the price down.

Assume three or four months from offer accepted to moving in, so you'll be there for Christmas with room to spare.


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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 23:21 
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Doctor Glyndwr wrote:
Zardoz wrote:
Murder houses command lower prices too.

With modest planning, any house can be a murder house.

Point.

Russ, murder someone in the house you like the most.

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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2016 9:11 
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Dr Zoidberg wrote:
I'd counter that with a "don't take the piss" as you don't want a vendor that hates you and will take a later higher offer from someone else.

This is important.

If you make an offer and it's accepted, the seller can pull out of the deal at any time up until the point that contracts are exchanged for any reason, and with no financial penalty.

It's shit, and hopefully it won't happen to you (it's never happened to me) but it's always best to be prepared for it, as if it does happen you'll effectively have lost any money you spent on surveys etc. for that house.

Also, and this is also important, when it comes time to set dates for exchanging contracts (which is when you officially pay the deposit) and completing (which is when you get the keys and the mortgage "begins"), always leave at least two weeks between those dates (I think there's a maximum limit of a month, depending on the mortgage provider)

The reason this is important is that there is a lot of stuff that happens between exchanging and completing, and things can still go south at this point (although if they do, the fact you've exchanged contracts means that you have some legal recourse to get monies back).

If you're exchanging and completing on the same day, your stress levels will be through the roof and if you've already made arrangements to move house and something goes wrong, you'll lose any costs for van hire, removals etc. and you can't claim those back!


Reading this back, it sounds very doom and gloom - try not to worry too much, put your offer in, get it accepted, start the solicitors off on their course and you'll be in your new house in no time :)

(oh, just one more thing - stay in constant contact with your solicitors to get updates on how things are going, many conveyancers are notoriously slow at dealing with stuff and it can make things drag on, if you make yourself a bit of a pain in the arse you're more likely to get things moving faster.)

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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2016 9:43 
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Also be prepared for it being one of the most stressful periods of your life. (I believe house buying and moving is officially up there with the death of a family member and losing a job in terms of life stress factors.)

We had probably the 'best' house buying experience it's possible to have, moving from rented into an empty property, no chain, offer was made and accepted and the seller agreed to take the house off the market, good solicitors, bank was OK with the mortgage, no one messed anyone around and so on - but even so the whole process drags on for months and most aspects of it are alarmingly Byzantine (the 'digitial revolution' appears to have completely bypassed the whole thing), and you're acutely aware that it only takes one cog in the machine to fail and the whole escapade just falls apart. (Neither me or Mrs H could get life insurance due to our 'histories', but we bought just before the financial world imploded so the bank decided it didn't have to stop us getting a mortgage, but then again they were lending to just about anyone at the time.)

Point being, that if you find yourself getting stressed and worried and irritable and snappy, it's not you being rubbish, that's just how buying a house will tend to make people.

The payoff of course is you have your own place at last (subject to being able to pay the mortgage), after years of living in rented, having houses sold from under us and suchlike, we were absolutely delighted to have the consistency and solidity of our own place to live - it's particularly important IMO if you have children, as is the case with you and Mini Mimi.

Overall I'd say it's a worthwhile endeavour, but be prepared to take some pain in the process. Finally I'd not necessarily take MaliA's somewhat pathological advice at face value, for reasons others have already explained.

We did a bit of haggling with our seller after the survey which flagged up a problem with damp, a shagged roof (didn't need the survey for that, you could see it), and some sub-standard electric work that had been done - we went for getting £15K knocked off, and after a bit of back and forth settled on a reduction of £10K if the house was taken off the market whilst we completed - thing is it was done amicably. Yes we could have played hardball and stuck to our guns on the £15K (or even gone for £20K, which is more like what everything would have cost), but then the seller could have tried to dick us around as well - it didn't seem worth the extra stress.

We did exchanging and completing on the same day, as GazChap mentioned in his previous post, that's a fucking stressful day and a half.....

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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2016 10:09 
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DavPaz wrote:
Woo! Misery and despair = cheap house!


Worth a percentage point reduction. Which is a decent shout towards a new bathroom.

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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2016 14:43 
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Thank you for all of the wonderful advice. It's a lot to think about and take in! Thank you so, so much for the time you've taken to help, it helps us so very much.

Regarding making an offer, the house we are looking at is 140,000, would 125,000 seem like a reasonable offer considering good state of repair. A few things (couple of blown Windows, etc) but nothing major as far as we can tell pre-survey

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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2016 16:22 
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Seems reasonable - you can only go up, you can't go back down afterwards.

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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2016 22:09 
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speak to a broker

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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2016 22:58 
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What's a broker and what do they do/how do you find one?

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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2016 23:22 
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Mimi wrote:
What's a broker and what do they do/how do you find one?


They're supposed to look around for you to try and find the best mortgage deal possible for your circumstances, sort of like a comparethemeerkat.com service but with far larger sums of money involved and almost no meerkats whatsoever.

The idea is that they're 'on your side' and are not beholden to a particular bank or lender, although one way or another they make their money through fees or referrals and suchlike, but they save you so much big cash monies in the process that you're still quids in.

By all means talk to one (or more) if there are no upfront fees. We did that but probably as a result of the small lending market here, we were better off just going directly to the bank that was going to do us the best deal, and save the £1000+ (IIRC) that the broker would have charged us for the privilege.

I'm not entirely convinced by mortgage brokers TBH, it doesn't seem like they do a great deal that you can't do yourself with a bit of research, a few phone calls, and filling some online forms in.

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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2016 23:32 
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Brokers come into their own when you have any non-standard circumstances. When I bought my first house, my broker told me exactly which half-truths to tell to get my self-cert mortgage (hey, it was 2005, everyone was doing it.) And a lot of people in work use brokers because they are often foreign nationals, which complicates things, and we get a chunk of our pay in bonuses and stock, which many lenders get sulky about. The brokers know which companies to steer your application towards.

If you're very normal, I think they're less compelling generally, although there's no harm in talking to them if they don't have any upfront fees.


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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2016 8:27 
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Have you got a mortgage offer? In other words a bank that has confirmed you can borrow X amount to buy an house subject to survey?


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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2016 11:42 
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Decision in principle only at this stage.

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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2016 13:21 
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This is all my opinion....

With how up in the air everything is, I would recommend that you are willing to live there for at least 3-4 years in case of negative equity during brexit. I would also try to get a fixed rate mortgage you can manage for security during all this political fun.

And money spent on surveys of the house is always worth while. Anything big turns up and you've still got chance to walk away. Anything medium lets you argue you should deduct the cost from the offer price and so on. Also, lets you know what future costs you've ahead of you.

We bought a new house last year, and whilst the survey didn't get us a (further) reduction as we had already underbid a lot, it gave us a lot of influence to resolve the chain we were in, by 'encouraging' the current occupants to complete and go into rental accommodation, rather than wait till they found somewhere (during which time our buyer would have walked).

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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2016 13:23 
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Also, you will get a form about what you are leaving etc, and some people see it as a chance to make extra money. Offering to sell white goods and that. Don't expect *anything* that isn't on that list.

We enjoyed curtainless nights for longer than you would expect.

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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2016 13:31 
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Good point. Always have lightbulbs


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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2016 13:33 
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Gogmagog

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And say "£200 for a second hand dishwasher?"

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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2016 14:37 
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I don't think I found the housebuilding process particularly stressful - there are definitely worse things!

You're in a strong buying position as you have no chain, which I imagine reduces the stress quite a bit. Speak to the estate agent to make an offer, once that's accepted speak to your bank about getting the mortgage approved and surveys underway. Once all that is done, the lawyers get involved and then it's a waiting game. Do chase them though if things are taking longer than expected.

Was your mortgage in principle given based on your income before or after Darwin arrived? Will childcare affect it at all?

We used a broker when we got our mortgage, mostly because every bank we went to bit our hand off until Mr. flis told them his age and how much of his income went to his ex. Multiple mortgage applications are bad for your credit score so we figured it would be best for someone to advise us on the options and amounts of money we could get, and then make one application.

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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2016 14:41 
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flis wrote:
Do chase them though if things are taking longer than expected.

Disagree - chase them constantly from day one. I'd recommend calling the estate agent and your solicitor at least once a week, because when I sold my house they were useless. I ended up on daily calls to get them to do anything.


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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2016 14:44 
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Isn't that lovely?

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Doctor Glyndwr wrote:
flis wrote:
Do chase them though if things are taking longer than expected.

Disagree - chase them constantly from day one. I'd recommend calling the estate agent and your solicitor at least once a week, because when I sold my house they were useless. I ended up on daily calls to get them to do anything.


Pretty much this :this:

I've bought 3 houses, and on all 3 I found that they pretty much didn't do anything unless pushed. We even lost out on a house, because our solicitors didn't do something in time.

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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2016 14:46 
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A friend of mine went from initial offer to moving in in about seven weeks, and he attributes it to daily calls (plus some luck with the chain.)


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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2016 15:00 
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We've asked about light fittings, curtain rails and so on. All but one light fitting is staying (awesome, cos there's s beautiful period cast iron chandelier in the dining room which looks awesome with the parquet flooring, and though most white goods and the oven will be going the dishwasher is remaining.

Curtains would be going, but I'm not too bothered about that as they are relatively inexpensive, or easy to make.

Thanks for advice as per chasing. The woman is moving into her mothers after the house sake and will be moving asap because of the divorce.

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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2016 15:05 
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It sounds like our next step is to ring the estate agent and put in an offer (and ask them to take it off the market), and then see what they say. After than (or even before?) speak to the bank to upgrade the decision on principle to a full mortgage arrangement and sort surveys.

The decision in principle was made last month and we based it on a single income plus Darwin.

Thank you all so far for the general advice on what happens next and the amount to offer and the order to do things in. You are all great and this is all helping. At the minute we are very early on in the process it seems.

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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2016 15:10 
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You're using your son as a deposit?

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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2016 15:11 
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Trying to.

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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2016 16:46 
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Doctor Glyndwr wrote:
flis wrote:
Do chase them though if things are taking longer than expected.

Disagree - chase them constantly from day one. I'd recommend calling the estate agent and your solicitor at least once a week, because when I sold my house they were useless. I ended up on daily calls to get them to do anything.


:this:

My last move was delayed by 5 weeks as my buyers (first time) where green about the process and let their solicitor delay things. She was holding things up claiming that she needed fencer certs (window guarantees) from me. This was bullshit as there were none with the house when I bought it, which I had made clear on various forms.

After clearing that issue up I was onto everyone's solicitors and estate agents in my chain making sure stuff was done.


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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2016 16:50 
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Why was your solicitor holding things up, then? What did she have to gain from the hold up?

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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2016 16:52 
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Mimi wrote:
We've asked about light fittings, curtain rails and so on. All but one light fitting is staying (awesome, cos there's s beautiful period cast iron chandelier in the dining room which looks awesome with the parquet flooring, and though most white goods and the oven will be going the dishwasher is remaining.

Curtains would be going, but I'm not too bothered about that as they are relatively inexpensive, or easy to make.

Thanks for advice as per chasing. The woman is moving into her mothers after the house sake and will be moving asap because of the divorce.


I think there is a line to be crossed with this, and taking light fittings is it. The guy I bought my house from was trying that on, and I said fine but you make the wiring safe and I want to see evidence that this has been done by a qualified person.

He backed out and left them, later on I noticed the same fittings in B&Q for £30 each! So not like they were anything fancy or anything.


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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2016 16:54 
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Mimi wrote:
Why was your solicitor holding things up, then? What did she have to gain from the hold up?


It was the buyers solicitors, she was not progressing anything for them as she claimed I needed to provide some window guarantees.

But I had made it clear in some paper work there that they were none to provide, so I called her and told her to read her paper work and stop delaying things.


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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2016 17:47 
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asfish wrote:
Mimi wrote:
We've asked about light fittings, curtain rails and so on. All but one light fitting is staying (awesome, cos there's s beautiful period cast iron chandelier in the dining room which looks awesome with the parquet flooring, and though most white goods and the oven will be going the dishwasher is remaining.

Curtains would be going, but I'm not too bothered about that as they are relatively inexpensive, or easy to make.

Thanks for advice as per chasing. The woman is moving into her mothers after the house sake and will be moving asap because of the divorce.


I think there is a line to be crossed with this, and taking light fittings is it. The guy I bought my house from was trying that on, and I said fine but you make the wiring safe and I want to see evidence that this has been done by a qualified person.

He backed out and left them, later on I noticed the same fittings in B&Q for £30 each! So not like they were anything fancy or anything.


The one fitting the seller wants to take with her is just a little multi-spot bar fitting with three or four doors, but each of the little lamp holders is a fish. It's a cheap Little thing that she said she bought for her firstborn's nursery. It's followed her through all her houses and is now in her youngest's room. It's clearly inexpensive and has massive sentimental value for her. It's not something I'd want to have to sacrifice their memories for.

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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2016 20:08 
SupaMod
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Est. 1978

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Posts: 68264
Location: Your Mum
Ours took the toilet roll holders (that were screwed to the wall), two towel rails (ditto), an oven (fitted), all the bulbs but two, curtain rails, and the things that go in the doorways to stop the carpet coming up.

Dicks.

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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2016 20:21 
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I've heard of people taking bulbs before. That is the height of ridiculousness.

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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2016 20:54 
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When we leave here I shall salt half the earth and plant wild garlic bulbs in the other.

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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2016 11:01 
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Grim... wrote:
Ours took the toilet roll holders (that were screwed to the wall), two towel rails (ditto), an oven (fitted), all the bulbs but two, curtain rails, and the things that go in the doorways to stop the carpet coming up.

Dicks.


Unless they were buying a house from somebody who was a dick like them then I guess most of that stuff is still in a box in their garage as most people leave that stuff!

I would take the smart bulbs I bought if we moved, but I would replace them with standard ones.


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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2016 16:19 
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I don't have much advice to offer as everyone else seems to have beat me to it. I do however have a couple of things that happened to me that you could learn from.

I agree with the chasing/calling the estate agents and solicitors. You're paying them so make them work for their money. I had my mortgage lender tell me on the phone that some paperwork had been posted and was on it's way only to find that the next time I called and spoke to someone else, the paperwork was still sitting on his desk. Annoying.

Also, I managed to get an extra £2000 knocked off my house in the closing moments. Everything had been agree and we were ready to go but one of the surveys came back about the flat roof on the kitchen needing replacing. We sucked our teeth and offered to reduce the price by £2000 to cover it and they agreed straight away. Bonus.

Finally, I had a fair bit of furnitute offered to me for free but I asked that they remove the majority. We kept the sofas though. One of which is still being used by us.


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 Post subject: Re: House Buying Advice
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2016 16:51 
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Our first house was partially furnished as the old lady who lived there before us had recently died and the son didn't give a shit about the furniture. Initially, we thought this was a sweet deal, being impoverished 20 somethings with very little stuff (how times change), but after a week, MrsPaz had a horrible nightmare about an old lady and refused to use the old furniture any more. It was a fun few days of destruction and dump runs that followed

We had our own mattress though. We're not gross.


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