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House buying advise

edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in House Buying, Renting & Selling
22 replies 3.7K views
varghesejimvarghesejim Forumite
151 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in House Buying, Renting & Selling
Hello,

We are going through a lot of confusion regarding our place to live near to my new workplace in Leatherhead, Surrey. We ( me, wife and kid) initially thought of renting a place near to Leatherhead, but it is too tempting to get a house/flat/maisonette with a mortgage. I talked to a broker and he told me that he could get me a mortgage for 170K pounds in principle. We can raise around 30K deposit and we are first time buyers.

As we are from India we would only want to look at places with majority working community, and would avoid rough areas. I know every places have good areas and bad areas, but what I mean to say is we will avoid places with a particularly bad reputation. I can travel up to 40 mins one way to leatherhead. However 200K budget is not that great to buy a property in a good area, it seems.

Now we are thinking of different possibilities. Our son in only 5 months old, so we could live in an one bedroom flat/house without breaking overcrowding regulations for another few years. So in theory, we could buy an one bedroom flat in a nice area now and sell/rent it in another couple of years and buy a bigger flat/house(probably 3 bedroom).

Another possibility is buy a two bedroom flat in a not so nice area. However down the line we would probably need a 3 bedroom house, so we are afraid we might not be able to sell/rent the two bedroom flat because of the area.

I think the key factor here is location. What we need to find out is a safe place which could hold/appreciate its value in a couple of years.

Any suggestions are welcome. Please help.
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Replies

  • edited 1 January 2013 at 8:23PM
    00ec2500ec25
    9.1K posts
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    edited 1 January 2013 at 8:23PM
    rather than keep reposting your question it would be a lot easier if you did the searching yourself on Riightmove and then ask us what the area is like for a property that interests you

    as i said in your other thread, 40 minutes travel time to Leatherhead encloses a huge area. As you are now after purchases rather than rental then there are 227 properties within 5 miles of leatherhead on Rightmove at the moment (I'd ignore shared ownership and park homes, they are a waste of your time)
    http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/find.html?locationIdentifier=REGION%5E783&maxPrice=200000&retirement=false&radius=5.0

    without going through each listing then any of the broad areas covered by that list will meet your requirement. After all this is the heart of the Surrey commuter belt and there are no high unemplyment "hotspots" round here but with that sort of budget you will find council estates included in your search. There is no reason why they are any worse than anywhere else but you do need to know the specific reputation of each to make a decision
    eg: here are 3 choices in relatively good parts of their towns
    http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-24194463.html (Weybridge)
    http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-38813450.html?premiumA=true (Bookham)
    http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-39273122.html (Dorking)
    here is one to avoid because of its exact location in that town - a less good part of town (north leatherhead)
    http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-24569772.html
    BUT we can only comment meaningfully on individual properties as with that modest budget at least some of them will be in less desirable areas of what are otherwise perfectly OK towns, particulalry if looking at areas on the edge of London eg: Sutton and Epsom
  • NinaSwissNinaSwiss Forumite
    278 posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
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    If you will be new in the country then you're probably better of finding a suitable and resonably priced place to rent for the new job in leatherhead.

    Once you've settled a abit at work you could then explore the various ares in surrey to get a feel of what they are like and if you'd like to buy a property there. You'll also get a fell from the various other bills you need to pay when owning/renting a place (i.e council tax which is priced different rates for each borough) and research schools/nurseries where you might want to place your son in the future (i.e some good schools might only take childeren that live locally).

    You might then even decide to save abit more to afford a bigger place.
    However, going for a one-bed is not a good start as you already have a family. If say theres another child on the way and and you havent managed to sell the one-bed... you'll be in for a very tight squeeze.

    I've lived in London for 15 years and its hard enough trying to work which area safe to buy myself (same budget as yourself).
    Working towards:
    [STRIKE]*House Purchase (2015)[/STRIKE] [STRIKE] *Top-up pension (2016)[/STRIKE] [STRIKE] *Clear CC (2016) [/STRIKE]
    *Mortgage Overpayment (50% LTV by Jan 2020) *Clear student Loan(by Jan 2020)[STRIKE]*Save for a Car (2017)![/STRIKE]
    *Making the most of life!!!
  • edited 1 January 2013 at 10:47PM
    varghesejimvarghesejim Forumite
    151 posts
    edited 1 January 2013 at 10:47PM
    00ec25 wrote: »
    There is no reason why they are any worse than anywhere else but you do need to know the specific reputation of each to make a decision

    Thank you, got your point. I was not being lazy searching, but I was under an impression(albeit wrongly) that I could get a rating by area. Anyway, as that is impossible I would take it case by case.

    Considering I could get a two bed property for 200K, one bed options are not looking good value. Dorking looks like a good area. Apart from the two bed property you mentioned, we found another one which is of interest. This is 1.6 miles from the high street, further from train station. But, we are aware that we need to adjust somewhere.

    http://www.zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/details/27344024?search_identifier=9b552aec62035013250b971dba71944f

    There are other two three bed properties which is near to 200K mark.The first one is in bad shape, but if the state of the property is not the general reflection of the building overall, we can always refurbish it.

    http://www.zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/details/27117449?search_identifier=9b552aec62035013250b971dba71944f

    http://www.zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/details/15760899?search_identifier=9b552aec62035013250b971dba71944f

    In Cobham, we found the following property. This is not in great condition, but still looks good value considering the area. It is an afterthought property(conversion) which shows throughout.

    http://www.zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/details/18546958?search_identifier=8811696764f159f6a3efab792432ccba
  • NinaSwiss wrote: »
    If you will be new in the country then you're probably better of finding a suitable and resonably priced place to rent for the new job in leatherhead.

    I am in this country for three years, sorry for not making that clear. As you mentioned, one bed might not be going to be enough. We will try our best to get a two bed flat. Also, we hope we could sell our property in a couple of years or so, and it will appreciate as much to offset the stamp duty+ fee. By thinking so, paying a mortgage is much comfortable than shelling out rent.

    Actually, while typing the reply, I realised how unwise the one bedroom flat plan was! The fee+stamp duty itself is well above 3K. It seems one should rather try to save this for the next year or so to buy at least a two bed! Thank you.
  • edited 1 January 2013 at 11:33PM
    buglawtonbuglawton Forumite
    9.2K posts
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    edited 1 January 2013 at 11:33PM
    To do a bit of rough research on an area you are not familiar with, their is the Crime Map http://www.police.uk/ - enter the postcode and see how 'busy' that locality is.
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  • edited 2 January 2013 at 11:03AM
    varghesejimvarghesejim Forumite
    151 posts
    edited 2 January 2013 at 11:03AM
    How is Chertsey? I have seen a few properties which could come within our budget.

    The one below is in a building which has all three properties in market

    http://www.zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/details/16484506?search_identifier=d39e7f57b589698f33cf0186ca46e435

    This one also look good

    http://www.zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/details/27282909?search_identifier=d39e7f57b589698f33cf0186ca46e435

    Comments please.

    Edit: potential issue

    http://www.chavtowns.co.uk/2004/07/chertsey/
  • Yorkie1Yorkie1 Forumite
    11.3K posts
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    I am in this country for three years, sorry for not making that clear. As you mentioned, one bed might not be going to be enough. We will try our best to get a two bed flat. Also, we hope we could sell our property in a couple of years or so, and it will appreciate as much to offset the stamp duty+ fee. By thinking so, paying a mortgage is much comfortable than shelling out rent.

    Actually, while typing the reply, I realised how unwise the one bedroom flat plan was! The fee+stamp duty itself is well above 3K. It seems one should rather try to save this for the next year or so to buy at least a two bed! Thank you.

    It is unwise to rely on property increasing in a sufficient amount of value over such a short length of time.

    If you move in a couple of years' time, you will be paying a second amount of stamp duty / solicitors fees / mortgage arrangement fee / survey. This is going to come to above £3K - probably nearer £4-5K. Plus removal costs, etc.
  • OP could get quite a nice two bed flat in a pleasant part of Sutton, in his price range, close to the station. Direct train line to Leatherhead.

    Dorking and Epsom are more expensive, and for that price there's likely to be a drawback.
  • PS to previous post.

    I would stay away from that part of Dorking, where you found the Zoopla references. There's a reason why they're cheap: the potential for the neighbourhood to be highly populated with problem families.
  • edited 2 January 2013 at 3:16PM
    00ec2500ec25
    9.1K posts
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    edited 2 January 2013 at 3:16PM
    How is Chertsey?

    Comments please.

    Chertsey is at the absolute limit of your 40 minute travel time. One of my properties is a few miles north of there (Egham) and it takes me at least 40 minutes on a good day (if not more) to get to leatherhead (assuming you work 9 - 5) because you have to get across the river at Weybridge and there is always a traffic queue there. You then have a queue to get across the A3 and through Cobham . The alternative is to use the M25 and to go J11 to J 9 - this can be quicker but is unreliable as it can get badly congested and then you are really stuck

    Out of hours it will still take at least 25 - 30 minutes to do the distance traffic free because (except for the M25) these are mainly roads with low speed limits

    Also note that the train service from Chertsey is very poor and will not easily get you to leatherhead as you either have to change at Weybridge and then change again on to the Epsom line or go via Staines into Clapham Junction and change there for the down service to Leatherhead (either way train journey well over 40 minutes )

    Please do NOT rely on that website - it is largely written by people with nothing better to do who greatly exaggerate and show their own bias (and often lack of education!). It is also often very out of date eg comments on Staines, and to an extent, Chertsey itself. It is however useful for mentions of specific council estates and giving an idea of their very general reputations. That said council estates should not be tarred with oine brush, for example comments about Park barn in Guidford give an indication but are hardly true of everyone of the hundreds of people who live on it. the same can be said about any other such estate or, for that matter, comments about your neighbours on a "posh" street, given that you may never even see them from one week to the next! In my own close there are 14 houses (each worth a lot more than 200k) but 2 of the occupants literally hate each other so just because they are rich it does not make then a nicer sort of person.

    generalised comments about what the town centres are like are however mainly rubbish because most Surrey towns will have one of two small areas / pubs or other "troublespots", but these are easily avoided by simply going to the next venue down the same street.
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