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Everything posted by FunkyLeprechaun

  1. Looking at your first link (nethouseprices.)- the house on one one side sold for 165,000 in 2010 but sold for 143,000 in 2003... is it possible to see that sort of rise in prices within 8 years within the same area? (this is part of the reason why I'm wavering... I feel like it's me that should offer the price a house is worth but when I see house price websites like nethouseprices, I feel like my initial offer's not enough).
  2. I agree that the EA needs a sale. It's the EA that we offered 20% off to the vendor to that just rudely told us off. It is the vendor that they have to deal with. Would a 160k three bedroom detached house 20 minutes from Norwich hold up at that price? We can afford 160 but it would have meant less money to spend on updating the house etc. Is it wrong to try to push for less money?
  3. My EA that sold our house said that 20% was a reasonable amount to offer in the face of the economy. She also told me that all the houses that they've sold, they sold at reduced prices as well. Then again, my friend from the pub said offer 5,000 off the asking price! So it's a lot of conflicting advice! I really really wanted the 165k house... but I also wanted to get it lower. I buy antiques as well and am able to get huge discounts off them and I know it's possible with houses but like antiques, if the seller is being stubborn, it's time to walk away... so I'm kind of sad that we're walking away from it (we were actually prepared to buy it at 155 if the seller had decided to go to 155). Thanks! I am starting to waver a little on the house prices but I'm a wee bit nervous on the market because we spent about 10k on things for our sold house (windows, kitchen, insulation, freehold), bought it at 102 in 2007 and sold it for 80k last month.
  4. Hi all, It's been a while since I last posted here on the forum! Well, we've sold our house in Staffordshire (for a loss, we bought at the peak in 2007) and we're looking to buy in Norfolk and I've used advice from my parents and this website, always offer 20% less than the asking price. We made offers on five houses (one 200k, three 170k, and 165k). The first four houses we made the 20% offer to, we were laughed off (two were the same EA and he very rudely told us that both houses were worth SO much more than that). The 165k house we originally offered 140 and they said, they can come down to 160k. We decided to offer 150 to see if they would come down more and they refused to come down from 160 (the house needed updating BIG time inside (needed new kitchen, bathrooms, carpeting throughout, but it was generally sound. The owner had died and the children were selling it). We decided to walk away. Just wondering, should we continue with our tactics or are the house prices that I've mentioned in line with what the area is worth (one was a 5 bed semi, two were three bed detached, one was three bed semi, and one was four bed detached). I hope we get a house soon... I know that the buyers are in the driver's seat but right now it doesn't feel like that!
  5. Is Nationwide good? I've got an account with them and was wondering why it is more secure than other banks? (wipes brow as it's been a question on my mind)
  6. Well... golly gee... I don't know WHAT is making this house not sell. If I wanted to be near the beach I'd buy near the beach.
  7. Gosh, I'm really sorry that our culture has permeated the British consciousness. As an Irish-American living here, I can't believe that American stuff such as proms are here. The thing about proms that I hate is the fact that girls wait around for someone to ask them to go to prom (that was me actually! I got up the nerve to ask someone to go with me once and I had loads of fun!). The girls who went stag (not the same term used here, just going with a group of their friends, not on a date) were viewed as "losers" because they couldn't get dates. All my friends and I went out for a meal and a movie instead of any of the dances because of that view. I still have my prom dress that I bought in 2000 for $140 (about £70) from the bargain rack of Saks Fifth Avenue. It's a wonderful dress and I fit into it! :-D Another thing about proms is that ninth-graders (imagine 14-15 year olds) get to go to the same prom as 12th graders (17-18 year olds). I still hold the idea that proms should be for the seniors only (when I went it was my last year of high school). We also had 4 or 5 different dances each year at school. Besides prom, I can name the Homecoming dance (first party of the year, to celebrate the beginning of the term), Sweetheart dance, etc. I'm sure there's many more! A British tradition that I really wish American public schools had was the uniform. That would have made all my mornings so much easier! I remember arguing this issue with a couple of students and the common argument is, "We should be celebrating our individuality!" I often said, "We're here to learn not discuss fashion statement!" There are actually a few American public schools that require the students wear a uniform, just wish it was MY district!
  8. I'm also wondering if people are trying to shy away from cities as well. I feel the most expensive houses are usually in the cities, especially Birmingham. However, I used to live in the country (now in town), and houses that the villagers said that were quite desirable (characteristic Victorian houses) are struggling to sell. That said, if I had the money I'd have snapped that one up! Probably brick up the dining room fireplace. I'll have to say the same about this Welsh property I'm keeping my eye on just to see how much it sells for (it's my ex-landlord's property). It's a detatched bungalow style property, was on the market for £250,000 now 230,000. Two EAs selling the house as well. I always can tell around here when a house is struggling to sell when they've got two or more EAs selling it.
  9. I thought it was a lovely house when I first visited them. Then my hubby told me that they were selling the house, so I made a guess at the price (basing it on my first impressions of the house). Note, I haven't been upstairs in their house, so I guessed it would be on the market for at least £170,000 based on my impressions of the ground floor. It was small, but the layout was well worked out. My eyes just fell out of their sockets when I saw that they were marketing it at £230,000. I saw they had 3 bedrooms (I had assumed it was a 2 up-2 down like our rental back then). To this day, I'm still wondering how they fit a third bedroom in the house (it's all on the same floor) and there's a 2nd bathroom but it's in the smallest bedroom in their house. Now that I've had a think about the house, I think the major (HUGE) factor of why it won't sell is the fact that the en-suite is in the smallest bedroom in the house. They need to have very rich first time buyers, or a 2nd home buyer who's just upgrading from a smaller house. As a first time buyer (bought our first house in October), I wouldn't buy their house as an upgrade as our much cheaper (£130,000 less) house is much bigger than their house (we have a garage and parking space, two important items that they don't have with this house). I'll have to keep an eye on the house. It's now going into one of the worst seasons to sell your house so I don't think they'll sell this summer. I don't think they'll even sell this year at all. I think they were just first time buyers who were just caught up with the housing boom at the time (They bought it at £160,000 in 2002, nearly the price I had guessed it was worth).
  10. Not in the Cambridge area but my friends are. I heard about them selling the house back in March so I've been keeping an eye on it. Apparently it's in a nice area of Cambridge! They bought the house in 2002. If they did sell at the price listed they'd have a £70,000 profit. Although that link says that their house is worth 237k, I just cannot see it selling at that price anytime soon due to the size (the house definitely lives up to the Victorian two-up, two-down image, although a new bedroom and bathroom were installed on the top floor). They've been lowering the price quite slowly (only twice and now £5k lower than the original listing). It'll be interesting to see how much it goes for. I've always emphasised that their house is a perfect first-time buyer house but now even first-time buyers are having trouble getting on the property ladder.
  11. That's an interesting website. Looked up my house and they estimated it at 5k less than what we bought for it! I suspect it'll go down a bit more as well as the market goes on. Looked at my friend's house in Cambridge and they valued it at £10,000 more than what they're selling it for. As I'm new to the area, I'm absolutely confused as to why their house is worth 80k more than their next door neighbour's (sold for 157,000 last year). Is it the number of bedrooms/bathrooms? (I think their house was originally a Victorian 2 up/2 down and a new extension was put in adding a bedroom and a bathroom on the top floor (bathroom is ensuite in one of the smaller bedrooms, not in the master bedroom). I think it's a very small house, in my opinion, but I'll keep an eye on it! Still learning about the quirks of the UK housing market!
  12. This thread is very interesting! I know someone who's selling in the Cambridge area and I had thought the initial price was a bit too high (6 mos on and hasn't sold yet, reduced by 5k). Very interesting, I'll keep an eye on this thread!
  13. I was just wondering if people had noticed it. I haven't seen a topic about it but then again I don't come here very often. My brother-in-law and his family are selling their house and I've been keeping an eye on it on RightMove. Recently, they dropped one agent and got another one and lowered the price. The previous agent had the property's particulars and you could see the energy rating of the property (E rating). The new agent doesn't put the energy rating on b-i-l's house entry on RightMove. They bought the house in 2002 for £158,000 (I also found out how much the previous owners had paid for it, and it was £119,000 and that was the year before!) and are hoping to sell for 225,000 (lowered it twice from 230,000). I wonder if the high price and the bad energy rating is a factor to them not selling for nearly 6 months. It's also the size of the house as well, in my opinion. It's advertised as a 3 bedroom terrace and I've been wondering how they fit 3 bedrooms in that house! I think they have a certain house in mind but need to achieve a certain price to be able to afford it, which is why the price is coming down so slowly. Not to mention the fact that two houses on the same street and very close to them, sold last year for 150,000 and 170,000 respectively so it looks like they may just break even on the house but I don't think my brother-in-law knows about the website I found. I've seen the same thing occurring on the page of houses from their area. Does the energy rating affect the sale price of a house? My husband and I are going to try to make this house more energy efficient (Starting by putting in double glazing! ). We live near a market town (not as NICE as where my B-i-l lives) but so far the few houses going up for sale in my area had a better energy rating (highest I've seen was a C rating) than b-i-l's house but still cheaper to buy. One's already sold STC, so I'll see how much it went for. Sounds like a double-barreled hit on the housing market: the Credit Crunch and the rising fuel prices. My husband and I have discussed putting solar panels on our house to save energy. I also looked into in-floor heating (and getting rid of our radiators) but it might just be a tad too much for a 1960s terraced house on an estate but you'd never know... it may just work. We are looking into selling our house within 5-6 years (I've seen 2011 as a year when the house market gets better, but 5 years is a bit more realistic).
  14. Ugh... I disagree... my PL really screwed me over.... If you have forgiving parents buy a house! That's what I did after complaining about my PL.
  15. I haven't posted in a while as I'm working on my new house. We finally moved into our own landlord-free house on the 1st of this month and our tenancy with our landlord ending the 4th. My partner agreed to let the Landlord in the house to look at the woodworm on the stairs. We came back on the 3rd to do some cleaning up and painting (My partner had filled in some holes and we were going to paint over them) and discovered that our LL had already removed the carpeting and told us that the underlay was damaged (we put down the carpeting ourselves and saw that the underlay was OK) and also asked us to replace the carpeting in the front bedroom. This was without our consent and my partner and I disagreed with fully replacing the carpet and underlay as it was part worn when we moved in. We decided to leave our keys and go (tenancy ending a day earlier). We decided to wait and see what was left of our security deposit. Just today I received a letter saying that our LL was withholding our security deposit because of our dog damaging the carpet and my previous illness on the front bedroom carpet (IE I threw up once). Said that the costs was 400 pounds to replace it plus the labour, our SD was/is 350 pounds. WTF? We were never consulted on how much labour would cost to fit the carpeting and he never supplied a receipt or receipts in the letter to explain how much things cost. My friends have so far suggested writing to the LL to get a receipt how much it actually cost. They don't believe that it cost 400 pounds for materials and labour. What else would you suggest? My partner has written a statement about what has happened in the past year in the anticipation of our SD being withheld (he actually hoped that we'd get SOME money back, after he had replaced the kitchen floor with linoleum). Our ll treated us like crap and I feel that we should get the full amount back after this letter. Just needed to rant... and a few choice swear words to myself as well... probably not suitable for this board! I edited it so nothing shows up on a Google websearch... I don't want to sound too vindictive but at the moment I'm feeling like that.
  16. Oh really! I didn't know that. Even though my relatives are from NI, I am quite a relative outsider (born in America to Northern Irish parents, which is how I got British Citizenship, and moved to the West Midlands last year). I think since the RoI is becoming more diverse (I sincerely hope politics can change towards women in Ireland) it's becoming a more acceptable place to live. I glimpsed Dublin on my way to Belfast (just got off a ferry from Liverpool) and it seemed like a quite fun city. Belfast has undergone a transformation. I remember as a wee girl seeing tanks in the streets of Belfast, and now I don't see that sort of thing. My auntie currently owns three properties in County Down (one she built herself on the coast, one she had previously owned, and one she inherited from her in-laws) and it's a quite nice area. Good commutable distance to Belfast (I reckon it's about an hour's drive from Bangor). It's a very beautiful place. I do think that the 1 out of 20 properties being vacant is due to the fact that the prices make your eyes water. I do think the problem is all these first-time buyers have a specific price in mind and cannot get the bang for their buck. However, Ireland does have potential, just needs to slow down a little bit.
  17. I am an American expat living in Britain, and am just learning about the house prices here. I currently live in a wee hamlet near Rugeley (bought a house in Rugeley). Currently there's two houses nearby me that haven't sold yet (one is selling at 220,000, the other is 214,000) and I bought a terraced house in Rugeley (a town less than two miles away from the nearest village) for 2 times less than the asking price for those houses, and my new house is bigger than them as well. Is it a desire to live in the countryside that drives up prices? If so why haven't the houses sold (I think the problem with both houses is the fact that they both have no parking and I think I heard something about them not being a side terrace which makes the less desirable). Explain to me why certain houses are more desirable than most? Why is the same kind of house being sold for more cash in the countryside than the same kind of house in a town? I can only glean so much from To Buy or Not To Buy. The one thing I miss about America is how quickly the agreements go through (we have a closing date, and move in!), we're still waiting on our solicitors at the moment (our mortgage has gone through, now it's our solicitors that have to agree). Why is it so complicated to buy a house here?
  18. Oh wow. If I had known that the prices would shoot up, I'd have told my parents to buy a holiday home in Belfast in the early to late '90s. They lived in Belfast during the troubles of the '70s (mum survived the Bloody Friday bombing). My parents miss NI and are planning on moving back when my dad retires from his job. It seems a much more friendly place than ever as in the early '90s I couldn't even wear a shirt with an Irish flag on it as my mum was scared for my safety and now I see people near St. George's Market selling Irish flag t-shirts (I exclaimed to my fiance, "Look! I couldn't even wear that when I was a wee girl") After Omagh (I was in Bangor when that happened), I thought I couldn't live in NI as there were too many violent incidents (the firebombing of those three Catholic boys earlier that summer of 1998). Now, it seems more likely that my parents could happily move back without incident. Nice to see that everyone wants to live in NI! Is it the Celtic Tiger effect?
  19. That is what I was wondering at the moment (the landlord requested we replace the carpet, after he and his wife had entered our property without due notice). Our friend (and previous tenant) had a cat (now our cat) and he failed to get him spayed so the cat sprayed everywhere, on the carpets etc. He moved out without replacing the carpets (had a little bit of a smell to it). That was when the landlord didn't really care what happened to the house and the yards (when we moved in our backyard was in a right state, so was our future front yard) and now he's moved in, he expects the house to be CLEAN. Every. Single. Day. Our landlord said he cleaned the carpet prior to us moving in. I could still smell the cat in the house even then. I will ask my partner to contest the entire cost of the lino plus contest the hallway carpeting. (there's plenty of food stains in the kitchen). However, the problem is he probably already agreed to replacing the lino (he really wants his deposit back).
  20. We replaced the living room carpet already. We wanted to wait until we've moved the kitchen stuff out of the way (within the week we'll move out) to lay down the carpet we bought already. Our dog damaged the carpet and I think it's our responsibility to replace the carpeting. Our landlord and landlady noticed the carpet when we were on holiday, when they entered our property without telling us.
  21. We have replaced the carpet in the living room. Currently there's carpeting in the kitchen but our dog did some work on it! Chewing the corners of it. We bought replacement carpet for the kitchen and had planned on waiting until we moved out to put it down. However, we got a letter from our landlord (after we had told him we bought a house and were waiting on everything to go through) and instead of replacing the carpeting, he wants lino (and it has to be his choice, I am hoping that it's not expensive!). What are the costs of replacing the carpet versus the lino? Is it more or is it less? Do we pay the cost of replacing THE carpet (value of a carpet) then the landlord pays the rest? It's a pain in the patootie as we've got a lot of carpet in our bedroom waiting to be laid down (we've decided to take it to our new house, but we've looked at it a number of times to figure out what work we need to do and all the carpeting is in good condition, just needs a clean). Also, the landlord requested that we replace the carpeting in the bathroom lobby (the hallway between the kitchen and bathroom, before going out the back, a laundry room of sorts). I have NO idea why he wants it replaced. I think it's because the carpeting is easy to take up (it's just squares of carpeting laid down on the floor, not a single piece of carpeting). I think we should contest it (my partner has actually said he'll ignore that request). The last tenant before us had this carpeting as well, plus the tenant before as well. It's in good condition.
  22. Is that true? By the way, we renewed our lease (we're still waiting on the solicitors to agree on our mortgage so we asked our landlord if we could stay a wee bit longer). He said yes, and delivered a new lease (we haven't signed it yet) that we agree to a rent increase of £400 a month (I think it was £350 a month). No explanation of why he's increasing our rent. I honestly think that if our landlord wishes to use our garden repeatedly (I see he's left several bags of wood chips in my garden this morning), we should stay at our current rent. If we cannot use half of our property, then the rent should reflect that and this rent increase doesn't reflect this. He even went in our back garden and did up the mini garden. My cat really liked sleeping in the long grass and now he can't do that anymore. I've repeatedly asked my partner to do something about this. He really wants to keep onto his deposit and told me to forget about it. It really infuriates me whenever I see my landlord and landlady tottering about in my garden without my permission (I wait when they're gone to go out because it really angers me that they keep doing that). My landlady is quite intimidating (she bit my head off once for not telling the window/door guy to fix the door after he had fixed the window, I said, "Isn't that your responsibility?" And she said, "No, it's YOURS!"). Is it too late? If I left a present from my dog in my garden (and waiting to pick it up after several hours, which is what I like to do, wait until it solidifies a bit before I pick it up) and get a letter from my landlord concerning me leaving poo, could I report him? That's a hypothetical question. *shakes fist at solicitors, HURRY UP! get me out of this house!*
  23. My partner is more willing to get out of the place. I really wanted to deal with it at the time (my partner doesn't want to lose the deposit so he's tiptoeing around them at the moment, treating them nicely and letting them treat us like a doormat). However, my landlady has implied that the next time we go on holiday (I'm not certain we'll be living here the next time we go on holiday) that they would enter our house to work on our stairs. Yeah, I'll get out of this place. My partner doesn't want to wish them ill will but I certainly hope what goes round comes round (I've shown my neighbours the letter and they are really angry with the landlord and landlady for harassing us). The house and garden is next to a pub that has a garden almost parallel to the garden, and we've got plenty of friends at the pub that we've complained to. They don't like the landlord either. Can't wait to get out. I know there are some landlords out there that are very good (my friend has one that lives in Spain!) and this is my first experience with a landlord and I think it's better to buy! Good luck to the OP. I hope things go well.
  24. I just wanted to reply in this posting becuse I've been having troubles with my landlord repeatedly entering our garden and once entering our house without prior notice (when my partner and I were on holiday). We asked the landlord if we could have a dog (he agreed). We got our dog as a puppy and notified our neighbours that we got a pup, and they didn't mind the howling and whining (he was lonely the first week with us). He finally stopped like 2 weeks after we got him. The landlord started sending us letters that the pup would howl at night, then my partner told him that our dog didn't do that. The landlord changed it to whenever we went to the pub. When we went on holiday, our landlord entered our property without prior notice and noticed the carpets ravaged by our dog (we have replaced one, and had bought a replacement carpet but just got a letter that the landlord wants lino instead of carpeting). We agreed (verbally at the time) to replace the carpeting. Then my landlord further harped on the issue in December (a week after we had talked to them). First point was obviously the carpet (we had agreed to that). The second and third points I vehemently disagreed with. The second point was the dog's noise, the landlord had said that people had complained to them about the dog barking and howling, and the third point was the dog's poo in the garden and people had complained to them about the smell. First of all, who would complain to them and not us? To us that was a blatant lie. Secondly, our dog hasn't howled for a long time. Thirdly, I picked up the poo every morning and afternoon (not night as it is very hard to find the poo, obviously). One time I was sick (jet-lagged and very headache-y), and the landlady put a note through the letter-box demanding I pick up the poo immediately (there was like 2 mounds). Our landlord now lives next to us, which is why they're so overbearing (our house is a victorian terrace in a village near a town). They've now put a patio in our front garden and constantly enter our garden to do some gardening (they even told us to move our dog kennel to the back of our garden, and at one point, they told us we couldnt have our dog in the garden anymore, they now said we could have HALF of the garden, even though it's OUR garden according to the lease). Soon no more landlord as we bought our first house in town. I really want to be compensated for the treatment our landlord gave us during this time, my partner thinks otherwise (he wants his deposit back and just go and forget about them). What do you think? It really irritates me whenever they enter my garden, and yesterday I had some rubbish in the back (we are preparing to move) to take to the skip and I saw that it was gone and the mini garden had been tended to. Grrrrrrr. Should I forget about it? Should we get compensated? (we are private tenants and I've heard that it's harder for private tenants overall)
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