Non-diving: House Buying Advice
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  1. #1
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    Non-diving: House Buying Advice

    Well, being as you lot have probably done a lot more house buying than I have, I could do with some advice.

    We've found a house we want to buy. We've not done anything about that yet with the estate agent or seller.

    We have a deposit, we have a mortgage sorted and it is well within what we can afford. So no issue there.

    So, here's the question - what do we need to be asking/saying before/during/after making an offer for the place?

    Are there any tricks or other ways of getting a better deal than simply offering just below the lowest price we think they will accept and working up from there?

    We also want to move fairly quickly - apparently no chain on the house and we are effectively cash buyers. What's likely to cause big delays/problems? If nothing else I really don't like the idea that once I've shaken on a deal and agreed to buy at a price, someone else can still come along and offer more than me and ruin it, after money has been spent on solicitors, surveys etc.

    Any and all good advice appreciated. Feel free to share the "you have to do this, otherwise this happens" stories.

    TIA.

    Digs.

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    Senior Member outlaw13's Avatar
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    Have a look on the UK Land Registry database and see if you find how much the current owners paid for the house. That should allow you to judge what to offer depending on when they bought it and how house prices have changed in that area.

    http://www.houseprices.co.uk/

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    East coast, think I dive there ! Ivon's Avatar
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    I have bought around 6 houses in the last 10 years and are looking again at the minute. Biggest bit of advice I can give is exchange well before completion. Once you have decided a price, get the contracts exchanged as long as everything is OK. If you don't the buyer can pull out at any time, had this happen to us once when we were completing a week later after messing us about for 3 months on a small chain. Lost a lot of money in surveys etc and ended up without any were to live as we had sold ours and if we didn't complete would have lost our buyer so ended up on friends couches.

    Also if you have a deposit you can't be cash buyers, unless you have the full amount. If your first time buyers that's not a bad position as long as you have a decent LTV. You see time and time again at the minute houses going from for sale to sold only to come back on the market a couple of months later once the mortgage company don't agree on the price, and they are been cautious at the moment with high LTVs.

    Download Property Bee, you need to run it in Firefox. This will show you exactly how long the house has been on the market, any drops in price etc. Also use Rightmove for sold prices, if you click in the tab at the top of the page you can search for houses down the same street or area and use this as a guide of what to offer.

    Good luck!

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    You can be gazumped - simple fact. The way to reduce the risk is to move as fast as possible.

    You will need a survey - know who you are getting it from when you step in to offer, and when they can go round to do it. Your mortgage people will probably need you to use their person for the valuation stuff. Depending on your affection for risk decides whether you get a structural survey done.

    Have your solicitor in place. They will have to do the searches, and these are what can take time, depending on how slick your solicitor is. If you have a solicitor used by either of your workplaces, then using them often gives a good extra bit of leverage to call often and make a fuss if things aren't moving. One house purchase is nothing...a whole business's worth is a bit more....inspiring.

    I've never gone in for making offers that I know I will up. I've always done a single offer of what I am willing to pay. I figure that if I want the house then I don't want to lose it whilst I jigger around over £10k, and if I am not that bothered then it isn't the right place. That makes the negotiation quick and easy

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    Unfortunately you have no guarantee until contracts are exchanged that someone won't gazump you. It's a risk you take. Having said that I think it's a buyers market currently.

    In addition to Outlaw13's link you could try UK house prices, property, crime, local neighbourhood & schools | UpMyStreet you may find you can view what the place last sold for and then use House Prices home page to get a rough valuation on what the property is worth now, although this won't take into account any work that may have been done that adds value to the place. Up my street will also give you background information on things such as crime levels, schools, ACORN etc which may help suss out what the value of the road is in relation to surrounding roads.

    Next, look at what work needs to be done and if any work out what it will cost to get someone in to fix it (even if you're going to do it yourself). Use this to help justify your offer. Are there any spoilers? Loads of old bangers in the drive next door? Is the property on a busy main road? Backing onto a railway line? etc etc

    Then it really boils down to what the place is worth to you. ATEOTD if both parties don't feel they're getting their moneys worth out of the deal it won't go through.

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    Notice my avatar. I am hard astern. BJ's Avatar
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    What's its right price? The three most important rules of house valuation:

    1) Location
    2) Location
    3) Location
    Author of Amazing Diving Stories (Wiley Nautical). Consistently the top-selling scuba diving book on Amazon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivon View Post
    I have bought around 6 houses in the last 10 years and are looking again at the minute. Biggest bit of advice I can give is exchange well before completion. Once you have decided a price, get the contracts exchanged as long as everything is OK. If you don't the buyer can pull out at any time, had this happen to us once when we were completing a week later after messing us about for 3 months on a small chain. Lost a lot of money in surveys etc and ended up without any were to live as we had sold ours and if we didn't complete would have lost our buyer so ended up on friends couches.

    Also if you have a deposit you can't be cash buyers, unless you have the full amount. If your first time buyers that's not a bad position as long as you have a decent LTV. You see time and time again at the minute houses going from for sale to sold only to come back on the market a couple of months later once the mortgage company don't agree on the price, and they are been cautious at the moment with high LTVs.

    Download Property Bee, you need to run it in Firefox. This will show you exactly how long the house has been on the market, any drops in price etc. Also use Rightmove for sold prices, if you click in the tab at the top of the page you can search for houses down the same street or area and use this as a guide of what to offer.

    Good luck!
    We're hoping to exchange within 28 days of agreeing sale.

    Sorry, by cash buyers I mean we've got the mortgage signed off and ready to go. Our LTV is fairly small, bank wants to give us a lot more than we actually want, and deposit is about 20% of value. No issue on the value being lower than the mortage.

    Thanks all for help so far. It's one of those things which is stressful and difficult the first time, hopefully it gets easier after this one, and this all goes smoothly!

    Digs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Digger View Post
    It's one of those things which is stressful and difficult the first time, , hopefully it gets easier after this one.
    Unfortunately not, we are in the process of moving for about the third time. It's much more stressful this time as the amounts involved are so much larger!! Our mortgage on the next house is going to be 6 times what the first was worth

  10. #9
    The worlds slowest sailor. mala's Avatar
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    when you make an offer it is with the proviso that they take the property off the market.

    2p
    "you know what the trouble is with real life"

    There is no danger music....

  11. #10
    Duvet Diver Simon A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digger View Post
    We're hoping to exchange within 28 days of agreeing sale.
    Digs.
    Digs,
    I've completed with a buyer in your position (I was the vendor) in 27 days, but the buyers spent a couple of days driving documents between the solicitors to make that happen. So it is possible, but very tight.
    HTH
    Simon A

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