It's been a while since I posted but I have been following the forum with interest. I succumbed last year and bought a house in a good central location (not saying where), in an established residential area, with a garden, large park around the corner, and railway station 5 minutes away. I felt it offered good value, approx. 15 per cent below RV, and, following some investment in upgrading, my total financial commitment will equal the rateable value of the property. I suspect I could have purchased it for less had I waited longer but, as I liked it so much, decided to take the plunge. I would hope to live in it for at least 10 years and all of the factors I referred to should, I believe, ensure that it retains its value over this longer timeframe, regardless of the likely economic situation (if some kind of economic Armagedon occurs then the value of the house will be the least of my/our worries!). It's mid-terrace and I've introduced lots of insulation so I would expect to have reasonable running costs.
For what it's worth, my primary reasons for taking the plunge:
- Nice, characterful house in excellent location (park/train station nearby, established residential area, close to town centre/shops etc., garden)
- Realistically priced taking into consideration the "market" and also the condition of the property - below rateable value
- My mortgage is less than halve what my previous rent was (even after paying insurance etc.) - plus I would have possibility of taking in a lodger to supplement income
- Would expect serious inflation to eat into debt over coming years (sick of losing money in savings account)
If I were advising others who haven't yet bought, all things being equal, I would be suggesting that they look towards the end of the summer this year. The economic situation should be a bit clearer and with full rates being payable on empty residential property from October I would expect the supply of houses to increase on the market. No matter when you make the decision you can't escape the fact that you'll be taking a (hopefully) calculated risk. Do your homework and it should work out over time.