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50 House Buying Tricks guide discussion

MSE_Jenny Posts: 1,312 MSE Staff
First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
edited 24 October 2012 at 10:16AM in House buying, renting & selling

Hi all, we've written a new 50 House Buying Tricks guide with help from your 'what I wish I'd known before buying' tales.

How did you find the info? Do you have any other tips you'd add? Did your new home come with any hidden catches that others could learn from?

for your help!

MSE Jenny


  • Solicitors will often match lower quotes from other firms, so get some quotes and go back to your favourite solicitor to see if they will match it.
  • Solicitors will often match lower quotes from other firms, so get some quotes and go back to your favourite solicitor to see if they will match it.

    Make sure you are comparing like with like and there are no hidden extras.

    As a retired conveyancing solicitor I believe the information given in the post to be useful assuming any properties concerned are in England/Wales but I accept no liability for it.
  • A comprehensive guide - I like the mention of the 'I must own property' mentality and I think many people are 'conditioned' to believe it.

    Some property buyers live far away from the area they want to live in, and maybe the cost of travelling/accommodation (etc) is something else to 'factor in'?

    An extreme example: I live in Sweden and have been looking for property in the UK for some time now. I've been paying airfares, hire car costs and hotel accommodation.

    Just a thought
  • zappahey
    zappahey Posts: 2,252 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post First Anniversary
    Rather than buying and carrying a compass, be aware that satellite dishes generally point in a south east(ish) direction and give a rough orientation.
    What goes around - comes around
  • Suzy_M
    Suzy_M Posts: 777 Forumite
    edited 25 October 2012 at 8:35AM
    "Open cupboards and drawers" - Surely this should read open fitted cupboards and drawers.
    (Yes I know anyone with a modicum of intelligience would know this but it's amazing how many ill-mannered thickos there are out there.)
  • As a cash buyer (therefore no need to apply for mortgage) I was slightly caught out when I came to sell the house 13 years later. My best buyers were refused a mortgage and had to pull out. The reason was the "non-standard materials" the house was made of. It was a very sound house indeed, but was made of rubble mixed with cement and whitewashed. I did get a buyer in the end but at a considerably lower price.

    Another problem was that the back gardens were not truly aligned with the row of these houses, and boundaries were very vaguely drawn on the deeds. Eventually new neighbours were difficult about my access to my own garden, and put a new gate and an aggressive dog in my way. Just another thing to think about.
  • You could also find out if the neighbour's drain(s) come under the fence to link to your drain. Look at large trees. If you want to plant vegetables does that chestnut shade the south(east) sun and do its roots take all the moisture and nutrition out of the soil? Are there leylandii type trees on the other side of the fences?
  • Need to mention avoiding the EA mortgage advice and poss highlight the companies that are a front for mortgage brokers...

    Was Greenmoneysaver. . .
  • For all first time buyers there is a bank offering 95% lends. The yorkshire/clydesdale bank does 5% deposits and offers a 3 fixed interest rate. Check it out online :)
  • Apologies for my first post which wasn't as detailed as it could have been. The point about the neighbour's drain leading to your drain on your property is a) what happens if theirs gets a leak or DynoRod espies a crack, and your front garden has to be dug up, and b) what if their drain gets blocked. In these cases, I dissuaded the neighbours from digging up my front garden, and in the second, when the house had been sold and let to five students, the problem was fortunately on their side. Phew!

    As to trees, the trees I mentioned are in neighbours' gardens and I didn't notice when I viewed my house. If you even think about thinning a large tree, the owner/neighbour must agree, and might not, and then the local authority may have to send an arboreal person round who may say that nothing can be cut off it. We need trees and hedges for wildlife but if they're too big, they cut the light and cause other problems.:)
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