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BigMick

Looking For Some Thoughts And Opinions Of Edinburgh West Side

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In April I’ll be relocating back to the UK with the family after spending 12 years in a mix of the US and Australia.

I’m going to be moving back to a new job Edinburgh (essentially the airport).

I still own a house in the US – I put down a large deposit, and saw the price crash to an extent that the equity is near enough gone – although the house is worth about the outstanding mortgage. It is, however, rented out on a long term contract that covers the fixed interest mortgage payments. The plan would be to sell it once the price recovers and I have some equity again.

Which brings me to where to live in Edinburgh – I have a leaning towards being out of the city, but would prefer somewhere on the west side (for work), and must have decent schools (primary at moment) that two kids with a hybrid US / Australian accent would fit in at.. Also needs to be 4+ bedrooms..

I have no idea what the current multiple of salary banks will loan to is, so will work on 4 times salary, giving a buying power of just under 300K. (happy to hear thoughts on that)

However, I’m used to buying in the US market and have not bought in the UK for over 15 years! Eg in the US the offer is in writing (inc. conditions – such as subject to inspections) and accepted or rejected in writing - no gazumping allowed) , the contract also sets a ‘close’ date – so no chains are allowed to form, people move to short term rentals when they sell their houses – I’m guessing that hasn’t reached Scotland yet?

Also, I’m used to being able to put ‘terms’ in the offer – eg seller to pay stamp duty, or seller to fund deposit to X% etc (rather than give on price, sellers tend to make an allowance towards your deposit at closing – which helps the buyer get a better mortgage rate as the LTV ratio is lower) – is that heard of, or even permissible in Scotland? (As I have a house in the US, and am funding the move back to UK myself, I will initially be deposit challenged – so need to work out a way to be creative (Do new houses still offer deposit assistance?)

Another thought would be to rent for a year or so – and can run to 1200 or 1500 a month, again has to be a good area for schools and 4+ bedrooms. In act, thinking aloud, renting may be the better option until we get to know the area better.

So, based on the above – and drawing on the pooled local knowledge of the area, what thoughts do people have on where I should be looking to live? Any thoughts welcomed to help me make the transition back to UK as smooth as possible.

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I stay there at present in a 5 bed house 1100 per month. Barnton area.

Barnton, Cammo, Cramond, Braehead. All nice and quiet - near to sea and river. 5 minute walk and you could be in the middle of the country. Only issue is the planes overhead. However as long as they are not direct overhead you don't even notice them.

Really like the area myself - and close to airport. Not sure about £300k for 4 bedrooms though. Although you will def get something but perhaps not in the nicest parts.

You are looking like more 3-400k in the nicer parts. Although I am pretty sure these are gonna drop by 20% + in the next few years. No guarantee though.

Cramond

Cammo

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Most banks turned a blind eye to "creativity" when house prices were rocketing. Now they call it mortgage fraud. Anything that reduces the effective price you pay for a property should be disclosed as the bank will wish to adjust the value of the property they base their loan on accordingly.

And although lower deposit mortgages are coming back, I don't think 100% mortgages are.

Given that this forum's name is Housepricecrash you can be pretty sure the advice will be rent.

I'd also add that it wouldn't hurt to rent for six months or a year whilst you get the lie of the land and if your family are happy in a location then you can start thinking about spending £300k to live their (semi-)permanently.

I have no idea on schools I'm afraid.

One last boring point is that it might be worth getting a wee bit of tax advice on your US property. I know just enough to recognise that there are some potential pitfalls but not nearly enough to be any help. Overseas assets get treated strangely by HMRC and if memory serves it is actually possible to lose money on a property but still have a tax bill as I think they treat the mortgage and the house separately. Also, you should investigate nominating your US home as your principal private residence (given that it currently is) to mitigate any unpleasant tax bills on it in the UK.

Any bona-fide accountant should be able to clarify this stuff for you.

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I certainly wasn’t thinking of anything that would constitute mortgage fraud! I’m just used to the US way of doing things, eg if a house is valued at 300K, and passed inspection at 300K – most banks will work with a buyer to get the LTV at 80% or below.

For example - if you went to a bank with a 10% deposit they would offer you an 80% mortgage and a 10% home equity loan – which results in a slightly lower overall payment.

Or banks would often suggest that if the house passed valuation at 300K, and you had say a 15% deposit – rather than offer 5% below asking price, offer asking price but seller has to fund 5% of the deposit.

It is also commonly advised to ask a seller to bay the buyers closing costs now (eg, http://www.everythingre.com/Asking_Seller_to_Pay_Your_Closing_Costs) giving more money for the deposit. And, as mentioned din the article, US mortgage law allows the seller to fund up to 6% of the buyers deposit as an incentive - they don't have to as it's a negotiation point - but the law allows for it..

I noticed, for example, that on a new home – CARA homes web site (UK homes, many around Glasgow and Edinburgh) offers incentives on new homes including paying part of your deposit or covering the stamp duty for you. I guess my query was more akin to are these incentives only available on new properties – or can you make an offer private sales with similar terms (eg I’ll but your house but only if you pay the stamp duty) – that is what I meant by being creative (I wasn’t meaning the ‘creative accounting sense!

All that said – having looked at some of the market – I’m feeling strongly that renting is the way forward for the first year – it will give plenty of time to see what the market is doing and get to know the area better.

CCC – Barnton looks nice – but I can’t see anything for 1100, there are some nice looking places near 1500 though – thanks for the suggestions. I couldn’t help noticing that it is in the flight path of the main runway at Turnhouse though – how noisy are the jets round there??

Edited by BigMick

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Sounds cheap ccc. Is that typical for a Barnton 5-bed, or even attainable?

They wanted 1500 but they gave in. Amateur developers :D

I certainly wasn't thinking of anything that would constitute mortgage fraud! I'm just used to the US way of doing things, eg if a house is valued at 300K, and passed inspection at 300K – most banks will work with a buyer to get the LTV at 80% or below.

For example - if you went to a bank with a 10% deposit they would offer you an 80% mortgage and a 10% home equity loan – which results in a slightly lower overall payment.

Or banks would often suggest that if the house passed valuation at 300K, and you had say a 15% deposit – rather than offer 5% below asking price, offer asking price but seller has to fund 5% of the deposit.

It is also commonly advised to ask a seller to bay the buyers closing costs now (eg, http://www.everythin...r_Closing_Costs) giving more money for the deposit. And, as mentioned din the article, US mortgage law allows the seller to fund up to 6% of the buyers deposit as an incentive - they don't have to as it's a negotiation point - but the law allows for it..

I noticed, for example, that on a new home – CARA homes web site (UK homes, many around Glasgow and Edinburgh) offers incentives on new homes including paying part of your deposit or covering the stamp duty for you. I guess my query was more akin to are these incentives only available on new properties – or can you make an offer private sales with similar terms (eg I'll but your house but only if you pay the stamp duty) – that is what I meant by being creative (I wasn't meaning the 'creative accounting sense!

All that said – having looked at some of the market – I'm feeling strongly that renting is the way forward for the first year – it will give plenty of time to see what the market is doing and get to know the area better.

CCC – Barnton looks nice – but I can't see anything for 1100, there are some nice looking places near 1500 though – thanks for the suggestions. I couldn't help noticing that it is in the flight path of the main runway at Turnhouse though – how noisy are the jets round there??

1500 is what they want. Offer much less and they will come running.

Planes are not bad at all. Unless you are right below them.

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I'm heading up to Edinburgh soon and am currently in house hunting mode albeit initally I'm looking to rent a four bedroom property in the vicinity of the airport so looks like Barnton, Cramond or Corstorphine. I will be working in central Edinburgh and Mrs will be looking for work at the airport. I am looking for a bit of space at reasonable price (circa 1000pcm) due to three kids. Planes overhead don't worry us too much as we used to live next door to Heathrow.

Any advice from anyone with local knowledge on the areas would be appreciated (schools etc). Dunfermline has been suggested to us.

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Dunfermline is certainly cheaper than, for example, Corstorphine (or similar West side areas)... though you'd have to put up with travelling over the bridge every day. Probably not much hassle if you lived next to Heathrow prior.

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Compared to Edinburgh you get a huge amount for your money in Dunfermline. I am told the commute is not so bad over the bridge (but gets bad once you hit the city proper). Plenty of availability in Dunfermline but the main housing estate is huge - apparently the biggest in Europe.

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The best state secondary chool in the west of edinburgh is the royal high school, you'll need to be in the catchment to go, it has very limited spare capacity due to its popularity

catchment --> http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/downloads/file/1777/the_royal_high_school_catchment_map

others --> http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/downloads/20070/school_catchment_areas

The rest are fairly average, with the exception of WHEC which is a nightmare but unless you're buying a crackhouse in wester hailes not a problem

Juniper Green is a nice area

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Thanks all for the above feedback. Going to have a look at the areas at the end of May. Not looking to buy at present but may pop into a few developers sales offices just to see what reactions I get.

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Thanks all for the above feedback. Going to have a look at the areas at the end of May. Not looking to buy at present but may pop into a few developers sales offices just to see what reactions I get.

Back from a house hunting expedition across the border and have to admit I didn't fully grasp the amount of housebuilding that has been undertaken around Edinburgh. I was looking at houses only but many of the letting agents were trying to encourage viewing of many flats in the city and found many of them refreshingly honest compared to many of the letting spivs in London. Feedback from friends in Edinburgh told me which areas to avoid etc and gave me an informed view of the general landscape so I was able to test the agents with various questions. Myself and Mrs Blagger looked at numerous four bedroom houses in most of the towns starting from Fife (Dunfermline/Dalgety Bay) around the edge of the bypass round to Prestonpans. Some of the new builds were awful and the expanse of the new estate in Dunfermline was something to behold!

In the end, we have plumped for Tranent in East Lothian mainly due to the new build house actually having liveable dimensions, proximity to EDI for commute to work, new school on doorstep and being able to negotiate a sizeable chunk off the rental asking. It's not our ideal location but it gives us a base to get started and think towards the future. Unfortunately still the same picture with the price of housing as down south but at least my wage has improved.

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  • 312 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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