After what feels like months of waiting, we have eventually agreed the final price on the house.
Here’s a very quick update:
You might want to have a quick read of the last post to refresh your memory, but to summarise… we were waiting for news from the vendor’s builder to establish if work was required to the rear chimney stack. That would then allow us to either adjust our offer further, or confirm on the price.
Cynical as it may be, but we expected the builder to come back and claim the work he had done was perfect and that there wasn’t a problem. I mean… you’re hardly going to admit you’ve done a bad job and offer to re-do the work for free, are you?! Not if you’re a bit of a cowboy, no.
The letter we received back from this builder stated there was no issue with damp (which there clearly is…) and the work he completed rectified any issues with the lead flashings, etc.
Oh, and to add to his already stellar image, he also used the word ‘sail’ instead of ‘sale’…
Our trust and potential further business with him is now non-existent.
It might be long-awaited, or you might be reading this by accident; but either way, here’s an update as to ‘where we’re at’ with the house.
The Homebuyer’s report took place on Christmas Eve (yes, we thought the same) – and we had the finalised report in our hands on 28th December. I’m sure you’ll agree that the turnaround there is pretty impressive – and as a result, we would recommend Connells (the surveyors) to anyone in our position. The fact they conducted a survey on Christmas Eve and had it back within a week speaks volumes to us.
Was it as bad as last time?
And so it starts again… but this time, we’re pretty sure things will turn out differently than last time! For those of you who haven’t read the previous post, I’ll summarise in a few short sentences:
We found a nice house. We had an offer accepted on said house. The survey on the house was horrific. We pulled out of the deal.
Now, however, things are looking up:
Every cloud has a silver lining
After viewing around 7 more properties; some of which a lot nicer than others, we have found a beautiful early 1900s mid-terraced house. I often use the word ‘deceptive’ in a negative light, but here, it can be used positively. From the front of the house, you wouldn’t believe the amount of space there is inside.
Three great sized bedrooms, 2 reception rooms, a spacious kitchen and a family-sized bathroom…
Ok, so it’s been around one month since I started this blog – and almost two months since the house-buying ‘saga’ began! And unfortunately, this post brings a little bit of bad news…
We’ve had to pull out of buying the house. We had the structural survey back, and it revealed that the house we were planning to buy didn’t actually meet ‘building regulations’… shocking, I know, especially as they’ve got kids living in there at the moment.
To summarise it briefly, the front-facing main wall on the first floor (the master bedroom wall) is 4inches thick – and part of this is asbestos. You could, if you so wanted to, put your hand through it! Because of this, the surveyor said the wall would need replacing.
If that was the only thing that needed doing (structurally) to the house, we might have re-considered the offer. However, as first-time buyers with busy lifestyles, it would just be too much to take on; both time and financial-wise…
We’re currently in what feels like the ‘no-man’s land’ of house buying. To sum it up, we had our homebuyer’s survey back and it didn’t look too pretty.
We sort of knew something would come back on the report (after the vendors stated they wouldn’t move on the agreed price if we conducted a survey)… but we didn’t think it would be this bad.
The report revealed a poorly-maintained house well-hidden by excessive levels of clutter.
By that, I’m referring to rising damp on main the walls (covered well by wind chimes, burning incense and a fresh lick of paint), asbestos in several areas of the house and no evidence of service maintenance for 10 years. The worst case scenario (if it hasn’t already been reached), is that we’d be buying a money pit… which is something we cannot afford to do.
The lack of service maintenance – i.e. the fact that the boiler doesn’t seem to have been serviced for almost a decade – may not be a huge problem (if it turns out everything is working fine, that is, and that they’ve just lost the test certificates); but if the rest of the house is anything to go off, it will probably be on its last legs.
The biggest issue we both have is the money it seems we’ll have to pump into this house to ‘save’ it. We currently don’t know how bad the damp is; nor do we know how much it could cost to remove the asbestos and replace it with a stronger and safer material. What’s more, the place needs a new bathroom, it may require a new boiler and could well need a full wall-to-wall re-wire. Forgetting the bathroom, that’s 3 major jobs that should have been addressed (or at least considered) by the current homeowners before setting the asking price…
Rather than leave the blog with one lonely post, I thought I’d rustle up another quick entry about the finances behind the house (the mortgage, in other words!) while we’re waiting for the legalities.
We initially started looking for first-time buyer mortgages with a 5% deposit, but these searches were pretty fruitless – the only deals we could secure were on ‘new build’ houses, and to be honest, we didn’t want a ‘new’ home.
That led us to enter the realms of the 10% deposit. We knew that we couldn’t afford anything significantly above £100k, so we knew we’d either have to settle for a nice house in a ‘difficult’ area… or a project house in a nice area. Our searches resulted in the latter (phew!)…
Writing the first post for a blog is a lot more difficult than I thought it would be… either that, or writers’ block is firmly in place. But here goes!
To keep it simple, I’ll use this first post to further introduce ourselves (if you haven’t already read the about us page) and let you know ‘where we’re at’ in terms of the house purchase!
Ok, so I’m Nick, and my girlfriend is Nikki (yes… Nick and Nikki). We’ve recently moved out of our rented accommodation and bought our first house together; and we can’t wait to get started renovating it. We’re both hard-working professionals and intend to spend as much of our spare time (and as little money) as possible working on the house – the progress of which I will post on here on a weekly basis.
The idea behind the blog is to create a sort of ‘renovation diary’ that other homeowners and first-time buyers can keep track of – hopefully providing them with ideas and inspiration as to how they could ‘spruce’ up their home on the smallest of budgets. It’s also a place I can escape from steam stripping, priming and painting….