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Things To Do When Buying A House


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#1 Lepista

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 03:17 PM

Well, after being inspired by Sarah's post, I thought it might be useful to have a thread dedicted to the things that you can do to help your cause when buying a house.

I don't want to get into the rights or wrongs of buying - hopefully this thread will be as useful in a few years time as it might be to people thinking of buying now.

I know there are a heap of things that you can go out and find information about - even buy a book about housebuying. However, there are loads of new internet tools and techniques that are out there, that books / other resources cannot hope to keep up to date with.

Do a postcode search on houseprices.co.uk
and have a look at what else has sold recently.

Plus do a crime map search on maps.police.gov

Get property bee and look at price reductions within 1/4 mile.

How many houses have sold in area.

Are you in a good position and ready to go? Have they got probate sorted out and ready to sell?

Get solicitor quotes NOW so when you make your offer you can say "this is my offer and my solicitor will be..." so you look like you're ready to buy.


What other resources would people recommend using - either freebies or paid for?
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Nothing sedates rationality like large doses of effortless money. After a heady experience of that kind, normally sensible behaviour drift into behaviour akin to that of Cinderella at the ball. They know that overstaying the festivities...will eventually bring on pumpkins and mice. But they nevertheless hate to miss a single minute of what is a helluva party. Therefore, the giddy participants all plan to leave just seconds before midnight. There's a problem, though: They are dancing in a room in which the clocks have no hands."

My favorite post ever:
By Ruffles the Guinea Pig

#2 Monkey

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 03:26 PM

Look on your local councils (to the property you wish to buy) planning portal to see if there are any planning permissions waiting action on there, that may affect your property etc (ie the lovly view of fields out the back, will be made in to 5000 new homes, or a Tecsos next year)

also ask your council to see if any planning permissions that have been rejected for your postcode.

you can also search for "land for sale" on your area, where large land owners may be selling the land near you for the above, but they dont have planning permission so wont show up on your councils plannig portal

also check to see fi there any any weird planning conditions, IE an area near me, no one is allowed a fence or bush to "fence" off the front of their property

this is more me, but you can do a historic "desk top study" of the postcode/plot dating back up to 200 years, to see what has been going on there, IE if there is a historic Sess pit at the bottom of your garden, that was mothballed 100 years ago, and no one alaive has any knowledge of it, as it may impact on extensions etc you wish to do in the future.

check the enviornment Agency website for any alerts/conditions for your area IE high flood risk, etc or if there are any conditions

Edited by Monkey, 21 February 2011 - 03:30 PM.


#3 SarahBell

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 03:27 PM

homecheck.co.uk

one postcode before it wants you to register I think though.
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#4 Bloo Loo

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 03:29 PM

a whoopy cushion to prove the the EA that his asking price is shocking
WARNING

Your
country is at risk
if you
do not keep up repayments
on a gilt or other loan secured on it





#5 VeryMeanReversion

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 03:34 PM

What other resources would people recommend using - either freebies or paid for?


Land registry title search - see who/what have secured charges against the property or whether the owner is bankrupt. Cost 4.

EPC - Internal floor area (the bit agents rarely tell you). Agent should supply this on request, not just the pretty red/orange/green chart.

Google Streetview
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#6 Lepista

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 03:43 PM

http://www.upmystreet.com/

Good thread lepista - when it drops off the front page I'll pin it in "All about buying selling and mortgages" - so it's easy to find


Thanks Doccyboy.

When I get a little time, I'll try and keep the thread OP updated with all the suggestions to date.
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Nothing sedates rationality like large doses of effortless money. After a heady experience of that kind, normally sensible behaviour drift into behaviour akin to that of Cinderella at the ball. They know that overstaying the festivities...will eventually bring on pumpkins and mice. But they nevertheless hate to miss a single minute of what is a helluva party. Therefore, the giddy participants all plan to leave just seconds before midnight. There's a problem, though: They are dancing in a room in which the clocks have no hands."

My favorite post ever:
By Ruffles the Guinea Pig

#7 aptid

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 03:46 PM

A few of my favourites are,

Get a look at the EPC for a property, at the top R/H corner of the full EPC it gives the habitable area of the property in sq metres (not including garages etc.) That way you can determine the price per sq m / sq foot of the property. iphone has a free conversion app to do the metres to feet conversion.

Once you know the average price per sq ft or metre you can judge whether a property is overpriced or not, obviously taking into account garden size, land etc. It is worthwhile knowing what price land, garden or agricultural goes for too, if you are looking at this end of the market.

Houseprices.co.uk is handy for sold prices. derived from Land registry data I believe.

The environment agency to see if your "new" postcode or street could be a flood risk.

The full HIP if the property has been on the market before May 20th (ish) 2010. There is some very informative info in there.

You can check whether the owner is a director of a business, by a few simple searches on google, you may find that the owner is in financial trouble thus strengthening your bargaining power.

Always do a drive by before viewing, the number I have discounted this way is legion, ha!

last piece of advice is have a price in mind you are prepared to pay, obviously start below in negotiations and don't go above it. Walk away if you have to.

Good luck to all and sundry in their quest.
Wow! Houses at that price, I'll take two.

#8 Lepista

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 04:28 PM

What's that website that tells you all about the demographics of an area....?

Also, are there any good websites that talk about school catchemnt areas and the better / worse schools in an easy to read style map format?
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Nothing sedates rationality like large doses of effortless money. After a heady experience of that kind, normally sensible behaviour drift into behaviour akin to that of Cinderella at the ball. They know that overstaying the festivities...will eventually bring on pumpkins and mice. But they nevertheless hate to miss a single minute of what is a helluva party. Therefore, the giddy participants all plan to leave just seconds before midnight. There's a problem, though: They are dancing in a room in which the clocks have no hands."

My favorite post ever:
By Ruffles the Guinea Pig

#9 Papa Serf

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 04:38 PM

homecheck.co.uk

one postcode before it wants you to register I think though.

Thats a good one. If you go to the neighbourhood summary it show what %age of houses are owned out right or have a mortgage still on it. My post code shows 40% owned out right. Interesting.

#10 ccc

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 04:39 PM

Never bought a house myself - however if I do I will be spending a few nights curled up in my car parked across the street. Just to see if there are any obvious issues with mental neighbours etc..

Not that this is guaranteed to prove anything - but you should get an idea if the area is pretty peaceful or not.

I would also just knock on 5-10 doors in the surrounding area and ask the people. Why not ?

I also read something recently about surveys etc.. Think it may hev been on here ? Someone saying that getting in individual experts, rather than some overpriced generic surveyor makes a lot of sense.

Builder
Plumber
Rot specialist
Electrician
Roofer

Couple of hours each and a basic report. Doubt it would cost much more than one of these 'expensive' surveys you can get done.
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#11 mikthe20

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 04:48 PM

OK, a few thoughts:

- Always go passed the house at various times of day and night, including weekends - amazing how things change on a street depending on the time.

- Use Google Streetview and satellite view to look for any strange things around the neighbourhood - cars in bits next door for example.

- Rightmove have a Market Trends section which can show volume of houses coming up for sale: http://www.rightmove...in-my-area.html (Click on the Market Properties tab after putting postcode in): good for seeing if houses are selling or not

- Looking at rental prices and what sort of yield you might be able to get on the house if you were to rent it out - gives a good indication of what the house is worth. Indeed, you can ask the EA "what could I rent it out for"

Good thread. HTH.

Edited by mikthe20, 21 February 2011 - 04:49 PM.

"Ignorance is strength" (1984)

#12 Lepista

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 04:58 PM

Google earth and maps.live.com are good for snooping into neighbours gardens too.

Maps.live.com has a "birds eye view" that is pretty detailed for a lot of the country, and also has OS 1:50,000 mapping.

magic.defra.gov.uk shows lots of good information regarding the environment.

http://www.bgs.ac.uk/ can give you some geological information around the area, including any mineworkings, etc. that have taken place, and borehole / groundwater info too.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nothing sedates rationality like large doses of effortless money. After a heady experience of that kind, normally sensible behaviour drift into behaviour akin to that of Cinderella at the ball. They know that overstaying the festivities...will eventually bring on pumpkins and mice. But they nevertheless hate to miss a single minute of what is a helluva party. Therefore, the giddy participants all plan to leave just seconds before midnight. There's a problem, though: They are dancing in a room in which the clocks have no hands."

My favorite post ever:
By Ruffles the Guinea Pig

#13 TheCountOfNowhere

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 05:00 PM

Things To Do When Buying A House...change your mind at the last minute and walk away.

#14 Diver Dan

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 05:06 PM

From The Onion


The first step in buying a new home is having much more money than you do now

Under no circumstances should you buy a home that does not contain children.

A house is not a home without them. <li>Avoid purchasing a home that is on fire or underwater.

Unless the deal is too good to be true and must happen right away, always have the house examined by a professional appraiser.

Don't limit your search to houses and apartments. Hovels, shacks, shanties, lean-tos, caves, wigwams, igloos, yurts, pup-tents, treehouses, and crawlspaces all sustain human life slightly longer than direct exposure to the elements.

If you find a house containing a cool toy truck, remember: The truck may be going with the family that moves out.

On any house purchase, be sure to save the receipt in case anything goes wrong.

If you are a black family, try to move into an all-white neighborhood. Your arrival will drive property values down, saving your white neighbors a substantial amount in property taxes and making them your friends overnight.

When looking at a house your wife doesn't like, don't let the real-estate agent pressure you with "whipping" sounds.

Check the foundation of a house by playing AC/DC's "Shake Your Foundations" as loud as possible. If the house isn't rocked to the ground, it's a solid house.

Make sure the neighborhood has a good high school, one close enough to see with a telescope.

After becoming a homeowner, be prepared to see your political ideology swing violently to the right.

If you cannot afford the home of your dreams, perhaps you can afford the home of Barbie's dreams.

Just buy the first house you see. They're all pretty good.

Edited by Diver Dan, 21 February 2011 - 05:08 PM.

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#15 frenchy

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 08:35 PM

Get a look at the EPC for a property, at the top R/H corner of the full EPC it gives the habitable area of the property in sq metres (not including garages etc.) That way you can determine the price per sq m / sq foot of the property. iphone has a free conversion app to do the metres to feet conversion.

Didn't know this. Should the EA be in possession of the full EPC or would it be the seller?
I use a price per sqm as a indication of whether the house is priced sensibly or not but usually have to do the measurements myself at viewing which is tedious

Edited by frenchy, 21 February 2011 - 08:48 PM.





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