dann2707

The House Thread

301 posts in this topic

12 hours ago, manuel said:

I did see an article this week that said Weston super mare is the best place to live in the uk :lol:

i saw one that said bath was.. 

one of them is lying

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13 hours ago, manuel said:

I did see an article this week that said Weston super mare is the best place to live in the uk :lol:

I can only assume whoever wrote that has never actually visited WSM themselves. What an insufferable shithole

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Just wrapped up our final mortgage adviser meeting. Came out lower than we were expecting with some decent cashback. Pretty jazzed on that.

Still somewhat in the dark with what's going on with the house for now, but we now have all the info we need for our solicitors so the ball should be rolling as of tomorrow. Then it's just rolling the survey gauntlet and seeing what comes of that...

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23 hours ago, MadManMike said:

My partners family are from WSM, it's not bad, but certainly not the best... I call it Hastings with a paint job :)

Christ, guess I won't ever bother to visit Hastings in that case :lol:

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Mortgage approved. Feels like things are actually happening.

In related news, I have no idea why anybody gets into the business of being an estate agent or conveyancer. All jobs have a degree of faff/stress to them, but it seems like you'd need to have some kind of sadomasochistic desire for perpetual f**kery* to want to get into those businesses.

*Or just like being a stressy f**k to other people I suppose.

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Yeah but estate agents are just money printers, a total con. They do f**k all for a ridiculously fat commission.

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I mean it's all a con really. The lack of clarity, deliberate obfuscation and generally chicanery of it all is only there to protect the industries involved, not for the benefit of anyone using them.

Aside from our surveyors who've been great the whole time, the rest of the process has been as opaque as anyone could possibly make an industry while periodically requesting their clients to punt them a few hundred quid here and there. We now know where we're at from our side, but we have no idea at all what the situation is with the seller as the solicitors and agents involved seemingly can't be bothered either finding out the answers to our questions, or just relaying those questions on. 

I'm pretty relaxed about it all really as I know that things are moving in the right direction, even if we don't know what speed yet, but it's definitely weighing more on my wife's mind as she's experienced 3 homes falling through at various points from having had the survey done through to being about to complete. 

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Expecting an email today to say we've exchanged, with a completion date of April 19th... excited is an understatement!

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Posted (edited)

Reading comments in here and being in the industry myself - I couldn’t agree more about the house buying process being so unclear. The FCA really should get their finger out to make things clearer, hidden costs are a sod to those buying their first house. 

I’ll get hate for this next bit, but I was so lucky when I bought my house two years back - possibly the epitome (in my lifetime anyway) of being in the right place at the right time.
 

Cutting a long story short, my current neighbours are friends of my family - it was mentioned by the neighbours that the house might be up for sale when they bumped into my parents whilst at a supermarket. The owner was elderly and going into a home. I should mention the house was not on the market at this point... no estate agent involved. 

This was mentioned to my parents on a Sunday, I spoke to the son who was managing the house on Monday morning and viewed it on Monday afternoon. It was very dated and there was some internal wall cracking which would put most off - I’m a surveyor though and determined it was caused by leaking finlock gutters (concrete gutter laid like bricks on the top of the cavity wall). Essentially a superficial crack which I knew could be fixed by replacing the gutters and re-plastering. 

Monday night I called a friend that’s a mortgage consultant in the business I work for. I had a mortgage in principle by Wednesday. He talked me through the process and made it very clear. Despite being a surveyor, at the time I knew relatively little about the process of a mortgage before it gets to a valuation being carried out. 

I made the offer Thursday night directly with the owner (the son of the lady moving onto a home). I have to say that it was so nice to have direct contact without some slimey Estate Agent in the middle that was just thinking about what modification from Halfords they could make to their car with their commission (to harsh?). Conversely there are good EA’s but its luck of the draw!
 

Friday evening I got the call that my offer was accepted. A few checks by the solicitors and a valuation later the whole thing competed - I got the keys just 3 weeks after the offer.

Now I appreciate that in terms of timing and circumstances things fell into my favour I.e no upwards or downwards chain, but the point I guess I’m trying to make is that it was an absolute pleasure doing business the old way with the seller directly - cutting out the middle man made things clear and concise, no conflicted interests from the estate agent who ultimately in most circumstances are thinking about the payout, and most importantly no bottle neck to hold things up.

it could of course gone sour, but the chap selling the house was a gent. 

My advice to anyone buying a house for the first time would be to go for a reputable mortgage advisor, when you get that right they can really help keep you on track with what you need to do and when. Mine was truly fantastic and even text me with updates while on holiday abroad. 

As an Englishman, I also think we have a lot to learn from Scotland in terms of the house buying process - if you didn’t know their house buying process is quite different, have a look and see what you think.

This has turned into quite a long message, but if you got this far - I wish those that are on the cusp of becoming home owners the best of luck, it’s a fantastic feeling when you do eventually get the keys to a house that you can truly call your ‘home’. 

 

Edited by Private Repress
Typo
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On 28/03/2021 at 0:59 AM, Private Repress said:

As an Englishman, I also think we have a lot to learn from Scotland in terms of the house buying process - if you didn’t know their house buying process is quite different, have a look and see what you think.

 

The seller having to cover the survey makes so much more sense! My wife ended up losing one of the three houses that fell through after she paid for a full survey to be done, only to find that there was rising damp in the house. The sellers removed it from the market as soon as they heard. It meant that at that point she was over £1k deep in terms of fees and so on already paid - all to basically let a stranger know their house was screwed. 

Not a huge fan of the closed bid system though necessarily, Ali's experience with it didn't sound great...

Funnily enough, my sister just bought a house that was in a similar situation to you Gav! My sister was getting out of her car just down the road from her house when something hit her on the back. It turned out that it was the freshly installed 'For Sale' sign on a house 4 doors down from her which had fallen over... She had a look into the house and liked it, dropped a card round saying who she was and where she was from, and went from there. They were an elderly couple going into a home, and their son was managing the sale. She ended up being lucky to have made that contact as it ended up being done through an estate agent who ended up being mega pushy, playing them off against each other and all the usual shenanigans, but because they were speaking to each other directly they knew that everything was fine. Would have been way smoother sailing had the agents not been involved in any way, but hey ho.

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Estate agents just aren’t required anymore - they are a throwback to an era before the internet. They’ll give you a load of bs about getting people through the door/ higher selling price, but it’s bs. List it on a Rightmove or similar and you would get the same amount of interest. They never sort any actual problems as all go betweens are with the solicitors. They take a fat chunk of cash to show people round a place they usually know very little about and hand over some keys at the end.

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2 hours ago, Mark W said:

The seller having to cover the survey makes so much more sense! My wife ended up losing one of the three houses that fell through after she paid for a full survey to be done, only to find that there was rising damp in the house. The sellers removed it from the market as soon as they heard. It meant that at that point she was over £1k deep in terms of fees and so on already paid - all to basically let a stranger know their house was screwed.

We had something similar. First house we looked at seemed all good from our laypersons' perspective. Got a survey done and it said, paraphrasing: a bunch of little niggly stuff that you can sort out quite easily, apart from oh yeah you need a whole new roof - >£10k.

We offered them the asking price minus £10k for the work to be done, and they just said "no thanks" and stopped responding. They were DEFINITELY just waiting for someone else to come along who didn't think to get the survey done. Some people actually don't! Nuts.

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49 minutes ago, manuel said:

Estate agents just aren’t required anymore - they are a throwback to an era before the internet. They’ll give you a load of bs about getting people through the door/ higher selling price, but it’s bs. List it on a Rightmove or similar and you would get the same amount of interest.

Totally. I think we only really ended up looking on Rightmove because it's just easy - we knew the area we wanted and the price, so you can just get it done without f**king about. The agent who took it over just after we did our viewing did exactly what you said. Clearly went in and said they could sell it for more, so put it up on RM for an extra £10k with worse photos and no video walk-through (which was what piqued our interest in the house in the first place on the original listing). 

Had a friend who ended up finding the buyer for his house before the agents had even listed it on RM, but they still claimed a fee because he'd told the potential buyer to go through them as they were supposed to be handling the sale (which he now regrets doing as the agents made it pure faff). They ended up not even doing anything, but still claimed their commission.

19 minutes ago, aener said:

They were DEFINITELY just waiting for someone else to come along who didn't think to get the survey done. Some people actually don't! Nuts.

The house we're going for is relatively new and looked in really good condition from our viewings, but even then we still wanted to get one done just to know for sure. Can't imagine taking a punt without one.

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We only got one because we were forced to by the mortgage company :lol: 

This happened to us. We agreed a price based on the fact that it was knackered and needed everything doing. Mortgage company have a survey/valuation and then require a structural / damp and timber survey. Survey says - needs 10k to fix problems (duuurrrr it’s a flipping wreck I know). Mortgage company removes 10k from the amount they will lend despite the fact what they are lending is based on what I offered and not on an actual valuation, and I offered the value of the house in its current spec. Valuers Leaves us 10k short and can only renegotiate with the seller. I get if it’s a hidden thing that effects the value that I couldn’t possibly know then yeah reduce the value, but if it’s got dirty great hand sized crack in the wall in plain view - you can’t take that off

 

edit - doesn’t make a lot of sense but I hope you get what I mean

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Update from me

 

Apparently they said it was "bad news" regarding the title check the other day and when they've done a title check there's been some kind of issue flag up with another name being on the house last year or something? She said it's gone to probate.

I know the owner lost his wife last year so maybe it's something to do with her perhaps.

She's going to chase it up and get me more details when she can.

Lovely! The fact that the estate agents said it was bad news filled me with dread a bit I won't lie. Surely it's as simple as just checking who the person is, crossing them off the list if they have died? Unless it's a little more complicated then that...

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I'm sure its nothing to worry about, just means they can bend you over to the tune of a few hundred quid extra, Dan.

 

The Australian system is way better I reckon.

It's like selling a car - its up to the seller to provide all the 'service history'. You go to view the house with all the searches done, paperwork in place, etc.

I would say that gives you a much better basis for figuring out what the house is worth (see Rowan's story above), places more emphasis on the seller to get things moving as they've put a load of work in, which in turn means less chance of them backing out down the line!

 

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Yep, that kind of system makes way more sense.

In "f**k estate agents, absolutely" news - got an email through yesterday from our agents, forwarding a message from the seller saying they were unhappy we'd unnecessarily delayed our survey (which we hadn't), meaning that it was delaying the purchase of their new house in an 'ideal time frame' (absolutely news to us).

We've requested info about their situation from the get-go and had nothing from our solicitors or estate agents. Despite that we've done everything as soon as we could (the day our offer got accepted we booked our mortgage advisor for a final appointment, the day our mortgage was approved we got the survey booked in - we didn't do it sooner as we wanted to make sure mortgage was all good and there was no valuation issue, seeing as by that point we've already paid £800+. The house was also still listed on the market as being available by another estate agent, so we didn't want to end up being over a grand committed to a house that they hadn't even removed from the market, despite accepting our offer), so it's a piss take to now be portrayed as being the f**kers here. Just for context as well, reading between the lines from the messages, they were essentially hoping that we'd have completed on their house within 7 weeks of our first viewing. Obviously that kind of turn-around time is possible, but with lead times for everything at the moment being longer than normal because of the level of demand and without us being provided the info that they wanted it turned around as soon as possible, it's a little on the ambitious side.  

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It sounds like the agents unhelpfully have passed the buck onto you rather than being upfront with the sellers and explaining timings and the why. We had this continuously throughout the purchase back last autumn where solicitors and agents would say different things have different updates on the same day and then frustrate the buyers / sellers as they just weren’t aligned and setting expectations effectively. I had always erred away from being personally involved with the seller however I watched my mum purchase a house over the last few months and she went out of her way to get contact details for the seller and it has meant all the BS can be cut out and the record set straight for solicitors and agents when they are not on it.

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27 minutes ago, Matt24. said:

I had always erred away from being personally involved with the seller however I watched my mum purchase a house over the last few months and she went out of her way to get contact details for the seller and it has meant all the BS can be cut out and the record set straight for solicitors and agents when they are not on it.

Yeah, our sister had the same thing - their estate agents were playing her off against the elderly couple who were selling their house to move in to care (during a pandemic). Such a dick move.

We heard from her that it had helped a lot, and had that backed up by similar stories from people, so we decided to do the same. The house doesn't have a letter box on the front door, so we wrote a little card saying who we were, and saying we were just giving them our number in case they wanted to speak to us directly. I knocked on the door, apologised for interrupting her (she works from home), said that we just wanted to give them our details in case they wanted to get in touch, handed her the card, said our goodbyes and left.

We then got an email from the estate agents saying that the sellers had requested we didn't go there in future without requesting it via our solicitors... 

EDIT: Forgot to say, this was after about 2 weeks of not hearing anything from anybody. We were both taken aback when we got the email. The sellers had been super chatty on the viewing, we'd played with their dog, they couldn't do enough for us, everything was cool. Now it's all underway that seems to have completely gone by the wayside.

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Well good luck with the rest of the transaction. Really odd that they have behaved in that way. Sounds like you are doing everything you need to do - try to ignore the noise and just plug away at getting it over the line! 

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On 26/03/2021 at 1:23 PM, MadManMike said:

Expecting an email today to say we've exchanged, with a completion date of April 19th... excited is an understatement!

So yeah, that didn't happen. :lol:

I thought it was all going too smoothly, based on other peoples experiences, seems like ours is following the natural path after all!

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So has anyone had a good straightforward experience when buying a house? all i see are nightmares

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38 minutes ago, Davetrials said:

So has anyone had a good straightforward experience when buying a house? all i see are nightmares

Someone has, somewhere, at some point. They do say buying a house is one of the most stressful things you can do, so I guess in most cases it's a pain in the arse.

It's worth it in the long run though :)

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1 hour ago, Davetrials said:

So has anyone had a good straightforward experience when buying a house? all i see are nightmares

I did, had the mortgage in principle, made the offer and was in within a couple of months.  No pushy estate agent, my solicitor sorted everything out and I had no hassle at all, it was almost twenty years ago though. No chain though as the owners had already bought another house and moved out of the property.

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4 hours ago, Davetrials said:

So has anyone had a good straightforward experience when buying a house? all i see are nightmares

Yeah Cash buys are always straight forward well unless you have a less than clear path of where the cash came from.

 

R.E estate agents being a thing of the past I would agree i lump them in with travel agents.

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