House Buying

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by persins, Oct 10, 2006.

  1. persins

    persins Member

    Afternoon everybody!

    I've finally taken the plunge and got a house offer accepted today!
    After the initial feelings of excitement closely followed by blind panic, I now have the realisation that I really haven't a clue what goes on next!! Being a first time buyer, I am really stepping into the unknown now!

    Have any of you got any useful pieces of advice that could help me avoid some of the common pitfalls of house buying?!


  2. sugarandspice

    sugarandspice Active Member

    Speak to money people and sort out your mortgage?!
    Become aware of the fact that house buying is the most stressful thing on earth even if your chain is simple! Get on well with your solicitor, and dont be afraid to give them a good b*****ing to let them know you dont want to be messed around :)

    I'm in the same position but probably about 3 weeks ahead of you, best of luck and hope it all goes well :)

    And just'll all be worth it in the end!!!

    And if it does go tits up let your dad sort it out......thats my plan anyway! :)
  3. Bungle

    Bungle Member

    Rather spookily so have I, but I'm not a first time buyer. I go to a mortgage broker who gets the best deal for me and gets paid by the commision from the mortage company. They also find the best deals for insurance policies at the same time.

    Best of luck
  4. johnflugel

    johnflugel Active Member

    Good advice about the solicitor. Don't be afraid to constantly chase them - you will pay very good money for them to relatively little. If you do not hassle them you will go to the bottom of the pile.

    I contacted the sellers estate agent and asked if the seller would mind us exchanging numbers. That way you can keep direct contact and push the sale through as quick as possible. In my experience, leaving the two sets of solicitors to it can really draw it out. This really helped on the purchase I completed last week. Ofcourse, the solicitors will still have to sort everything but this way you have more of an idea what is happening and when. Less chance of them fobbing you off (i.e " I chased it this morning", "they are coming back to me" blah blah blah)

    Also, once you proved to the seller that you have the mortgage offer (i.e your lender has agreed in principle to give you the cash), ask the seller (via the estate agent) to take it off the market. Some people can be quite sly and keep it in there in case someone comes along with a bigger offer.

    All the best - it can be an arduous task but well worth it when you get those keys.
  5. tpcornet12

    tpcornet12 Member

    On the up-side, sometimes it can go all swimmingly!! I bought my 1st house 18 months ago. The 1st house I put an offer on was accepted and then she took it of the market. A little annoying but I hadn't had a survey done so didn't lose any money. It all turned out to be a blessing in disguise as the next house I found was 5k cheaper and I loved it. From then on I had no problems, the seller was great and I still stay in touch with her. My solicitor kept me well informed. I was happy with my mortgage deal. etc etc. My advice would.... do your homework and stay vocal! (good advice re the solicitor) but don't worry and look forward to an exciting future.
  6. Personally not bought a house yet but i am dreadin when i do. i do agree bit of a unknown path of what to do. although have heard some grood stories funny ones and some very harsh ones to suppose bit like nethin else really.
  7. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    Whatever you do have a Full Survey carried out before you fully commit. It may be the best money you ever spend.
  8. iggmeister

    iggmeister Member

    I find this quite surprising. You must have had a bad experience (for which you can seek redress) but I'm afraid your 'advice' isn't that sound. Sometimes, things go horribly wrong when there is separate discussion/ negotiation between buyer and seller that doesn't go through the solicitors. Whilst it would be completely incorrect to give advice through a forum, you should be aware that promises made/ given which did not go via the solicitors may not be binding.

    As with all things, you sometimes only get what you pay for. I know there are solicitors and licensed conveyancers out there who do the work for next to nothing (e.g. £200-300 plus VAT per transaction) but they will have a heavy caseload and will be under great pressure and may fob you off or do a bad job because of that. There are also those solicitors and licensed conveyancers who do the job excelently but are slightly more expensive. Solicitors aren't cheap. They do not hide that fact.

    As for solicitors getting paid loads for very little, this is just a cliche when it comes to conveyancing. Before, solicitors were akin to estate agents when their fee was a percentage of the property value. Now it is based upon work carried out - it is an open market. Estate Agents continue to charge large amounts for what they do. Some people would argue that there is a cartel amongst estate agents although that is a separate issue. However, for the work a solicitor does in the buying and selling of a property is far in excess of what an agent does for the amount charged. As an example, a solicitor may charge £700 plus VAT for a sale but the agent on a 1% commission (if you are lucky enough to find it that low) on a £200,000 house would charge £2000 plus VAT. Thats almost 3 times as much! I've never met an agent who could justify their fee in a house sale.

    Agents are of course always just as keen to see the sale/ purchase through as you are. They dont get paid until the transaction completes! Also dont forget taht the agent acts for only one person - the seller. I remember from my trainee days receiving calls from agents who tried to push matters along only to tell my clients behind my back that that they had no idea why there was a delay.

    Anyway, I wont bad mouth them any more - there are some good ones out there who do more for their money than others;)

    I too have bought my own place - I completed in March. I agree on the full survey (even though it is expensive) although if you are buying with a mortgage you will at least have to have what the mortgage company says you must have which will include a survey of some sort. Try to remain calm, put everything down in writing and keep your solicitor informed of any developments.


    PS - I'm not a conveyancer - I deal with things things when they go wrong!;)
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2006
  9. Daisy Duck

    Daisy Duck Member

    Good luck! Enjoy the experience...

    I bought my first house last year. I put in an offer in August. There was no chain at either end and my mortgage was all sorted out. You would have thought it would have moved along very quickly but let me warn you about Solicitors. My goodness, my solicitor was VERY thorough (which is great...) but I didn't actually exchange contracts until December!!! It was incredibly stressful... I hate to think what it's like when you're trying to sell a house at the same time as buy another one.
  10. davidquinlan

    davidquinlan Member

  11. johnflugel

    johnflugel Active Member

    I can only speak from my experience ofcourse, which is the point of people offering advice based on their own individual experiences. The person asking for advice can take or leave it.

    Everything I discussed with the seller, we immediately contacted our solicitors to let them know what had been discussed so everyone was in the picture.
  12. Saxysuzuki

    Saxysuzuki New Member

    Good luck with your house move. My only advice would be on the day you move in check the fixtures and fittings list the seller filled in against what is actually left in the house. We didn't and the lovely chandelier I expected to see in the living room was actually a bare light bulb!!!
  13. yorkie19

    yorkie19 Active Member

    House buying. Hmmm, there has to be an easier way to cripple yourself financially for the rest of your life. Oh yes, get married! (Just kidding kids)

    Anyway, just a few thoughts.

    All mortgage brokers / Financial consultants (even those employed by an estate agent) should be paid by the lender for arranging the mortgage. If you haven't got a mortgage sorted out, pick either an independent advisor, or a consultant who has access to a wide range of lenders (Your Move certainly do) as it will give you more choices.

    Like Igg, I'd certainly be wary of exchanging numbers. You can always liase with the vendor through the Estate Agent. At the end of the day, you're not trying to be best mates with them (although it does happen from time to time), you are going to give them a large sum of money and a bit of seperation (in my opinion) is no bad thing.

    When it comes to the survey, you need to pick the best survey for your needs. A Full Survey isn't always the best bet. Basically, there are three options:

    Mortgage Survey - basically a valuation for the lender's purposes. It assesses whether the property is worth lending on and that you aren't paying over the odds. It will offer very little information apart from a few general comments as to the state of repair in the house. Generally takes about 30 minutes to complete. Costs around £200 - £300

    Homebuyer Survey - adds a bit of meat to the bones. It will advise on the areas of the property that are visible (i.e. the surveyor will not lift floorboards or knock holes in the wall to check for damp). Takes a couple of hours to complete. Costs around £450 - £600

    Structural Survey - this gives a true warts and all picture of the property. It takes more time to complete and costs upwards of £700.

    The price of the survey will depend on which lender you use. The lender will have an agreed rate and an agreed surveyor (and will instruct the surveyor) but you foot the bill.

    If you haven't picked a solicitor, ask friends / family for recommendations. I've heard some horror stories over the years, but I've also heard a lot of good stories. At the end of the day, I'd suggest you phone around and compare prices. When we moved recently, the prices we were quoted had a range of £1200 for the same job (buying and selling). We didn't pick either the most expensive, or the cheapest, but went for a firm that we heard good things about, and we didn't have any problems on either side (at least with the solicitor). Don't forget, though, that if you are spending more than £120k on the property, you will also have to pay stamp duty and this will be quoted in the price you get.

    Again, I'd agree with Iggmeister, that the Estate Agent is far more expensive than the Solicitor, especially for what you get from them. However, by far the biggest rip-off merchant in all this is the newspapers. The cost of advertising in some local papers in this country is totally crazy. (On a different note, when you come to sell, shop around and find out what you get for your money).

    Finally, be prepared to wait. There is a tedious amount of paperwork to complete with a move. Don't stress about the time it's taking though. You can expect to take 6-12 weeks to complete the sale (depending on the chain), and a lot of that will be waiting. I'm not going to advise enjoying the experience, but it will certainly be an eye-opener.

    I'll leave you with this thought. On average, we move house every 7 years, and on average we move within 10 miles of our last address. So, basically, you'll only just get everything the way you want it before you're packing up again.

    For my sins, by the way, I'm not an Estate Agent or a Solicitor (and I certainly don't work for a newspaper), but I did spend 6 years working for Your Move. Hope I've been some help.
  14. annieds

    annieds Member

    All good advice. I moved 2 months ago and my advice is don't give in to the desire to murder the solicitor/ estate agent/ vendor/ whoever. Our buyer was lovely and our 2nd solicitor was a star, but the 1st solicitor slept through the whole process - she never knew who we were or what we were buying - so we replaced her; the estate agent didn't seem to care much whether we sold or not, which made handing over the 2.5% in the end rather galling (we'd done all the work ourselves); and the vendors shillied and shallied, screwed us for every penny and left a filthy house. I am never doing it again.
  15. johnflugel

    johnflugel Active Member

    Good advice! I got stung on that a few years ago. Went to view the house and they accepted my offer on it. Part of the deal was for them to leave their very large lovely new fridge freezer. On the day I got there, there was a fridge/freezer but it was by no means the one that was there upon viewing. The cheeky lady had switched and because we did not specify the actual make/model no, I was unable to prove it. I did contact the estate agent and my solicitor but no legal leg to stand unless the actual model was specified on the contents list.
  16. iggmeister

    iggmeister Member

    I appreciate that - no offence intended, but I have a bit of a gripe about agents generally.

    Good luck to anybody moving or buying for the first time.