Buying a house (and renting)

Fed up talking videogames? Why?
User avatar
SillySprout
Member
Joined in 2008

PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by SillySprout » Sat Dec 19, 2020 9:54 am

I'm not sure if I posted in this topic before or not, but certainly I've been holding off for a while to update on our house purchase. Thankfully, we exchanged yesterday, so I'm happy to finally post openly on the subject without fear of having to come back and say the whole thing had fallen through!

I'm going to bullet point the process so far as it's quite a beast.

[*]Save for deposit for over two years
[*]Arrange mortgage
[*]View first property
[*]COVID
[*]Mortgage withdrawn from market
[*]Mortgage upon mortgage drops off the market. Most lenders stop offering 90% mortgages
[*]Period of doubt - "is this the right thing to do?", "What if x/y/z"
[*]Find a new mortgage (increased rate)
[*]Market opens back up
[*]View a few houses
[*]Make an offer!
[*]Offer rejected - several other offers on same day :(
[*]Start looking online at properties daily
[*]View more houses, typically the day they come on the market
[*]Make an offer!
[*]Offer rejected - several other offers made on the same day. AGAIN!
[*]View property day after it's reduced to our budget
[*]Offer!
[*]Accepted! :)
[*]Mortgage broker gives us heads up - mortgage may be withdrawn from market. Next best rate a full 1% higher interest, would increase payments by over £100 a month
[*]Pay mortgage fee despite chain not being complete
[*]Mortgage withdrawn day after we pay fee to secure it
[*]Chain completes
[*]Begin purchase process
[*]Massive ton of paperwork to process
[*]Some issues to resolve
[*]Searches reveal sink hole close to property!
[*]Investigation into sink hole (turned out to be small cavity when property was built 30 years ago, but was worrying)
[*]Exchange date and completion agreed!
[*]Due to tight timescales, we apply for mortgage funds to be released prior to exchange. Risks having to return them if completion does not go ahead, delaying whole process, but Christmas is coming and we're on a tight time scale
[*]Exchange not completed... end of chain has 'queries'
[*]Exchange date agreed!
[*]Exchange not completed... end of chain 'forgot to apply for mortgage funds' :evil:
[*]Our solicitor has to self isolate due to covid
[*]Completion date agreed - exchange on the day of completion, yeah?
[*]Everyone other than end of chain agrees exchange should be prior to completion, because you know, we'd like to book vans with confidence etc
[*]Exchange finally happens on a Friday, with completion set for the following Monday

Overall, it's been a really tough process and we're pretty thorough, have dedicated a lot of time to this and I have industry experience from a previous job to help guide us a little. How people cope on their own, with no experience I really don't know.

My advice to anyone about to go through the same process would be firstly to look at as many properties online in your budget as possible. We looked at hundreds of online listings and did twelve actual viewings prior to our purchase. This expands your knowledge of the market and allows you to stretch your budget. If there is more than one of you, it also helps you to understand what your combined priorities are. We definitely turned away from houses that one of us thought was perfect, whilst the other thought it was not right. Rightmove is my favourite for house listings, but Zoopla is great as you can see the purchase history of properties. One house we loved had been sold five times in five years. Clearly there was an issue with it, so we didn't bother to view. The best houses go fast, so look daily and arrange viewings as soon as properties come on the market. Google Earth is also great and allowed us to measure gardens of houses we liked whilst sat on our sofa at home.

When it comes to mortgages, shop around. We did our own research online and spoke to several different brokers. The one who had the best rate in the end was a panel broker aligned to an estate agents. Having worked in sales before, his claims of an 'exclusive rate' fell on sceptical ears, but he genuinely did have a mortgage lender on his books offering an exclusive rate and this saved us over £100 a month in mortgage payments. We have ended up paying him some additional fees in the process, but they'll be earned back within a few months of being in the property, so it was well worth it. We also had to take more than one leap of faith with regard to fees, but you have to think of the bigger picture.

When it comes to a solicitor - the estate agent we bought through requested quotes from three solicitors for us. We looked at online ratings and went with the one with the best reviews, despite their fees being the highest. Ours did not offer a no sale no fee purchase, which was a little worrying, but she did a fantastic job for us. The purchase took eleven weeks from the date the chain completed & sales memo issued to date of completion, which is really not bad, especially considering that we bought during the manic period created by the stamp duty freeze & covid making everybody suddenly realise that the no longer liked their homes. A less dedicated solicitor could have easily extended that period by months.

To throw one final spanner in the works, covid means we can't get any help with moving and my girlfriend has a haircut and colour booked for the afternoon of our move! She also wants to redecorate at least the lounge and hallway on the day we move in, so that's going to need to be a tightly run ship. Our goal now is to move, redecorate and unpack in three days, prior to hosting Christmas. What could possibly go wrong?!

The only member named after an outrageous vegetable!
Switch: SW-0169-0715-2025
PS4: LimitlessLee
User avatar
Lex-Man
Member
Joined in 2008
Contact:

PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Lex-Man » Sat Dec 19, 2020 10:54 am

Am I allowed to ask what the percentage rate is on your house Silly Sprout?

Amusement under late capitalism is the prolongation of work.
User avatar
ignition
Member
Joined in 2008

PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by ignition » Sat Dec 19, 2020 10:56 am

SillySprout wrote:Rightmove is my favourite for house listings, but Zoopla is great as you can see the purchase history of properties.


In our recent search for our first house we discovered this Chrome extension for Rightmove which reveals the price changes. Only works on desktop but really helpful to bridge the gap with Zoopla nonetheless:

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/deta ... alppdeecno

Image
User avatar
Oblomov Boblomov
Member
Joined in 2008
AKA: Mind Crime, SSBM_God

PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Oblomov Boblomov » Sat Dec 19, 2020 11:00 am

I wonder how regularly Zoopla updates that information. I sold my flat in summer 2018 but the purchase history still only shows when I bought it back in 2013...

Image
User avatar
SillySprout
Member
Joined in 2008

PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by SillySprout » Sat Dec 19, 2020 11:04 am

Lex-Man wrote:Am I allowed to ask what the percentage rate is on your house Silly Sprout?


2.7%. Unsure what exactly we were looking at pre covid, but it was significantly less. I'm unsure if lenders are coming back towards offering 90% loan to value now, but at the point we were looking, articles I was reading were saying that the number of lenders had gone from something like 270 down to 20 or so. Other issues with mortgages were that everywhere stopped considering bonus payments towards the amount you could borrow, changing our total borrowing potential and some lenders such as Nationwide who were offering 90% mortgages intermittently, were only doing so on a maximum of a 25 year term.

The only member named after an outrageous vegetable!
Switch: SW-0169-0715-2025
PS4: LimitlessLee
User avatar
Lex-Man
Member
Joined in 2008
Contact:

PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Lex-Man » Sat Dec 19, 2020 11:24 am

SillySprout wrote:
Lex-Man wrote:Am I allowed to ask what the percentage rate is on your house Silly Sprout?


2.7%. Unsure what exactly we were looking at pre covid, but it was significantly less. I'm unsure if lenders are coming back towards offering 90% loan to value now, but at the point we were looking, articles I was reading were saying that the number of lenders had gone from something like 270 down to 20 or so. Other issues with mortgages were that everywhere stopped considering bonus payments towards the amount you could borrow, changing our total borrowing potential and some lenders such as Nationwide who were offering 90% mortgages intermittently, were only doing so on a maximum of a 25 year term.


I got a mortgage recently and Nationwide were total dicks when I tried to get a mortgage off them. Chelsea gave me a far better deal the offered me a 17 year mortgage when Nationwide wanted me to do 27 years.

Amusement under late capitalism is the prolongation of work.
User avatar
Moggy
"Special"
Joined in 2008
AKA: Moggy

PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Moggy » Sat Dec 19, 2020 12:03 pm

Congrats SillySprout, sounds like an ordeal to get the place but at least it's done now!

Image
User avatar
Lex-Man
Member
Joined in 2008
Contact:

PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Lex-Man » Sat Dec 19, 2020 12:48 pm

Yeah congrats it seems like a lot of people have had really problems buying a place on this forum. I feel very fortunate that my house buying went relatively smoothly, although I did end up pulling out of buying a place because if how badly maintained it was.

Amusement under late capitalism is the prolongation of work.
User avatar
Grumpy David
Member
Joined in 2008
AKA: Cubeamania

PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Grumpy David » Sat Dec 19, 2020 12:53 pm

Lex-Man wrote:I got a mortgage recently and Nationwide were total dicks when I tried to get a mortgage off them. Chelsea gave me a far better deal the offered me a 17 year mortgage when Nationwide wanted me to do 27 years.


Why would you want a shorter term that compels you to pay more each month rather than using the overpayments feature every lender offers? Best of both worlds doing it that way.

I stopped overpaying my mortgage to instead pay more into my pension and ISA. I also have a 32 year term even though I could afford a much shorter term. Better to let inflation erode the value of low interest rate debt whilst having more cash free to invest into equities. It seems very unlikely we'll get pre 2008 levels, let alone 1990s interest rates any time soon.

User avatar
Moggy
"Special"
Joined in 2008
AKA: Moggy

PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Moggy » Sat Dec 19, 2020 3:05 pm

Lady from upstairs has now completed and the new owner is moving in. Good news that these flats sell reasonably easily. And hopefully the new owner is quiet and willing to fight the freeholder. :lol:

Image
User avatar
Lex-Man
Member
Joined in 2008
Contact:

PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Lex-Man » Sat Dec 19, 2020 3:39 pm

Grumpy David wrote:
Lex-Man wrote:I got a mortgage recently and Nationwide were total dicks when I tried to get a mortgage off them. Chelsea gave me a far better deal the offered me a 17 year mortgage when Nationwide wanted me to do 27 years.


Why would you want a shorter term that compels you to pay more each month rather than using the overpayments feature every lender offers? Best of both worlds doing it that way.

I stopped overpaying my mortgage to instead pay more into my pension and ISA. I also have a 32 year term even though I could afford a much shorter term. Better to let inflation erode the value of low interest rate debt whilst having more cash free to invest into equities. It seems very unlikely we'll get pre 2008 levels, let alone 1990s interest rates any time soon.


Because I'm an idiot who would only spend that money on dumb gooseberry fool.

Amusement under late capitalism is the prolongation of work.
User avatar
Moggy
"Special"
Joined in 2008
AKA: Moggy

PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Moggy » Wed Dec 30, 2020 1:09 pm

Just got an email from property management bastards.

Hope you are doing well and keeping safe.

I would like to have a discussion with you please about the account and wonder if you can give me some time.


I wonder what that's about? I hate speaking on the phone so am tempted to ignore them. :lol:

That's more pleasant sounding than their most recent letter, email is from a different person. Hmmm.

Image
User avatar
That's not a growth
Member
Joined in 2008

PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by That's not a growth » Wed Dec 30, 2020 1:13 pm

My instinct is that they want a call so can muddy the water with difference accounts about what was agreed on the call.

Get a call recording app, and then at the beginning of the call explicitly tell them the call is being recorded - you can't use it to back yourself up in a legal setting if you don't let them know they're being recorded.

User avatar
Moggy
"Special"
Joined in 2008
AKA: Moggy

PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Moggy » Wed Dec 30, 2020 1:25 pm

I'm not sure there are any simple ways of recording a call on an iPhone, it's a good idea though, I'll see if there are any apps.

You're probably right they are just muddying the waters but my brain is now thinking "they are shitting themselves and are going to make an offer!!"

Image
User avatar
jawa2
Member
Joined in 2020

PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by jawa2 » Wed Dec 30, 2020 1:29 pm

Yeah, from the tone of their response it kinda sounds pretty reasonable. I'd be keen to take them up on the offer of having that discussion, I think.

User avatar
Oblomov Boblomov
Member
Joined in 2008
AKA: Mind Crime, SSBM_God

PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Oblomov Boblomov » Wed Dec 30, 2020 1:31 pm

Can you get a solicitor to take the call with you and record it on speakerphone? They could also help prepare answers to possible questions/proposals etc. This could be a big turning point.

Image
User avatar
Moggy
"Special"
Joined in 2008
AKA: Moggy

PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Moggy » Wed Dec 30, 2020 1:34 pm

I have no idea what they want to talk about, it might be nothing to do with the dispute and be something else. I don't want to be paying solicitors and waiting for an appointment only to find they just wanted to tell me they are hoovering the shared hallway. ;)

I'll call them later but will not be committing to anything or giving any information/opinions. If they are trying to discuss the dispute, I'll be telling them to put things in writing so there is a paper trail.

Image
User avatar
Imrahil
Member
Joined in 2013
Location: Location, Location

PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Imrahil » Wed Dec 30, 2020 2:29 pm

Yep, if you're in the middle of a legal dispute keep all communication to written form. Personally, I wouldn't call them back at all - just email them back telling them they must contact in writing if they have any questions.

User avatar
Moggy
"Special"
Joined in 2008
AKA: Moggy

PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Moggy » Wed Dec 30, 2020 2:53 pm

Very interesting.

I called and had a very brief conversation with the guy who sent the email. He was just heading out of the office and asked if we could talk tomorrow. I asked what it was about and he said "the account". I asked for specifics and he said he wanted an positive conversation to see how we could resolve things. He asked again if we could talk tomorrow and I said he could call me in the morning.

They are such a weird company. They jump from very nasty, condescending and threatening to reasonable, nice and understanding.

They are full of gooseberry fool though. Any resolution will involve them repaying the money they owe me and it'll all have to be in writing. I'm not sure what else he thinks I'm going to agree to, because I strawberry floating won't be!

More likely he'll be telling me a load of bullshit and trying to trip me up on a phone call. I'll be polite and calm tomorrow but I won't be agreeing to anything and I'll want any offer (if they make one!) in writing.

Image
User avatar
Moggy
"Special"
Joined in 2008
AKA: Moggy

PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Moggy » Wed Dec 30, 2020 3:00 pm

Hopefully they did get an expensive barrister and they laughed at them, told them to strawberry float off and now they are bricking it. :lol:

Image

Return to “Stuff”