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  1. Just wanted to up-date anyone who originally commented on this thread.......... in the end we went through with the sale and bought the house (for £181,500) - This was just before x-mas. We've just had a new conservatory fitted - and couldn't be any happier. I accept that the value will probably fall over the next few years - but we don't plan on moving and needed somewhere to live! Thanks for all the comments and advice.........
  2. Came across a very interesting site the other day,…… www.danberry.com. A US online estate agency. I was shocked by what you buy in the US for the kind of money that might buy you a 1 bed flat in London! Here’s a couple picked at Random: http://www.danberry.com/danberry/dansite/s...Yes&Print=1 http://www.danberry.com/danberry/dansite/s...=No&Print=1 Not saying these places are tasteful, but I had no idea that the difference was as great.
  3. Just in case anyone had any doubt that uk house prices were overvalued!!!! I came across www.danberry.com – a US property website. I was expecting a difference but I was completely shocked by what I found!!! No need to do any more talking……just have a look a few examples I picked at random….remember we’re talking US dollars here not pounds!!!!!!!!!! http://www.danberry.com/danberry/dansite/s...Yes&Print=1 http://www.danberry.com/danberry/dansite/s...Yes&Print=1 http://www.danberry.com/danberry/dansite/s...=No&Print=1
  4. I'm more concerned about the size than the wife. The plan is to address the problem with a consevatory as soon as possible. It's a carefully designed house that makes good use of the space! We've looked at much larger houses in the area but would rather sacrifice size for the location, outlook and feel of this one.
  5. Thanks for the links….it’s interesting to compare with other houses. Trying to be as unbiased as possible, I think that the house we’re looking at is significantly nicer than both these. It’s in a great situation that really does have a nice outlook over town and to the hills and countryside beyond. It also has a very private garden that’s not overlooked! Unfortunately, I can’t post the web brochure here – but you would immediately see the difference. I wouldn’t be considering this if I hadn’t negotiated the discount we’ve already secured. However, reading the comments on this web site has made me think a little more about the state of the market and the risk of a crash……I have a plan; We’ll keep on going through with the sale and wait to see what the actual ‘sold price’ surveys say when they come out at the start of next month. Headlines and predictions are one thing (and we’ve all seen them before). If the actual figures show a significant fall in prices, I'll have to consider very carefully weather to go through with the sale (or a least re-negotiate on the price). In the mean time, the survey and local search has already been paid for so I’m loosing nothing by carrying on for now……..!
  6. Take your point to some extent but I think your figures are a little conservative… House was is very poor condition and has had following work done: 1) New Kitchen/Dinner, this is top quality and includes all appliances (dishwasher, oven, built in fridge and freezer). New wooden floor in this area. 2) New bathroom, again, top quality with all tiling fixtures etc…. 3) New carpets in entire house 4) New fireplace and surround in living room 5) Every single window (including 4 velux) brand new 6) All new doors, front, back and French to garden. 7) Garden Landscaped (and new perimeter fence 8) Decorated tastefully from top to bottom 9) New railings at the front (previous wall removed) This is only the work that is obvious to me, I'm sure there's other stuff that's been done that I wouldn't know about! I accept that the material costs won’t be anywhere near the 46K increase but surely with labour costs included…the figure can’t be too far off????????
  7. Good advice, me and the misses went back yesterday for another look around. It was a sunny evening (which might have influenced our perspective!) but we both loved it more than ever. It has great views across the town and hills beyond…….not a huge house but we’re now sure about going ahead.
  8. This afternoon, I took an earlier comment on board and re-visited the house - we both still love it. The nice aspects are that it’s in a very quiet area that backs onto empty countryside yet it’s just a short walk into town for the wife. Because it’s so high, you get a great view overlooking the town and to the hills beyond. However, I am still concerned about the size. I‘ve the brochure in front of me and dimensions are: Downstairs: Kitchen/Dinner: 16.1ft* 9ft (useful cupboard under stairs & door to garden) Living Room: 16ft * 10.5ft Integral Garage: 18ft * 9ft Small entrance porch Good size garden to the rear and areas of lawn around the drive to the front (you know the style) Upstairs: Bathroom: 7ft * 6ft Bedroom 1: 9ft * 11ft (+ large built in cupboard) Bedroom 2: 9.1ft *8.8ft Bedroom 3: 7.5ft * 6.9ft I know his sounds small but it has a light and airy feel to it and doesn’t seem claustrophobic. We’ve also figured out that there’s a good opportunity for a conservatory on the back of the living room. The shape of the garden lends itself perfectly to this and I think it would make a big difference. For info, the survey is taking place tomorrow and the local search has been instructed. Still petrified and unsure about the whole thing but for now proceeding forwards!
  9. Many thanks to all for the comments and advice posted here. It’s interesting that the same arguments that have been going through my mind have been born out on these pages. I find myself agreeing with those on both sides! It’s nice to get balanced advice from people that understand the family issues as well as financial logic! It’s a very difficult decision - my current persuasion is to go through with the purchase. As many of you have stated…. much depends on gut feelings regarding the housing market. The scenarios (as I see it) are as follows (best to worst!) 1) House prices stagnate or rise with inflation (unlikely!!!) 2) House price take a dip of 10-20% over the next few years (most likely!!) 3) House price fall more dramatically by 20-40% (possible!!) I’ve thought deeply about these. I could live with scenario’s 1 & 2. I would consol myself by thinking that the loss in equity was only money I’d gained from previous houses and wasn’t ‘real’!! However, if scenario 3 occurred I’d be full of regret! In the extreme this could put me close to negative equity. In mitigation, the discount I’ve negotiated will offset some of the fall. If we rent we’d have additional disruption and I don’t think I’d be happy with the un-certainty of only 6 months contract. My job is reasonably secure, I work for an engineering company and I’ve just started another contract that’s close to home and due to finish in mid 2010. In my industry, that’s as certain as it’s ever going to be! A few people have mentioned that the price increase from Feb on this property seems very high. On this subject all I can say is that neighbours have told me the house was almost derelict when the developer purchased it. The work has been done to a high standard (including all kitchen appliances). Whilst I’m sure the developer is netting a profit from this, I think it’s much less than he was hoping for. Importantly too, the house seems relatively good value compared with others in the area. (West Cumbria). The option of going back and negotiating a lower offer would be difficult…I’ve already negotiated hard to get the price to the level accepted. In fact I had a lower offer in place for several weeks and this was refused. In the end we felt the reduction in price was worth it. Especially because the house is just want we want, the location is perfect and (as others have pionted out) school access and choice is excelent. If I’m being honest about it, the pressure to buy is coming more from other members of my family (including the wife) than from me… I’m adverse to the idea of being a wage slave - I’ve enjoyed the last few months of being truly free from all financial commitments and the corresponding feeling of empowerment. However, I also want my family to be secure and to live in a nice environment. I don’t like the idea of renting from a private landlord as you’re always at the mercy of their whims. My Dad tells me that in his day, good quality council houses were available for most people and that these were often pleasant places to live. If the same were true today, I’d be happy to rent one. If the market does crash by the level some people are predicting (40%), whilst I’d no doubt harbour deep regrets for not waiting longer…my net gain from property would be only slight worse than neutral. The people that will really suffer will be those that bought their first property more recently. For these people, it will be a true disaster. Once more, thanks for all your comments, no doubt I'll remain uncertain right up until the day I have to sign the final documents! James
  10. I am currently panicking about the a recent decision to buy a house and I’d really appreciate some advice/opinions of anyone reading this… I’m married with a 2 ½ year old daughter. We bought our first house in 2003 and moved again in 2005. Both houses were nice (but only 2 bed) terraces. In July this year, we decided we needed to move to somewhere with a garden and extra bedroom. We had an excellent offer on our house from a first time buyer and to speed up the sale decided to put the furniture into storage and move in with my parents. We’ve been looking ever since but have struggled to find anywhere nice. Recently we've found the perfect house. It’s a 3 bed detached with garden in a lovely location with great views (albeit it’s a little small!!!). A developer bought the house in Feb this year for £135,500 (web research!). It’s had loads of work, new kitchen, bathroom, all new windows & doors, garden landscaped, new carpets, new fences, all new appliances and internal decoration…very tasteful and in a state you can just move straight into. It was originally on the market for £195K but when we looked hadn’t had any offers! We spend a couple of weeks negotiating and this week agreed a sale price of £181,500. Relative to the other houses we’ve seen, it ‘s by far the nicest house in this price range. We have a large deposit (mostly built up from capital gain from the previous houses) and the mortgage required is only 3 times my annual salary. My parents are great, but clearly living with them isn’t ideal….. we desperately need our own space again. In view of the current state of the market, should I go through with the sale and take the risk of falling value or should I pull out and rent while whilst the market sorts itself out? I’m nervous about both options, I’ve long thought that the market is due for a crash and have been proved wrong so many times before!!! Any advice would be appreciated. James
  11. I’m a 29 year old engineer, with wife and 1 child and live and work in Cumbria. A few months ago (April 07), we sold our house (modest but very nice terrace). We were lucky enough to get our asking price and the sale went though quickly. We had a 3 bed, detached bungalow lined up, our offer was accepted so we moved the furniture into storage and moved in with my parents whilst Bungalow man found his next property. This is where the happy tale breaks down……Bungalow man still hasn’t found his next property and so we’re left back at square 1, looking for the next house. We have a budget of about £200K and I didn’t think for a moment that we’d have a problem finding a house we’d want. However, after 2 months of looking, I’ve been shocked at the poor quality of houses on offer and the staggering prices being asked (Ulverston/Dalton/Askam area). I truly find this situation very hard to understand, the average wages in the area are way below the national average, yet the prices seem higher. It is clear to me that houses aren’t selling at the moment; I’ve heard many anecdotes from various people that support this. The problem is that vendors are still reluctant to accept offers. I made a phone call regarding a 3 bed detached house we viewed a few weeks ago, the house is on sale for £235K (no houses have ever sold for this much on this estate!), I wanted to make a 10% lower offer but was told that the vendor had instructed the agents not to forward any offer less that the asking price!!!!! I’m beginning to think stopping my search for a few months and perhaps even renting for a while is the best plan. I think prices are going to have to come down eventually!
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