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"Deck access" flats. Are they worth it?

Hello, 

My girlfriend is set on a ex-local authority 2 bed flat with deck access and 90 years on the lease. It's a decent flat but when we came to finding a mortgage the number of lenders was massively reduced. It's a good size place but reckon we will need a bigger place at some point in the future.  

My main concern is that when we go on to sell the property in a number of years, the next buyer may have similar trouble getting access to finance. Potentially putting a damper on increase in price?

Would deck access put you off buying or is not a problem at all as long as we extend the lease in a couple years? 

Thoughts? 
«1

Replies

  • edited 10 January 2022 at 1:58PM
    K_SK_S Forumite, Ambassador
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    edited 10 January 2022 at 1:58PM
    @manitravels As far as mortgages are concerned, you are spot on. Ex-council and deck-access will limit lenders and some of the ones that will lend may apply an LTV cap (usually around 75%). You can expect a future buyer to have the same experience.

    These kind of flats in/around central London will largely be mortgageable at mainstream rates but as you get outside London, lender appetite goes down a lot.

    With regard to price rises, as above, I don't think there'll be a huge divergence in prime areas but outside that might be a different story.

    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the 'Mortgages & Endowments', 'House Buying, Renting & Selling' and 'Mortgage-free Wannabe' boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know.

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    I am a Mortgage Adviser - You should note that this site doesn't check my status as a mortgage adviser, so you need to take my word for it. This signature is here as I follow MSE's Mortgage Adviser Code of Conduct. Any posts on here are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as financial advice. Please do not send PMs asking for one-to-one-advice, or representation.

  • MaryNBMaryNB Forumite
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    Are a lot of the flats in the block still local authority owned? If so it can put lenders off because they fear it will be harder to sell if repossessed. 
  • manitravelsmanitravels Forumite
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    MaryNB said:
    Are a lot of the flats in the block still local authority owned? If so it can put lenders off because they fear it will be harder to sell if repossessed. 
    How can I check this? 

  • manitravelsmanitravels Forumite
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    K_S said:
    @manitravels As far as mortgages are concerned, you are spot on. Ex-council and deck-access will limit lenders and some of the ones that will lend may apply an LTV cap (usually around 75%). You can expect a future buyer to have the same experience.

    These kind of flats in/around central London will largely be mortgageable at mainstream rates but as you get outside London, lender appetite goes down a lot.

    With regard to price rises, as above, I don't think there'll be a huge divergence in prime areas but outside that might be a different story.
    I should have mentioned that the property is in Zone 2 with good transport links and grocery stores nearby. Overall it's a decent flat in a good location but the deck access meant we had to look at limited lenders. 

    Thanks for your view regarding prices. I thought the lender issue may have led to a double negative factor. 


  • edited 10 January 2022 at 2:35PM
    K_SK_S Forumite, Ambassador
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    edited 10 January 2022 at 2:35PM
    MaryNB said:
    Are a lot of the flats in the block still local authority owned? If so it can put lenders off because they fear it will be harder to sell if repossessed. 
    How can I check this? 

    @manitravels This might give a few pointers https://forums.landlordzone.co.uk/forum/finance-investment-questions/78771-how-to-find-out-how-many-council-flat-are-private-owned

    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the 'Mortgages & Endowments', 'House Buying, Renting & Selling' and 'Mortgage-free Wannabe' boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know.

    Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing [email protected]. All views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.

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    I am a Mortgage Adviser - You should note that this site doesn't check my status as a mortgage adviser, so you need to take my word for it. This signature is here as I follow MSE's Mortgage Adviser Code of Conduct. Any posts on here are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as financial advice. Please do not send PMs asking for one-to-one-advice, or representation.

  • vixstvixst Forumite
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    We bought an 'open deck' Local Authority flat in Dulwich (Zone 3) back in 2016. We went with Nationwide, and re-mortgaged with them in 2018. I don't have any idea what their rates are like now, but their criteria was very accepting at the time. We sold at the end of 2020, our buyer did require a mortgage and didn't seem to have any trouble sorting that out (sorry, don't know who they got a mortgage with). 

    Don't let open deck put you off. Try Nationwide and see what their criteria and rates are like. Our flat was a one bed which is why we lived there a relatively short amount of time. Two people working from home meant time was up for our little flat.
  • edited 10 January 2022 at 3:28PM
    K_SK_S Forumite, Ambassador
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    edited 10 January 2022 at 3:28PM
    K_S said:
    @manitravels As far as mortgages are concerned, you are spot on. Ex-council and deck-access will limit lenders and some of the ones that will lend may apply an LTV cap (usually around 75%). You can expect a future buyer to have the same experience.

    These kind of flats in/around central London will largely be mortgageable at mainstream rates but as you get outside London, lender appetite goes down a lot.

    With regard to price rises, as above, I don't think there'll be a huge divergence in prime areas but outside that might be a different story.
    I should have mentioned that the property is in Zone 2 with good transport links and grocery stores nearby. Overall it's a decent flat in a good location but the deck access meant we had to look at limited lenders. 

    Thanks for your view regarding prices. I thought the lender issue may have led to a double negative factor. 
    @manitravels That's all positive. With regard to mortgages, unless it's of non-standard construction, it should be fairly straightforward tbh.

    Limited lenders only become an issue if you have to go off the high-street. If you get one or two high-street lenders that will consider, then while you may miss the absolute best rate in the market at the time, you won't be too far off either.

    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the 'Mortgages & Endowments', 'House Buying, Renting & Selling' and 'Mortgage-free Wannabe' boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know.

    Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing [email protected]. All views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I am a Mortgage Adviser - You should note that this site doesn't check my status as a mortgage adviser, so you need to take my word for it. This signature is here as I follow MSE's Mortgage Adviser Code of Conduct. Any posts on here are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as financial advice. Please do not send PMs asking for one-to-one-advice, or representation.

  • Grumpy_chapGrumpy_chap Forumite
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    My main concern is that when we go on to sell the property in a number of years, the next buyer may have similar trouble getting access to finance. Potentially putting a damper on increase in price?

    I don't actually know what a "deck access" flat is but, if any property has a feature that restricts the choice of lenders, that can impact the market value as you suggest.  However, it may well impact absolute market value but not the percentage change.  Consider that the feature means the property is 10% lower value than a similar property in the same area but without the feature.  What you gain now (10% cheaper) you lose in the future.
  • Grumpy_chapGrumpy_chap Forumite
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    Thanks, so "deck access" is just a block of flats, seems like most of the blocks of flats around here, certainly above a certain size / number of floors I'd say all the blocks of flats have this type of access. 

    Like the flats my Nan used to live in. 

    It seems to me that "deck access" is just any larger block of flats so I guess some people would prefer not to live in a larger block of flats, but I don't see (IMO) that the "deck access" is a significant factor - to me it is more that maybe people would prefer to live in a large manor house with ample gardens but if my resources only support a flat then it probably has the "deck access". 

    Here are just a normal block of flats near me - I looked at one as my first property - just a regular block of flats, you go up the stairs and walk along the balcony to the front door of your flat (which I think is what is being referred to as "deck access"):


    So, for me, to answer the OP's question "Would deck access put you off buying or is not a problem at all" - not a problem at all as far as I am concerned.

    As for the concern about the dampener on price rise - these flats have been cheaper than the more modern (smaller) blocks for some time.  They were cheaper when I was growing up, they were cheaper when I was leaving home (hence why they were attractive as a FTB), and they are cheaper today.  What you do get, which actually brings the price point back up, is they are very spacious compared to the more modern blocks so can be more suitable if there is a family.  Plus the larger blocks mean the communal space is of a size that children can actually play and there is an area with play equipment, unlike the postage stamp communal space that the smaller, more modern blocks have.  In fact, these flats are jolly good value for money - they always have been and always will be - that does mean they are cheaper now and will be cheaper when sold but that percentage below the other properties for the space you get is about the same impact factored into both ends of the deal.
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