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First Time Cash Buyer And A Bit Unsure...

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Hi,

my post is partly anecdotal, partly need for advice, so I hope I put it in the right forum. I hope you don't mind it being a bit longish, I just have the need to speak with some reasonable, sane people on here... :)

I've been looking to buy a property in the southeast for years now but during the time, I kept putting it off in hope for a fall to reasonable prices.

The situation got better for buyers, even in the very popular city where I live, but still prices are crazy.

My situation is that I have been paying a high rent for years and just recently lost my job. I managed to get a part time job and want to work partly self-employed in the future, but I'm realistic enough to see that I won't have a full income for a long time. I have enough money on a savings account to buy a nice 1 bed flat or a probably less nice 2 bed flat in the area where I live and want to stay. It still might not be the right moment to buy, but in my situation it seems to be the only reasonable choice, as the alternative is to spend money from my savings each month just to cover my rent, until my savings account diminishes further and further...

Anyhow, I have been looking at flats for the last 2 weeks and had 14 viewings so far. Very different kinds of EA's, some are time-wasters like the one who drove me to see overpriced properties in areas I didn't want anyway, but he was so pushy that I gave in and had a look. Even with the properties I quite liked, there was always something not right and I haven't had the "oh, I must have that flat" experience yet. I'm wondering if I'm being too picky or what? Surely buying a flat and spending most of my savings on it is a big decision? I'm really cautious and some EA's make you feel as if buying a flat is not a big deal at all. What are your experiences? Have you looked at many places before deciding to buy?

So far, I've mainly looked at places which probably have been on the market a while as I just have started two weeks ago. I wonder if the choice gets better when EA's I'm registered with call me about new properties...

Another question, less anecdote: would you go for a solicitor company an EA works with? One EA advised me to use "Move with us", a property service company which seems to do it all. Any experiences with this one? I'm cautious and think it might be best to get a local independent solicitor and local surveyor, but I'm unsure where to start looking and where to find recommendations. Not sure how much I can trust the recommendations of EA's. One just told me today that they have soo many sales at the moment - yeah, sure :P

It's all a bit overwhelming, especially when you know that you need to be wary of most EA talks and also try to do business with them at the same time, so any words of encouragement are appreciated.

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Hi,

my post is partly anecdotal, partly need for advice, so I hope I put it in the right forum. I hope you don't mind it being a bit longish, I just have the need to speak with some reasonable, sane people on here... :)

I've been looking to buy a property in the southeast for years now but during the time, I kept putting it off in hope for a fall to reasonable prices.

The situation got better for buyers, even in the very popular city where I live, but still prices are crazy.

My situation is that I have been paying a high rent for years and just recently lost my job. I managed to get a part time job and want to work partly self-employed in the future, but I'm realistic enough to see that I won't have a full income for a long time. I have enough money on a savings account to buy a nice 1 bed flat or a probably less nice 2 bed flat in the area where I live and want to stay. It still might not be the right moment to buy, but in my situation it seems to be the only reasonable choice, as the alternative is to spend money from my savings each month just to cover my rent, until my savings account diminishes further and further...

Anyhow, I have been looking at flats for the last 2 weeks and had 14 viewings so far. Very different kinds of EA's, some are time-wasters like the one who drove me to see overpriced properties in areas I didn't want anyway, but he was so pushy that I gave in and had a look. Even with the properties I quite liked, there was always something not right and I haven't had the "oh, I must have that flat" experience yet. I'm wondering if I'm being too picky or what? Surely buying a flat and spending most of my savings on it is a big decision? I'm really cautious and some EA's make you feel as if buying a flat is not a big deal at all. What are your experiences? Have you looked at many places before deciding to buy?

So far, I've mainly looked at places which probably have been on the market a while as I just have started two weeks ago. I wonder if the choice gets better when EA's I'm registered with call me about new properties...

Another question, less anecdote: would you go for a solicitor company an EA works with? One EA advised me to use "Move with us", a property service company which seems to do it all. Any experiences with this one? I'm cautious and think it might be best to get a local independent solicitor and local surveyor, but I'm unsure where to start looking and where to find recommendations. Not sure how much I can trust the recommendations of EA's. One just told me today that they have soo many sales at the moment - yeah, sure :P

It's all a bit overwhelming, especially when you know that you need to be wary of most EA talks and also try to do business with them at the same time, so any words of encouragement are appreciated.

Take your time! No hurry atall when prices will soften comsiderably as the winter approaches and beyond. Do not take any EA statement ta fact value. Do your own research. Use sold prices on Rightmove to help you.

Flats - be careful - leasehold problems, maintenance issues, sinking funds, neighbour trouble. If you can, but a feeehold, even if it is a freehold flat.

Solictors - find your own - ask friends for a recommendation - shop around for quotes.

Surveyors - same thing. Do not accept the EA's offering as that is a 'kick back' session. May be OK but it's nothing to do with much except them receiving a kickback.

When you do find one - offer 20% less than asking price first, then do not go above 10% less. No mortgage surveyors are valuing much above that.

LAST OF ALL - WAIT UNTIL NEXT MARCH - YOU WILL THEN SEE HOW PRICES ARE MELTING AND THAT THE COST OF RENT IS LESS THAN THE FALLS IN PRICES. IF YOU CAN BEAR IT WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I just have the need to speak with some reasonable, sane people on here...

Bon chance ;)

Even with the properties I quite liked, there was always something not right and I haven't had the "oh, I must have that flat" experience yet. I'm wondering if I'm being too picky or what? Surely buying a flat and spending most of my savings on it is a big decision?

Yep - agreed. When it's your own money that you have in the bank you take it more seriously, I think.

What are your experiences?

Much as yours

Have you looked at many places before deciding to buy?

Yes - probably 20-odd in the last couple of years

I wonder if the choice gets better when EA's I'm registered with call me about new properties...

Doubt it. Sorry, but EAs are crap and you learn what's on the market from Rightmove; the choice doesn't seem to get much better with time either...

It's all a bit overwhelming, especially when you know that you need to be wary of most EA talks and also try to do business with them at the same time, so any words of encouragement are appreciated.

Count your fingers after you shake hands with an EA.

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Bon chance ;)

Yep - agreed. When it's your own money that you have in the bank you take it more seriously, I think.

Much as yours

Yes - probably 20-odd in the last couple of years

Doubt it. Sorry, but EAs are crap and you learn what's on the market from Rightmove; the choice doesn't seem to get much better with time either...

Count your fingers after you shake hands with an EA.

And if you have to buy now. Never ever use any 'advisor' of any sort attached to the estate agent.

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Thanks for your answers. Yes, I'll slow down the flat search, after all I'm not in a big rush to buy something asap, although the EA's often behave as this was the case. They are definitely in some desperation...

Unfortunately I won't be able to afford more than a flat here, as much as I'd love to buy a house. I was thinking a lot about if I could compromise on location by living further out or in a not so good area, but came up with the conclusion that this wouldn't be for me. It's a weird situation, I have the money to be a cashbuyer but I wouldn't get the smallest mortgage! Considering the high rent I have to pay and the low interest rates for savings, I am financially much better off buying a place, and be rent-free, even if it might not be a good time to buy yet. Seeing the economic situation like most people here, I know it has to be a really good place where I want to stay the next years as I might have to sit through an overdue house price crash... although, as my friends say, house prices keep going up again, so there's nothing to worry :ph34r:

Yes, I'll stay away from EA's solicitors, that was also my subconscious feeling already before I asked, thanks for your warnings. Even if the EA has no bad intentions, their pushiness to go with the company they work with, puts me really off. I'd much rather go for a local independent solicitor and surveyor.

Hmm, I'm not sure if I really could offer 20% less in each case, but I always have definitely at least 10% on my mind. It depends on the property: I have seen crap flats which were clearly overpriced and should have been on the market for much much less, I have seen a really nice flat in a favoured area, very sensibly priced (only problem: no bathtub, only enough space for a shower) for which I wouldn't have wanted to ask for a discount of more than 10%. Also the EA seems decent and I read good reviews from buyers about them, so they are not all evil ;)

Enough rambling on from me, have a good night. I'll let you know when I have found something.

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Yeah, its tough. Don't believe a word they say about anything, thats your solicitors job.

Don't let them waste your time. If they ****** you about on viewings, just think what they will do on the negotiations.

Finally - you are talking about spending 10 - 20 years worth of savings, or more. How are you going to replace it? Get it right.

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What location are you currently living? What is your occupation? You could get a lot more for your money if you can re-locate a bit- is that an option?

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What location are you currently living? What is your occupation? You could get a lot more for your money if you can re-locate a bit- is that an option?

Sorry, I'd rather not answer too many personal questions on a forum, soo many people reading it.

No, relocating is not an option for me. I had thought about it moving to the outskirts, even looked at houses a while ago, but my only thought was "What should I do here?". It's different moving in with a partner and/or with children, but as I'm going to live on my own, I would feel cut off. It's just great to be able to walk into town during the day and when I've been out at night, not to have to worry how to get home :-)

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When looking at a property take into consideration the last sold prices of similar in the same block/street. Then i look at the property i am viewing and if anything needs repairing or replacing then take at least that off the asking price. remember to cost for someone else to do the work as well.

If there is any signs of damp ect then get a specialist report. Most damp companies offer it for free. Then put the findings to the seller and make a lower offer to cover such work plus the inconvienience. I have done this with great results. If the seller won't take an offer then walk away.

If you are serious about buying a flat/ when you find one, look at the lease details carefully and anything you don't understand ask about, before purchasing.

Good luck!

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we have just bought but it took us 3 years to find the right property at the right price for this market....without the two we would still be renting...the price has to be right ori would not sleep too well at night knowing i had blew very hard earned money.. we paid 188k from a original asking price of 299k.. i sleep well.. :P

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we have just bought but it took us 3 years to find the right property at the right price for this market....without the two we would still be renting...the price has to be right ori would not sleep too well at night knowing i had blew very hard earned money.. we paid 188k from a original asking price of 299k.. i sleep well.. :P

Wow, that sounds fantastic. I think I'll need to let the time work for me, sooner or later the vendors will understand that they have to drop their insanely high asking prices. I just got an offer of 10% below the asking price declined. It would be crazy to offer any more in this market, in fact I think that I offered too much already. So I'll have to let it go. It's a great flat in a good area which would have sold in a busy market like hot cakes - now it has been on the market for three months already. When will the greedy vendors understand the basics of supply and demand?

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When looking at a property take into consideration the last sold prices of similar in the same block/street. Then i look at the property i am viewing and if anything needs repairing or replacing then take at least that off the asking price. remember to cost for someone else to do the work as well.

If there is any signs of damp ect then get a specialist report. Most damp companies offer it for free. Then put the findings to the seller and make a lower offer to cover such work plus the inconvienience. I have done this with great results. If the seller won't take an offer then walk away.

If you are serious about buying a flat/ when you find one, look at the lease details carefully and anything you don't understand ask about, before purchasing.

Good luck!

Thank you for the advice! Yes, I'm glad we have Rightmove to check sold prices. What I have seen so far when comparing sold and asking prices is that asking prices are still usually much higher, according to the mantra that 'property prices always go up' ;-). Still too many sellers that won't budge and I hope that more buyers behave as bearish as me so that the sellers have to become more realistic. The media reporting about house price falls now is certainly a big help :)

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Wow, that sounds fantastic. I think I'll need to let the time work for me, sooner or later the vendors will understand that they have to drop their insanely high asking prices. I just got an offer of 10% below the asking price declined. It would be crazy to offer any more in this market, in fact I think that I offered too much already. So I'll have to let it go. It's a great flat in a good area which would have sold in a busy market like hot cakes - now it has been on the market for three months already. When will the greedy vendors understand the basics of supply and demand?

Yes, regardless of your views on the housing market and long term HPC, prices are almost certainly going one way over the next six months.

Say you spend £8k on rent over the next 6 months, the questionis whether you'll be able to negotiate more than off in the depths of January after another 6 months of doom and gloom and pent up demand (to sell!)

I suspect yes...

Waiting out another 6 months would also move a bunch of risk from the transaction....

Maybe find a house you want, offer 20% off asking, but then keep the offer on the table over a few months for when the seller becomes more motivated.

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Yes, regardless of your views on the housing market and long term HPC, prices are almost certainly going one way over the next six months.

Say you spend £8k on rent over the next 6 months, the questionis whether you'll be able to negotiate more than off in the depths of January after another 6 months of doom and gloom and pent up demand (to sell!)

I suspect yes...

Waiting out another 6 months would also move a bunch of risk from the transaction....

Maybe find a house you want, offer 20% off asking, but then keep the offer on the table over a few months for when the seller becomes more motivated.

try not to buy a flat. the costs of leasehold will spiral i suspect. not to mention all the horror stories of flats being badly maintained despite high management costs because many BTL landlords cannot pay the fees and you will be left to deal with the aftermath. you might have DSS tenants next to you and dss or not tenants wont be bothered about the cleanliness and other aspects of the building. the management will find new ways to charge you fees and come up with other 'essential' maintainence needs. so you will end up paying a lot more per month than you budgetted and have very little peace of mind. if possible, try to buy a small house even considering a small mortgage.

good luck

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Thanks for all your recent posts and sorry that I just saw them today, I didn't check this forum a lot in the last weeks.

Well, I have seen many low-quality flats at exorbitant prices recently and was close to giving up the idea of buying.

Thinking about my different options, I also thought about buying a house in a less expensive town to live there with my partner, but as I'm not able to afford this on my own, we both would have needed to put money in. Huuuge committment as we haven't been together for even a year and although things are good now, I can't look into the future. My thoughts were all over the place, I've done a lot of thinking and fortunately decided that buying together would be a too big step to take.

Anyhow, some days ago I saw the first flat which ticked all the boxes, although the rooms are small but that's kind of normal in the UK anyway, but the flat is immaculate. Very well maintained, the owner has been living there herself and clearly put a lot of effort in it. The flat upstairs is occupied by the owners, so I think they will have also an interest in maintaining the house well. The EA was very capable (no, I'm not joking :-) and knew amazingly many details about the place and even it's owner. Very different to the young boys in suits from the big chain EA's who often have no clue about what they are showing you.

Buying a flat is always a bit worrying because of the dealings with neighbours, possible noise from upstairs etc, and I would buy a house immediately if I could afford it or get a mortgage. But for a flat it all looks very good to me and I'm quite excited about the second viewing tomorrow. I hope they'll accept my lower offer though, I certainly don't want to pay the full asking price or close to it in a falling market...

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Update: I put an offer in for approx. 7% below asking price and it got rejected. The argument of the seller was apparently that "she needs more money". Yes, that's a good reason, who doesn't?

Oh well, somehow it's good that I can't afford to go up with my offer anyway, so that saves me of doing something unreasonable and over-paying for a flat that might be less worth in some months time.

Maybe I'm lucky and the seller actually comes back to me when she doesn't get better offers but I think there are still too many people who will happily agree to pay the full asking price when they see the pretty decorative flower vases :unsure:

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  • 140 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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