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Beagleclarke

How Much Should I Offer?

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I'm a first time buyer with a large cash deposit (£80k) in Northern Ireland. I've seen a house I like in a rural area I'd be interested in living in. The house has been on the market for at least 6 months, as that's how long I've been looking and it was there when I started looking. It's on at £169950 with no drops in price yet.

It's a strangely laid out, quite old, house in a slow moving area (houses are sitting on the market for a year or more here). The house is listed and in good structural condition (it had a lot of work done recently). It belonged to an old lady who passed away. Her children (all in their 60s) are selling the house. As I said, it's weirdly laid out, with a lot of rooms (4 rec and 5 beds) but they're all very small. It has no upstairs bathroom, in fact no bath at all, only a downstairs shower room. It also does not have radiators in two bedrooms and the downstairs shower room. I think many couples or families would be put off by the impractical space and lack of a bath etc, but these things don't bother me at all and I like the quirky vibe of the place. It's similarly priced to other similar houses in the same area that are more practical and don't need as much updating or need a bathroom installed etc.

I was thinking that my large cash deposit, no chain, strange layout, need to install upstairs bath and toilet (inc plumbing), need to install 3 new radiators (inc plumbing and possibly new boiler to cope with increased workload), and the apparent lack of interest elsewhere would put me in a good position to offer well below asking. The estate agent himself pointed out that we would need to put in a bathroom and he also hinted that the family are "keen to draw a line under it", which makes me think there is definitely room for manoeuvre.

How low is reasonable to start offering without being silly? I realise that there are no hard rules, but I'd appreciate any advice or guidance as this is my first time making an offer. I'd appreciate any advice!

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Firstly - the big problem is the number of family members to get a share. I have seen some houses sit at a totally unreasonable price for years because one family member "wouldn't give it away for that"

secondly -- listed building brings it own problems for redesigning and improving it. "Lot of work done on it" -- was this all done with listed building approval?? Find out.

thirdly -- what is the rateable value. I certainly wouldn't offer more than this if work needs doing since it is bound to cost more than you think.

so I would go in 20k below what you think it would go for so that you have room to manoeuvre. Do not believe a word the estate agent tells you - he is working for them not you.

All things that I have learnt in my own search and only my opinion -- Do your own research carefully -- you don't want to lose out on that deposit by buying a pig in a poke.

Hope that helps.

Thanks for your advice! I have been looking into this very carefully, all the work was absolutely done properly. It was funded by a conservation grant (which are very closely monitored as you probably know) and I got the plans from the DOE, which I've had an architect friend of my dad's look over. All completely above board an listed appropriate down to the smallest detail. This was all structural work, new roof, re pointing etc and it was all done exactly as it had been done when built so no worries there. When I say it needs work done I don't mean it NEEDS it. You could live without a bathroom upstairs and you could live with a 70's kitchen and very dated decor, but I don't think many people would. It's a functional, neat, well cared for house, but it doesn't have practical space for a modern family (I.e no bath upstairs) because the lady lived there for 95 years. It's a solid house, it's just a bit weird in layout and style.

Rateable value is £180000, but rates are calculated at 2005 prices which seems a bit weird to me in general. I was thinking of going in at £130000 with a view to capping it at £140000 absolute max. Does this seem too cheeky? Or should I start even lower? By my calculations when you take out costs for updating generally and putting in a new bathroom plus plumbing for three new radiators and a boiler £140000 is a very fair price, but of course they may not agree as you say!

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Thanks a million for your advice. I think I'll go in at £130000, as I can easily list how and why that figure is fair, and then see what happens. I've been living in old houses my whole life, and Ive been renting a similar sized house that was built around the same time for the past 4 years so I think I'm acclimatised to the higher heating costs. It's worth it to me anyway, as I can't see myself living in a new build. Thank you!

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Just to let you know, I have out an offer in. Another person has also made an offer 5k higher than mine, but theirs is subject to sale while we are good to go now. The family are considering it, so fingers crossed!

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I am looking at a repossessed property that is asking 145k ( rv 170k ) and someone else offered 125k last week which was rejected. I was thinking of trying to get the property for around £130,500 ( 10% off ) although I can see it going for about 135k.

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