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Ex-council house - Pros & Cons - What to be aware of?

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Ex-council house - Pros & Cons - What to be aware of?

13 replies 73.5K views
pardal51pardal51 Forumite
427 posts
hi all,

in need of some help....

we've been viewing some ex-council houses and want to know what are the Pros and Cons of buying this type of property. Apart from checking the neighbourhood, etc what should we be aware of? The places we've seen still have some council tenants even though most of the properties are privately owned.
I think the good thing about them is that the rooms are always larger than the other properties.

will I have problems selling this type of property in the future?

comments/suggestions are much appreciated.

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Replies

  • McKneffMcKneff Forumite
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    Our first home was a council house, big, airy, big kitchen, lovely staircase, utility room, though 20ft lounge, solid as a rock,
    Couldnt buy it fast enough, we bought it about a year before the 'rght to buy' came in for £5k, soon as the right to buy came in
    they were £15k. so we got a bargain, mind you that was about 1980. We sold it in 1990 within a week of it going on the market.

    The next buyer would be looking at the same things that you are so you have to decide its selling potential.
    make the most of it, we are only here for the weekend.
    and we will never, ever return.
  • McKneffMcKneff Forumite
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    Council houses are usually solid and well build because the usual occupants dont look after it.

    Problems will arise with the homes that are still council. They might be a sweet old couple now but when they pass the house may well be given to scrounging waste of spaces (the probability of this is high due to the volume of these scumbags in the system, and its sods law).

    Another con would be that council houses are usually less pleasing to the eye from the outside, this may put people off viewing in the future. On the flipside it may be putting people off now so hopefully you can get a bargain!


    That's an absolutely terrible thing to say, shame on you.
    :eek:Oh boy, Im going to pull up a chair, get a glass of wine and watch this thread develop.

    You deserve a good pasting missus.
    make the most of it, we are only here for the weekend.
    and we will never, ever return.
  • McKneff wrote: »
    That's an absolutely terrible thing to say, shame on you.
    :eek:Oh boy, Im going to pull up a chair, get a glass of wine and watch this thread develop.

    You deserve a good pasting missus.

    Which bit?

    I gave two pros and two cons so a balanced view!
  • McKneffMcKneff Forumite
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    Which bit?

    I gave two pros and two cons so a balanced view!

    All of it, the majority of council house tennants are law abiding citizens who do look after their properties because it is their home.

    Your generalisation was outrageous to these people
    I have lived in council house property in Newcastle on Tyne and North yorkshire and have never come across people that you describe in your post.
    make the most of it, we are only here for the weekend.
    and we will never, ever return.
  • I've just pulled out of buying a council house because of these considerations which apply to many (but certainly not all) ex-LA properties:

    Build materials are aggregate block which has lead to cracking (some LA properties were built with cheap materials and so are not necessarily 'solid as a rock').
    The larger size of rooms etc must be offset against the fact that the market for these properties is reduced simply because of the stigma attached to ex-LA houses - I was worried about resale.
    Many 1950s/60s/70s houses were built using materials containing asbestos. Ours turned out to have an asbestos tile roof.

    I think that ex-LA properties are often very good value for money, bt you need to be very aware of the neighbours and area - some are absolutely fine and some I wouldn't touch with a barge-pole. Pay particular attention to the build quality and materials used.
  • edited 25 September 2010 at 12:44AM
    BronnieBronnie Forumite
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    edited 25 September 2010 at 12:44AM
    It's tricky!

    There can be stigmas attached to council estates in the minds of buyers and it can be tricky to resell at a good price, sometimes because the estate may (rightly or often undeservedly) have a bit of a reputation locally. You need to find out for yourself!

    Buying next door to privately owned properties is no guarantee of good neighbours, especially if the owner is elderly or the property a bit run-down. If it goes on the market eventually, it's likely to be snapped up by a developer/landlord and will end up being rented out
    anyway.

    However, ex-local authority properties are often soundly built, reasonably-sized family houses with reasonable-size gardens and off-road parking. A lot of house and land for a little money, relatively speaking. Many LA estates are now in the hands of housing associations, with environmental improvements undertaken and anti-social behaviour being pro-actively tackled.

    Know your area! Drive around regularly at different times of the day and evening. Some LA estates will always be more desirable than others. Often properties on the periphery of the estate or on the main thoroughfare will be more appealing to buyers than those buried in the heart of the estate or a adjacent to alleyways/garages etc.

    On balance, I would buy an ex LA property, at the right price, very carefully selected by location, because it met my need for space and outside space and budget. Any work I did would be to a very restrained budget and my expectation would be that should I resell, it would likely have to be at very competitive and realistic market price.
  • BettieBettie Forumite
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    pardal51 wrote: »
    hi all,

    in need of some help....

    we've been viewing some ex-council houses and want to know what are the Pros and Cons of buying this type of property.

    comments/suggestions are much appreciated.

    A lot of council houses (around here anyway) have concrete cancer. It is very expensive to treat. Mum's house - ex council was practically rebuilt but plenty on the estate haven't been.
  • Know your area.

    There are council estates that aren't too bad, there are council estates that are hell holes. There can even be differences within the same estate.

    Some council houses are built using non-standard methods (such as hawksley construction - steel framed) it might be difficult (or impossible) to get a mortgage.
    "One thing that is different, and has changed here, is the self-absorption, not just greed. Everybody is in a hurry now and there is a 'the rules don't apply to me' sort of thing." - Bill Bryson
  • poppysarahpoppysarah Forumite
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    Meet the neighbours. Drive round on a friday night - just to see what its like.
    Are there any alleys/low walls/lurking spaces?

    Being ex-council isn't the problem.
  • Thanks to all for replying to my Q. Much appreciated.

    The last ex-LA house we saw looks good. Not many things to do, etc...Neighbourhood seems okay even though we need to drive around during the night, weekdays, etc for a thorough check.

    My main concerns as pointed out by some here are:

    1) Asbestos materials used in the build (which I suppose I'd only find out if I had an offer accepted and instructed a surveyor)??

    2) Stigma of ex-LA properties and therefore re-saleable value.

    It is quite tricky to make a decision.

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