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Pie Eater

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Everything posted by Pie Eater

  1. I personally made offers. Specifically I made one in writing (25% off) to Wainhomes to which I received an extremely derisory letter - which I posted in the Anecdotals thread at the time. They did not even try to negotiate with me. I then made one to Morris Homes (20%) but was told that things aren't THAT bad. Again, they didn't try to negotiate with me. I then discussed the possibility of making a 20% off offer on a house type that wasn't available for viewing at a Persimmon site (I would have had to visit another site to view the showhome). I was told that I must be 100% sure I wanted the house before she would be prepared to present that offer to those higher above (which is fair enough I suppose) but she gave the impression that it would not have been given much consideration. I have to admit, part of me made the offers just to see whether they would have been accepted. Not sure if I would have actually gone through with any of the purchases - although I might have. I don't suppose it hurts for them to receive a few 'cheeky' offers - might accelerate the drops. Deep down I didn't really think they would be accepted anyway, I just wanted to test the waters. My plan remains to rent for a while longer.
  2. My mum and I were talking about this the other day. We both agree that house prices will continue to fall, but my mum has a point when she says that the house builders round ours have yet to lower their prices from 2007 levels, despite a number of properties going unsold for months. I made an offer (less 25%) to both Wainhomes and Morris Homes some weeks back, and both were rebutted outright. Both houses remain on the market. My view is that the stakes are higher for house builders than Joe Public. They have high volumes of homes to sell, therefore to reduce one means to reduce them all, whereas Joe Public can cut his losses and reduce the price on his one house to sell it then breathe a sigh of relief if the sale actually completes (like I did). Are they waiting until they are absolutely sure that prices are staying down? What will convince them?
  3. I wonder if I can use this thread to ask a question that I'm genuinely interested in the answer to. I know (think) that most on here are renting with a view to buying when the time is right. However, there are some that believe renting is the best option and plan never to buy, quoting the model that prevails in some European countries and US states. What I don't get is how renting can be more cost effective than buying, given that once you have bought your house you own it outright and therefore don't have to make any further payments (apart from maintenance costs, etc) whereas if you rent, you have to continue making rental payments until the day you die. Also, your monthly payment on a mortgage will reduce relative to your inflating wages over time, whereas your rent payment will continue to increase with inflation. Am I missing something?
  4. I agree. You pay what you can comfortably afford between those who are actively willing to contribute. There's nothing wrong with scrimping and saving to achieve your goals, but if you don't have to you shouldn't cut out every bit of luxury from your life. It's ok to live the good life every now and then in moderation! I work hard and don't expect to eat my wedding breakfast at McDonalds as one OP suggested! I can go there anytime. A sit down meal at a wedding is not 'pretentious', seriously I can't believe anyone would think that! The costs I quoted above are not the costs from my wedding - we did pay slightly more in some areas, and we really splashed out on the honeymoon. However, after shopping around, I feel the costs I quoted above were the minimum prices that I could have organised a reasonable wedding on if I had made more sacrifices. I didn't want 'reasonable', so I was willing to pay a little more - not ridiculously more though. If that makes me a spoilt little girl, so be it. Incidentally, why is it that men are never described as spoilt little boys when they get to spend obscene amounts of money on things that please them? I do find this board a tad sexist at times.
  5. I had been toying with the idea of responding as I found the letter quite inflammatory. However, I had decided against it, on the basis that it would get me nowhere. However, now that the response has been written for me, far better than I could have mustered, I think I will! I’ll send it off today…
  6. Ok I take your point about the wedding, and I shouldn't have directed the comment just at you - many other posters on here share your view. Speaking from experience, we split the cost 3 ways between my parents, his parents and ourselves - making it more achievable without too much pain for either party. I think lots of people do it this way now. And it was a wonderful day worth every penny!! I agree that people shouldn't stretch themselves too much - if we hadn't had willing financial support, we would have tailored our day accordingly. £325 for a 3 bed semi inc all bills is so cheap! I thought we lived in a cheap part of the country as well, but we have been looking round at rental properties (having just sold) and we are looking at £500 excluding bills minimum. But this is for a 2 bed terrace with yard in a decent area. Not really what we had in mind, seeing as we have three dogs!! Also, we run a car each and travel 25 and 15 miles respectively to work (opposite directions) so ditching the car isn't an option unfortunately. Anyway, the saving starts in earnest when the sale completes and we move out, so we will start to see for real how much we can save...
  7. Cells, Really sorry, but I do have to pick up one the two points you made in your post. First thing I would say is if you have ever had to produce a realistic budget for a basic wedding and everything that implies (i.e dress, jewellery, bridesmaid dress, men's suits, wedding ring, church fees, meal and a small no of drinks for each guest - reception drink, glass of wine with the meal, and drink for the toast - DJ for the evening do, DJ, cake, gifts for parents and bridal party) then you would have a better appreciation of the costs involved. If you have ever had to do this for a typical wedding with 50-80 guests and managed to do so for £2-3k then you are amazing!! The wedding I have described above is not extravagant and I can't believe anyone would think that it was. My view of how much that wedding could cost if the couple were sensible is: Dress £600 Jewellery £50 Flowers £150 Photographer £800 Decorations £150 1 bridesmaid dress and accessories £100 4xmen's suits £400 Rings £800 (no scrimping here as they will be worn for life - price based on plain no fuss platinum rings) Church fees £500 Meal (80 x £30 per head) £2400 Evening Buffet (80 x £10 per head) £800 Drinks (80x £10 per head) £800 DJ £200 Cake £150 Gifts £200 Just over £8k without extravagances such as the honeymoon & transport. The hypothetical prices above would get you a reasonable standard of product/service, but are well below the average, and the wedding would be far from lavish. Until you have had to organise and pay for a wedding, it really is difficult to understand where the costs come from and how they can mount up. Is this really possible for a typical 'average' person in a year. If the average salary is £23k then that assumes almost no other living costs. My husband and I both earn above the average, but would just about be able to save £10k in a year between us after all the other bills have been paid. Maybe we are doing something wrong, but we rarely buy new clothes, don't go out a great deal, and do not fritter our money away on holidays (much as we would love to)...
  8. We have our house up with 2 agents and have SSTC with one of them. The other sent us a mailing that they have obviously sent to all their other sellers which comprises exactly that (i.e. a letter stating that house prices have started a downwards trend along with a good amount of statistical backup data from various sources and an assertion that they will be calling us in the next few days to agree how we can work together to sell our property successfully, essentially 'grooming' us for a price reduction.) The Estate Agent that wrote to me was Bairstow Eves, so I wonder to what extent they are a centralised organisation?
  9. To be honest, I don't like new builds and would much prefer an established property. However, as new builds go this one isn't too bad. My reasoning was that house builders are more likely to be open to offers way below asking price compared with private sellers, so just wanted to give it a shot. Also, If I'm honest, I didn't really expect the offer to be accepted, just wanted to test the water. Here is a link
  10. See the topic I started in the Anecdotals section about Wainhomes' response to an offer we recently made. We were of the same mindset but so far no luck. Presumably it depends on geography and other factors though...
  11. Letter from Wainhomes (Note that our letter merely stated that our offer was in line with the more conservative predictions concerning house prices over the coming years i.e. 25% and some source data to back this up): "I refer to your letter dated the 4th of August 2008. We do not foresee the kind of crash in housing prices over the coming years detailed in your letter. We consider the current lack of transactions in the market, which is currently driving lower prices, to be temporary and more a product of short term liquidity problems in the banking sector which has led to lower mortgage availability, than a genuine drop in consumer demand. I would suggest that if you genuinely feel such a crash in prices is likely to occur, your best course of action would be to continue to rent. Clearly this could be a dangerous strategy if prices rebound as quickly as they have fallen once the mortgage market improves. In any event, we will not be accepting your offer. We do not set our prices on the basis of analysts’ predictions of future house price falls. Conversely, in a rising market we would not expect purchasers to accept us factoring in future rises. We do have an interested party in the property in the current week at the current asking price, albeit it will be a part exchange transaction. If you wish to provide us with a more sensible and realistic offer for the property and the part exchange application in the current week does not proceed, we would be happy to consider it."
  12. Two weeks ago my husband and I put in a written offer of £207k on a 4 bed detached new build priced at £275k. In the letter we set out our concise and reasoned argument for deviating from the asking price. This house has been available at the asking price for at least 6-12 months. Following the completion of the sale on our home we are planning to rent, or even move in with our parents so we can save more, but if I’m completely honest, I’d rather buy somewhere at a reasonable discount and settle there for the long term. The desire to do that is stronger than the desire to buy at the absolute bottom. I think a 25% discount would be about that level for us. Anyhow, today we got a brilliant letter back from Wainhomes, which my husband has just read out over the phone to me! Basically they do not believe there will be a crash, and surprise, surprise they have someone interested in the house at the current asking price. They are very disparaging over our ‘dangerous’ decision to rent. When I get home I’ll post the letter on here for your amusement. Jayne
  13. EAs in my town are doing just that, and have been for some months. There have been a few that have had reductions across the whole page in the property supplement to the local paper, including the one I had my house up with. It doesn't work though because they aren't knocking enough off the prices, but they aren't really at liberty to do that because they don't own the houses. They won't get all their vendors to agree to significant cuts (i.e. 25%) in one fell swoop because people don't want to be the first to sell at lower prices in case it is just a blip and the market picks up.
  14. Pie Eater

    Sold

    We are just a couple of weeks from completing on ours. We bought as FTBs with a 100% capital repayment mortgage in Q1 2005 and the house has appreciated by just 4% in that time according to the agreed sale price. Actually, it had been 6% but the survey showed up a number of faults leading to a revised offer. This means we walk away with just £5k to start building a deposit from. I’m glad we weren’t tempted like some of my friends by the prospect of an interest-only mortgage otherwise we really would have nothing. We are now going to move back in with parents and save like mad for 6-12 months at least.
  15. Well, we've had the results of our buyers survey. There is a lot of stuff that needs doing including damp treatment and a wall in the attic is bowing and needs taking down and rebuilding - these appear to be the most serious areas of concern. The buyer has reduced their offer by £3k but is still very keen to proceed, so good news!! Unfortunately, the amount of cash we will walk away with after selling fees, etc is quite a small amount, but we will work on boosting this over the coming year or two. I just hope house prices don't recover before we have managed to save enough to put a deposit down!!! That would be quite gutting!
  16. Thanks for the advice Spud. We have actually sold our house through B&B (subject to survey, contract etc). Pardon my ignorance, but what fees do you pay to the agent other than the £x pcm rental charge? Thanks Jayne
  17. It is a crappy situation for you to be in. A month isn't too bad, it took us 6-8 weeks to get our first viewing. Granted the further we get into the year, the fewer viewers there are likely to be around, but there will always be a few downsizers and people who have to move. Hopefully your house is priced attractively and will appeal to someone soon. Also, we had friends who put their house on at the same time as us, had no viewers whatsoever for 8 weeks, then the first and only viewer put in an offer - £13k more than what they paid for it last year, no less!! They completed 2 weeks ago. Best of luck
  18. Thanks Colin, best of luck with finding a buyer. This time two weeks ago we had given up all hope of finding one and had resigned ourselves to staying in our house for another 2, 3, 4 or however many years it took for it to be financially viable to move again. We had had a measly 4 viewers in total in 5 months, and then the weekend before last we got 2 lots of viewers, both made an offer and we went with the cash paying downsizers. Interestingly, or not (!) we had no first time buyers at all.
  19. Thanks all for your words of encouragement. The survey's being done tomorrow, fingers crossed no big issues identified in this big milestone on the way to completion! In a strange way I'm quite looking forward to the challenge of living as frugally as we can and saving as much as possible.
  20. Hi, As the topic title says, we've just accepted an offer on our house, so subject to everything going as we hope it will, we should soon be leaving the property market temporarily. It was our first house. My husband and I are in our mid to late twenties and we bought in Wigan for £136,500 in 2005; the offer we've accepted is £145,000 so I think we've done OK given today's conditions. Our plan was to move up the ladder into a bigger better house, but we've been stumped as we only have a 5% deposit and everyone is now demanding 10% minimum. However, despite the fact that our decision to STR was based on circumstance rather than design, we are both as certain as we can be that it will actually work out for the best this way. If we were able to raise the 10% deposit and get a bigger mortgage I'm fairly sure we would have done so, even knowing that a property crash is likely, just because that felt like “the done thing”, so having been forced into renting is probably the best thing that could have happened to us. I've been lurking on this site for around six months - the time it has taken to sell our house - sometimes in despair, willing you all to be wrong about house prices given that I was trying to get a good price for mine! Now though, I'm taking comfort from the postings and willing your predictions to be correct - 30% off our dream home sounds good to me!! I have actually been surprised that many people have agreed with us that renting is the wisest choice for today - I wonder how many would have agreed a year ago. Still, there are a good number of friends and acquaintances who appear to feel sorry for us, and are trying their best to help us come up with ways of buying another house (making an offer that requires the vendor to gift us the remaining deposit for example). I just hope that in 12 months time (or more, but hopefully not too much more) we will have saved enough to get a mortgage, and house prices will have dropped enough to make it sensible to buy again. My new worry is that our dream home will have dropped significantly, but the banks will make mortgages even more difficult to get hold of. It could take years for us to save 20 or 30% for a deposit!! Anyway, that's our story, and we have never rented before so this site will continue to be a useful source of information to guide us through potential pitfalls we may encounter. I never thought I would register, thinking that once we sold our house I would lose interest in the subjects being discussed, but it looks like I’m going to be around for some time! Jayne x
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