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    • KaratePigeon
    • By KaratePigeon 2nd Dec 17, 6:47 PM
    • 205Posts
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    KaratePigeon
    leasehold house and bedroom converted to bathroom - would it put you off?
    • #1
    • 2nd Dec 17, 6:47 PM
    leasehold house and bedroom converted to bathroom - would it put you off? 2nd Dec 17 at 6:47 PM
    We have accepted an offer on our house and the pressure is on to find somewhere to move to. There is very little on the market in our area at the moment

    Anyway, we viewed a house today which we loved except it's only a 3 bedroom and we need 4. It was originally a 4 bedroom but the current owners have lost the 4th bedroom in favour of a slightly bigger bathroom and bigger en-suite (so have moved several walls!) We'd really like to put it back the way it was - I probably shouldn't have mentioned this to the owner as they looked a bit offended but it feels like an awkward layout and we have 3 kids so would need the 4 bedrooms at some point anyway.

    The other issue is that it's leasehold. More than 900 years left on it, and it's owned by the residents of the estate, so could be worse, but according the estate agent the fees are about £400 a year. Not a huge problem but I've heard so many bad stories about leaseholds I'm not sure if I should ask more questions? How do I find out for definate how much it'll cost?

    The price is also higher than I think it should be, it's been on the market for 4 months but they EA and vendor say it's worth the asking price.
Page 1
    • teddysmum
    • By teddysmum 2nd Dec 17, 6:54 PM
    • 8,631 Posts
    • 5,104 Thanks
    teddysmum
    • #2
    • 2nd Dec 17, 6:54 PM
    • #2
    • 2nd Dec 17, 6:54 PM
    I see no problem in 3 bedrooms for three children, as many children share with a sibling of the same sex and they won't be with you for long when at the age of wanting their own room. Again many want but can't have their own room.


    The word 'leasehold' would put me off straightaway as I'd ever feel it was really mine, besides the other problems over leasing (particularly if someone decides to greatly increase the annual fees).
    • KaratePigeon
    • By KaratePigeon 2nd Dec 17, 7:01 PM
    • 205 Posts
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    KaratePigeon
    • #3
    • 2nd Dec 17, 7:01 PM
    • #3
    • 2nd Dec 17, 7:01 PM
    Thanks for the reply. We have a 3 bedroom at the moment and it's fine actually, my girls share, I'm just thinking for when they get a bit older but that's a good point. We could leave it for a few years anyway then think about converting it back if we needed to, though I have no idea how much this would cost and how big a job it would be.

    I'm worried about leasehold too but maybe just because I don't know anything about leasehold properties. But if the lease is owned by yourself and your neighbours presumably they wouldn't put up the fees? I have no idea!
    • JoJo1978
    • By JoJo1978 2nd Dec 17, 7:43 PM
    • 181 Posts
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    JoJo1978
    • #4
    • 2nd Dec 17, 7:43 PM
    • #4
    • 2nd Dec 17, 7:43 PM
    Leasehold conveyancing can take a bit longer than freehold (contracts more complex and freeholder needs to answer questions.) Something to bear in mind if you're worried about timescales.

    The leasehold will contain clauses relating to the frequency and size of ground rent and service charge increases. Ask if you can see the annual reports from the management/residents company that run the estate. This will give you a good idea of what charges have been for the last few years.

    Also look out for whether there is a sink fund i.e. part of your service charge is out aside to fund likely future repairs. If there isn't then one downside of leasehold is that if an unexpected large repair is needed then you'll be given some notice but need to pay your share.

    Leases can also sometimes contain some clauses that only permit or prohibit you from certain actions so read it carefully!

    LH would put me off more than major renovations, but I'd probably get a structural survey done given what you have described. Especially if you want to reconfigure again.
    Hamster in the wheel (London) 1999-2017
    Mortgage free since 2015; Pension pot sorted 2017
    Second career (what TBD!) 2018
    • KaratePigeon
    • By KaratePigeon 2nd Dec 17, 8:03 PM
    • 205 Posts
    • 43 Thanks
    KaratePigeon
    • #5
    • 2nd Dec 17, 8:03 PM
    • #5
    • 2nd Dec 17, 8:03 PM
    Ok thanks, I'm not particularly worried about timescales but my buyer might be! and yes I'd get a full survey (wish I'd had one done on my current house)

    Sounds like good advice, where can I get the annual reports from, will the vendor have them? I tried to ask questions when he was showing us round and didn't really get a straight answer about any of the leasehold costs (but the seller was elderly and may have geniuely not understood) I would read everything carefully when it comes via the solicitor but would like some info before I get that far really to see if it's a bad idea going for a leasehold!
    • martindow
    • By martindow 3rd Dec 17, 1:16 PM
    • 7,302 Posts
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    martindow
    • #6
    • 3rd Dec 17, 1:16 PM
    • #6
    • 3rd Dec 17, 1:16 PM
    The price is also higher than I think it should be, it's been on the market for 4 months but they EA and vendor say it's worth the asking price.
    Originally posted by KaratePigeon
    Well, they would wouldn't they? They are hardly impartial.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 3rd Dec 17, 1:21 PM
    • 61,007 Posts
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    PasturesNew
    • #7
    • 3rd Dec 17, 1:21 PM
    • #7
    • 3rd Dec 17, 1:21 PM
    It's not the house for you. You can't move into it, nobody will be happy, the minute you start trying to change it you'll upset everybody and it'll be messy for months ...

    It's not the house for you.

    Why not just move into rented for six months while you look .... it'll be less disruptive in the short and medium term and the pressure's off.
    • skintpaul
    • By skintpaul 3rd Dec 17, 1:24 PM
    • 1,451 Posts
    • 12,960 Thanks
    skintpaul
    • #8
    • 3rd Dec 17, 1:24 PM
    • #8
    • 3rd Dec 17, 1:24 PM
    1/ ask what the annual service charges include (or exclude!).

    2/ ask for details of yer end balancing accounts- may have a catchup payment due, if the s/c's are set too low.

    3/- if one due soon, how would any year end fee be split, between seller / buyer?

    4/ any major works due soon? rood repairs, general renovations, new windows etc- whats your % share?

    If vendor / agent cant supply these details, walk away.
    breathe in, breathe out- You're alive! Everything else is a bonus, right? RIGHT??
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 3rd Dec 17, 1:31 PM
    • 6,289 Posts
    • 6,068 Thanks
    davidmcn
    • #9
    • 3rd Dec 17, 1:31 PM
    • #9
    • 3rd Dec 17, 1:31 PM
    The leasehold will contain clauses relating to the frequency and size of ground rent and service charge increases. Ask if you can see the annual reports from the management/residents company that run the estate. This will give you a good idea of what charges have been for the last few years.

    Leases can also sometimes contain some clauses that only permit or prohibit you from certain actions so read it carefully!
    Originally posted by JoJo1978
    Contributing towards common costs and title restrictions aren't things which are unique to leasehold properties - they're likely to occur in any modern housing development, whether freehold or leasehold.
    • dinkylink
    • By dinkylink 3rd Dec 17, 5:45 PM
    • 149 Posts
    • 94 Thanks
    dinkylink
    In terms of the price, the EA and seller are both wrong (and no doubt the EA knows this!) If it hasn't sold after 4 months it's too much.

    If you're going to make an offer just make sure it reflects that it's overpriced to start with. The seller may have unrealistic expectations as to what it's worth so in reality if you aren't willing to pay over the odds and they refuse to take an offer you may have to walk away. Good luck! 👍
    • KaratePigeon
    • By KaratePigeon 3rd Dec 17, 7:33 PM
    • 205 Posts
    • 43 Thanks
    KaratePigeon
    Thanks for the replies, they are very helpful.

    I've decided I'm going to have a second viewing (agent said it'd probably be him showing me this time, with the vendors out of the way) so I'll see if he knows how I can find out all the lease payment details. agent is the same one that sold our property so hopefully will be helpful to ensure our sale goes through!

    It's on for 'offers in excess off' £380k, but I've given it a lot of thought and we don't want to pay more than about £365 - I have a feeling they will be offended by this but it's worth a try. Not sure whether to offer 365 as a final offer, or 360 to allow a bit of room for negotiation?
    • dinkylink
    • By dinkylink 4th Dec 17, 4:02 PM
    • 149 Posts
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    dinkylink
    I would say £365k is a more then generous final price if it hasn't sold at £380k. Offers in excess of doesn't necessarily mean anything; just because the borrower wants offers in excess of this figure, it doesn't mean they'll get them! And the fact it hasn't sold to date would suggest they haven't.


    Of course it's easy for me to say that as a stranger on an internet forum who has no connection to the property. If I were keen on the property I'd probably start at around £350k and work up from there a bit if needs be. But yeah, given the lack of interest to date I'd be reluctant to pay much more.


    Only you can make the decision at the end of the day though. Best of luck on whatever you decide, and do let us know the outcome!
    • Margot123
    • By Margot123 4th Dec 17, 4:51 PM
    • 331 Posts
    • 293 Thanks
    Margot123
    Walk away OR invest in a totally reliable crystal ball.
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