what should I offer

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in House Buying, Renting & Selling
20 replies 1.5K views
beeb_boybeeb_boy Forumite
43 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in House Buying, Renting & Selling
Hi

I'm a FTB and have seen a lovely flat which I think is great. It's on for £74950 and I can't see anything wrong with it apart from it not having double glazing. I want to put an offer in but I don't yet have my mortgage in place. How much should I offer?? I was thinking about £71k, is this too cheap?

Any help would be appreciated

thanks in advance! :j
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Replies

  • Norma_DesmondNorma_Desmond Forumite
    4.4K Posts
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    Certainly give it a try at £71K - but make sure you act quickly and get a mortgage in principal. Also, make sure you go through the lease with a fine tooth-comb if you DO buy it; we used to own a leasehold flat and the Freeholder was verging on the criminal re service charges and major works etc!
    "I'm ready for my close-up Mr. DeMille...."
  • beeb_boybeeb_boy Forumite
    43 Posts
    Hi

    It's a freehold property. they own the whole house but they are selling the top one and keeping the ground floor flat to rent out.

    there shouldn't be any ground rent should there??

    I'm really stuck with what to offer
    :eek:
  • Norma_DesmondNorma_Desmond Forumite
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    beeb - are you SURE that the flat you're after IS freehold? It's very unusual for a flat to have this sort of title, unless there are say, several owned flats in the house/block and the leaseholders have bought the freehold themselves from the owners. As for ground rent it's usually a nominal sum of around £10 a year. As I said, it's the service charges you have to watch out and budget for. Good luck!
    "I'm ready for my close-up Mr. DeMille...."
  • firrybabefirrybabe Forumite
    122 Posts
    As you're chain free first time buyer I'd say stick to your guns and offer lower, maybe start the negotiations at say £68,500 and then increase in increments of £500 / £1000 if they come back asking for more. If £71,000 is the figure you want to pay keep that as your final take it or leave it offer if negotiations go that far.
  • If I were you I would speak to the agent, they have the best idea of the venders position and what they can afford to take. As a rule agents value the property on its present state, so having no double glazing isnt really a bargaining tool. But your position as a first time buyer with no chain most definately is, as is potentially the venders situation. Ie if they are in a rush to sell as they have already found a property or adversly if they are in no rush or need to acheive a certain price in order to afford the move.

    The best course of action is in my opinion to get yourself known by the agent, ask their advice on what offer they think that particular vender will accept, what position the vender is in etc and then offer.

    The other thing I would advise is always offer below the upper limit of what you can afford to give yourself something to negotiate..Eg: if you can only afford £72,000 start with a lower offer. But be careful not to go too low, you annoy the vender or indeed the agent and they will go the other way and want more!
  • beeb_boybeeb_boy Forumite
    43 Posts
    Boo Hoo.... think it's a leashold :-[

    damn, I really liked it as well! not going to be paying my mortgage repayments PLUS a service charge!
  • Norma_DesmondNorma_Desmond Forumite
    4.4K Posts
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    beeb - don't be too hasty! - Many people live in leasehold flats with no problems at all, it's just that my ex-freeholder thought he was above the law, when in fact there are very strict guidelines - Google the Leasehold Advisory Service for lots of information about problems you MIGHT encounter. What it boils down to is that you don't actually own the land your flat stands on and you may not even own parts of your building - we had a top floor flat and didn't own the loft (don't ask!) or the windows. It really is an outdated form of tenure - I believe we are the only country that has it!
    "I'm ready for my close-up Mr. DeMille...."
  • beeb_boybeeb_boy Forumite
    43 Posts
    I spoke to the agent last night and apparently they have no idea if it is leasehold or not. Which is a bit surprising because isn't it their job to know that??

    I spoke to the vendor on the last viewing and asked about repairs (eg, if the roof needs repairing how are the costs split with the flat below?). he said it was in the lease agreement for the flat below which the agent had. I asked the agent and they didn't know anything about a lease agreement.

    I wish everyone would stop messing me about and give me a simple answer. On one hand I've got a vendor who doesn't know about repairs, etc and on the other I've got an agent who doesn't know any useful info about the house. :mad:

    One other question while I'm on. The flat has a large plasma screen in one of the bedrooms. the vendors said this can be negotiated for but how do I do that? I spoke to the agent and (surprisingly) he didn't know anything. Do I need to negotiate with the vendor direct as well as for carpets/curtains, etc? I'm new to this - can someone help?

    thanks
  • Firstly, i'd have to ask - you say that downstairs has the freehold and theyre selling the top half of thier property, and also no one seems to know where the lease is.
    I'd first check with the vendor and council/land registry that this is actually a seperate dwelling. It sounds like maybe they have just split a house into 2 and have not drawn up any documents or possibly not got permissions from the planning/ building regs.

    Secondly, the agents never confirm anything about fixtures/leases/condition in any sale (they always add a get out clause to their details at the end). Either the vendor should be able to show you the documents or your solicitor will let you know if things seem to be missing or dubious. However, I'd be wanting to see proof of the lease myself and proof from the land registry that it's at least a valid property.

    also, ask the vendor to show you previous bills for the service charges, ground rent and insurance etc.

    If he/she is unable to provide these, then proceed with extreme caution.

    Find out who the freeholder is! (providing it's not the vendor/neighbour) and ask about any major works recently carried out or due to be carried out. Ask how long is left on the lease.

    You should be able to get all this info from the vendor!

    Finally, the TV, just make an offer to include the TV if you want it. However, everything is negotiable until exchange of contracts. the most important document in this case is when your solicitor recieves the fixtures and fitting list to ensure everything you think is included has been!
    Anything I write is based on my opinion only. Before acting upon any advice from anyone on a forum further professional advice should be sought.
  • beeb_boybeeb_boy Forumite
    43 Posts
    I've just contacted the agent now and they said that it will be a peppercorn ground rent as the vendor is retaining the freehold. Apparently the lease has not been drawn up yet but will be confirmed when a buyer is in place. How do I know that I won't be stung for a fortune?

    How much do you think the ground rent will be?

    Do I still put an offer in??? D'oh....I'm unsure of what to do now!!

    any advice? :beer:
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