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AndyAndy

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Not so many posts on here; I've been busy. Its been fun though.

Here is my story. With a modest deposit, the sort of house I wanted for my growing family was so far out of reach, it would never happen. I posted on here for a bit with a mixture of bitterness and hope of a massive reversal in prices with a hint of despair for our economy. Then I turned my focus elsewhere.

I came across a plot of land - it had been for sale for 12 months or so with older outline planning for a house but how is beyond me; eg limited access, no power, no water, no drainage, no mains sewer. I had an offer close to asking price accepted in early 2010.

Two years of paperwork later, I completed the purchase with a further discount due to the perceived cost of dealing with black water. I also had full planning a few months later as you can proceed with planning on a plot you don't own so planning was running parallel with legal issues relating to access, drainage etc etc etc. The council planning office were really dreadful - slow, unkind, delaying - when the new planning regs came out they said they would have to stop my planning (that fell under the old regs) as they needed to read the new ones. I wrote to every cabinent minister and opposition shadow minister and the council apologised.

Six months of mortgage issues followed when it seemed no one would lend us the money to build the house even though we had been given a modest mortgage to buy the land and a £30,000 loan (15k each from each sets of parents). Got one eventually from an old school building society - proper interviews and indeed advice from them - excellent.

For 18 months no holidays, no weekends off - my wife bore the brunt of raising our children. I worked through the nights. I learnt new skills (stone floor or tiled bathroom anyone). We had a budget, we stuck to it, only deviating when we could reduce cost elsewhere - eg I did all the landscaping (and there was a lot) so we could afford the materials for the stone floor and surpringly wet under floor heating systems are only £500 more than radiator systems.

I had a stroke of luck too, the utilities companies had cocked their old plans so mains services actually ran down the road past the house - saving £20,000.

The mortgage draw down on the completed house enabled repayment of parents - at interest!

I am writing this from a chair in my open plan live in kitchen which has one wall of 20ft width of glass panels floor to ceiling looking out over a 1/4 acre back garden. Its sunny outside and my wife is establishing one of the new beds and the kids are helping. I am contemplating making us all some lunch.

I was 38 when I started this with £100k of savings/equity from past houses. I managed to borrow £250k of which I have since repaid £25k from the auction of some possesions I don't need (I used to restore watches as a hobby). The proposed house while there were only plans was valued by the buidling society in mid 2012 for mortgage purposes at £500k. I could not hazard a guess at what the is value is now as its in a very desirable area - I don't care, I'm not moving - ever!

I am in my early (ish) 40's now and earn 60k pa from my job. My wife will be returning to work in a year or so after my youngest starts school. No one has given me a cent and its something I am proud of - I was very unhappy about borrowing money from parents - especially my in laws.

I don't think I have anything harder or easier than parents. I only put my back out 7 times but then I remember parents stuggling too.

Am I a troll - maybe - read into this what you will - my advice - get creative.

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Great story- well done.

Why do you think the local council people were so hostile to you? Do they feel threatened in some way by people who dare to step off the beaten path?

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Sounds like a lot of work and its not even yours.

I'm sure you're one of those people who never loses their job or gets a better one anyway.

Form me mortgage free is what matters, nothing else.

Don't pat yourself on the back just yet.

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Sounds like a lot of work and its not even yours.

I'm sure you're one of those people who never loses their job or gets a better one anyway.

Form me mortgage free is what matters, nothing else.

Don't pat yourself on the back just yet.

Don't be such a negative bugger. He's played the hand the best he can for his family, in the face of state opposition that is designed to crush the individual, and has a small(ish) debt which is entirely repayable by the looks of things.

I say well done. Now write a book about all the cockups by the council and publicise it locally big time - make people understand how EVIL most council management are.

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You see when 250k is considered smallish debt by just about anyone, things really have gone mad.

Go and research what sort of motor that will buy.

Whatever you do don't consider that if rates stay low forever, that loan will still cost 500k over the term and if not it might get to cost 750k.

Sell up now and take the profit.

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...and earn 60k pa from my job.

...repaid £25k from the auction of some possesions...

...my advice - get creative.

Yeah, I think many people would be more creative on 60k with some assets/savings, in a stable family unit including reliable potential backup from parents and in-laws. Sadly this is very far from the norm for most people in the UK. Stay lucky, enjoy it and congratulations.

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Yeah, I think many people would be more creative on 60k with some assets/savings, in a stable family unit including reliable potential backup from parents and in-laws. Sadly this is very far from the norm for most people in the UK. Stay lucky, enjoy it and congratulations.

Work hard, create opportunities, don't moan if your gambles don't pay off, appreciate your luck as you will have had it, and above all appreciate others are less lucky and help them.

I would be happy for the success of anyone like that.

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You see when 250k is considered smallish debt by just about anyone, things really have gone mad.

Go and research what sort of motor that will buy.

Whatever you do don't consider that if rates stay low forever, that loan will still cost 500k over the term and if not it might get to cost 750k.

Sell up now and take the profit.

I have to agree entirely! That plus the other repliers comments that, after all that effort and expense, you still don't actually own the house!

That aside I get the impression that, maybe, you are wary that you are fortunate vis a vis earnings power - in so far as that 60K is beyond most peoples (indeed couples even?) hopes.

BUT I do commend you for the persevering and building yourself and wish you well.

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As an extra thought....would you, without compromising your privacy/anonymity, care to let us know (i) where abouts in the UK this has taken place, and (ii) how much you paid for the plot?

Edited by anonguest

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thanks for being so kind and positive everyone. To answer your questions:

I agree £250k is horribly big mortgage in my book too which is why I sold some watches in auction to kick it down. When my wife restarts work as a teacher her pay is about £30k so that gives us 90k against a mortgage of £225k - I can live with it for what really is a top end house where I live. I am on a 5 year fixed rate.

Where do I live - Golden Triangle of North Yorkshire - about 35/45 mins into the centre of Leeds by car depending on when I leave or I have a train option. Site was on at £180k, my accepted offer was £170k and further discounts for sewage issues reduced the price by a further £20k to £150k although the sewage problems disappeared when they dug up the road and found a main drain which wasn't on the plans held by Yorkshire Water (how can you lose a sewer...). Total build cost was £210k for a 200sq m house excluding detached garage.

I thought I would have to wait for the garage but it was more or less free - I was offered a fancy double timber one for virtually nothing by someone who erected it and then decided they wanted a pool there instead - I had to collect the garage myself but a local friendly farmer and a flat bed trailer helped here. The hydralics on the tractor helped with the dismatling and rebuilding of the garage at either end. I had poured the foundations myself.

I'm not selling. This was never about profit. Whoever said I am doing the best for my family - damn right. I love it here, the house is perfect for me and my wife. Here we stay.

Thanks

Edited by AndyAndy

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Oops - sorry forgot to add a comment about councils. Planning departments are known for being hard work to impossible for self builders. They know all the rules, we don't. I imagine they have to deal with a lot of crap from people who want a Disney castle in Peckham or a Star Ship in Bristol. If you are trying to play by the rules and do the right thing by everyone though they are impossible. Bear in mind as well for me everything I have was flowing into the project while for them its a 9 - 5 job. The tree officer was a bit daft - he made a huge fuss about retaining a chestnut tree in the garden and then it blew down the next windy day - true!

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Well done for jumping through all the hoops of planning permission and completing your self build. No easy task, I'm sure!

I would be interested in seeing a break down of costs, if you would be so kind. Some on this site seem to think that you can build a house for only £20k. :P

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I know the sort who quote 20k. I have had to listen to a lot of old tripe from people who know nothing. This was a top spec build (provided you ignore those who spend £30k on their kitchens - they do exist but the kitchens in a Persimmon house by comparison are about 4k). While I did quite a bit myself I also had a very good main contractor who did all the skilled structural stuff - yep some people do without but then the stats for foundation failure for those people is epic and the build can take a year longer. The costings are lifted directly from my costing schedules.

With a fair wind and a lower spec (you'll see I've got stuff like MVHR) and are outside the stone belt (this house has a lot of stone walls which is a planning requirement) you might get this down as low as £160 - £170k. Building in the south is more though because brickies and plasterers are in demand again. Beyond that the bull sh!tters who say you can do any sort of house of this size for under £140k are doing without a roof, or windows or professional setting out (so the walls end up wonky) or a floor or no doors etc. Or they could make do with plastic sheet for a roof, a cardboard floor and no/lethal wiring and a stand pipe outside instead of 3 bathrooms and a downstairs lavy - I bought the bathroom suites from Bathstore and the plumber fitted - that is in the second fix cost. Also the hearth stone before anyone says that is pricy - its 6ft by 3 ft of one piece solid stone and it took 6 men to lift it in the house before it was cemented in - its a bargain in my book as it looks beautiful. The loft ladder isn't your normal aluminium thing either - I am surprised its so cheap - its folds out into a stair case.

Floor coverings includes £3.5k of limestone flags for down stairs, grout and cement. I've included the price of materials I sourced in the costs so these represent full cost for contractor, me and material I've bought and those material costs are net of VAT as I claimed that back at the end. The main contractor was not charging VAT as its a new build.

For the eagle eyed I have rounded numbers for the figures below to round hundreds and combined quite a few bits so first & second fix includes services connections etc and I've not included bits where the records are shaky. For example I cannot lay my hands on the bits of paper recording paint - its somewhere else. However there must be £1000 of trade emulsion and eggshell, masking tape, rollers, brushes etc. For decoration for every day for a month I painted from 7 to midnight then I went home to be in the rented house with the children and my wife swaped over and painted from midnight until 4ish. Also I hired a mini digger I learnt to drive for land scaping - I did without new clothes for a year to be able to afford that and bought second hand shoes off ebay.

Finally, everything in this house bar the bathrooms (I just could not afford Uk made compared to China made) and some white goods (I don't think there are any dishwashers made in Britain) is made here in the UK. It was a principle of the build to source here for ecological and UK economy reasons. On that front here is a tip. Most of the oak doors you see are sourced from rough crappy eastern european oak, shipped to Indonesia to be made into doors in sweat shops and then shipped back to Britain to be sold as European Oak cottage doors - not very ethical and they warp like buggery due to being shipped in a container across the damp and humid Indian Ocean. The doors I bought are French oak (the French lead the world in it after planting a lot for crop after WW2) - shiped only over the channel and turned into doors here by a company in Staffordshire.

£ Prelim 10,000 Strip site / topsoil 1,500 Set out 500 Excavate foundations 2,500 Concrete 3,000 Backfill / cavity fill 500 Unground drainage 200 Groundfloor / Oversite 6,000 Scaffold inc dismantle 5,000 Crane hire 500 Windows/doors 9,500 Leadwork/flashing 390 Rain/gutter/downpipes 2,500 Roof 15,000 Attending frame - fees 800 Stone front 10,000 Block/render inc chimney 17,000 Mastic 200 Plasterboard, plastering etc 13,000 Glass panels - kitchen 2,500 First & Second Fix Joinery/Elec/Heat/Plumb 36,000 Extra over supply fireplace 200 Extra over stone lintel 200 Steel beam 160 Loft ladder 150 MVHR 3,500 Tiles and tile tools 500 Supply & fit wood burning stove 1,500 Supply & Lay Hearth stone 600 Kitchen inc fitting & white goods 9,500 Doors & Handles (custom oak) 2,600 Flooring coverings 7,000 Hedge & Trees 500 Frame / roof structure 45,000 Fees 4,000 212,100

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You see when 250k is considered smallish debt by just about anyone, things really have gone mad.

Go and research what sort of motor that will buy.

Whatever you do don't consider that if rates stay low forever, that loan will still cost 500k over the term and if not it might get to cost 750k.

Sell up now and take the profit.

My parents bought their family home in 74/75 for £15k when dad earned £4k a year and they had a couple of thousand for the deposit. While they had MIRAS he was also taxed at much higher rates than me and interest rates were frequently over 10% for most of the time he had his mortgage. I don't think my circumstances are very much different to his in the round and if its mad its been mad since the war.

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Congratulations. I am sure you had a great lunch.

Home made soup - my wife commented it was a bit of a warm day for soup but I like to cook and I was using up some veggies that needed a home.

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Yeah, I think many people would be more creative on 60k with some assets/savings, in a stable family unit including reliable potential backup from parents and in-laws. Sadly this is very far from the norm for most people in the UK. Stay lucky, enjoy it and congratulations.

It took a long time to find my wife who is a good egg and who has been supportive all the way through this. Am I lucky to have a stable family unit. Maybe. I will tell you I've sucked my teeth at some of the relationship choices of my peers - both male and female.

£60k and 100k savings at 38 - its hardly Rothschild country but £30k and £50k of savings means £250k house in the North rather than my £500k one - thats capitalism for you. The point is there are options out there for working people with some measure of savings. If you have no savings and very little income then I accept getting any house will be a problem - but wasn't that always the case although this is not a thread about the loss of cheap rented housing from Local Authorities of the failure of the state to drive social housing better.

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2010 was when nothing was happening in RE mkt. Thus sellers were eager to get out.

It will come again. But next time with a vengeance.

#turningjapanese?

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Hi, neighbour! (perhaps)

You've just described where I live to within a few miles.

There aren't many new builds go up around here, but I can think of one in particular that was finished quite recently. There was a shed out front for a while which was obviously for the boy of the family to help with the build. The old police house nearby was sold a year or 2 ago. Might be you or might not... can't say much more without giving too much away.

Congrats on finding a way to house your family, anyway.

We're still stuck in our draughty rental but at least it's cheap and has a nice view of t'crag.

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My parents bought their family home in 74/75 for £15k when dad earned £4k a year and they had a couple of thousand for the deposit. While they had MIRAS he was also taxed at much higher rates than me and interest rates were frequently over 10% for most of the time he had his mortgage. I don't think my circumstances are very much different to his in the round and if its mad its been mad since the war.

I think that this is what a lot of people forget when comparing the very cheap house prices of previous generations with what we face now.

However, I think that I would rather have a much smaller mortgage with higher rates than the other way around as it would give me more confidence that I would be able to pay it off someday.

Also, I guess the inflation in the 70s made your Dad's income and mortgage look very different a few years later.

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