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  • FIRST POST
    • pardal51
    • By pardal51 24th Sep 10, 7:33 PM
    • 424Posts
    • 176Thanks
    pardal51
    Ex-council house - Pros & Cons - What to be aware of?
    • #1
    • 24th Sep 10, 7:33 PM
    Ex-council house - Pros & Cons - What to be aware of? 24th Sep 10 at 7:33 PM
    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.

Page 1
    • McKneff
    • By McKneff 24th Sep 10, 7:44 PM
    • 36,491 Posts
    • 47,040 Thanks
    McKneff
    • #2
    • 24th Sep 10, 7:44 PM
    • #2
    • 24th Sep 10, 7:44 PM
    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.
    • McKneff
    • By McKneff 24th Sep 10, 9:00 PM
    • 36,491 Posts
    • 47,040 Thanks
    McKneff
    • #3
    • 24th Sep 10, 9:00 PM
    • #3
    • 24th Sep 10, 9:00 PM
    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!
    Originally posted by mrstinchcombe

    That's an absolutely terrible thing to say, shame on you.
    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.
    • mrstinchcombe
    • By mrstinchcombe 24th Sep 10, 9:22 PM
    • 435 Posts
    • 738 Thanks
    mrstinchcombe
    • #4
    • 24th Sep 10, 9:22 PM
    • #4
    • 24th Sep 10, 9:22 PM
    That's an absolutely terrible thing to say, shame on you.
    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.
    Originally posted by McKneff
    Which bit?

    I gave two pros and two cons so a balanced view!
    • McKneff
    • By McKneff 24th Sep 10, 9:33 PM
    • 36,491 Posts
    • 47,040 Thanks
    McKneff
    • #5
    • 24th Sep 10, 9:33 PM
    • #5
    • 24th Sep 10, 9:33 PM
    Which bit?

    I gave two pros and two cons so a balanced view!
    Originally posted by mrstinchcombe
    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.
  • milliebear00001
    • #6
    • 24th Sep 10, 10:17 PM
    • #6
    • 24th Sep 10, 10:17 PM
    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.
    • Bronnie
    • By Bronnie 24th Sep 10, 11:23 PM
    • 4,090 Posts
    • 11,491 Thanks
    Bronnie
    • #7
    • 24th Sep 10, 11:23 PM
    • #7
    • 24th Sep 10, 11:23 PM
    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.
    Last edited by Bronnie; 24-09-2010 at 11:44 PM.
    • Bettie
    • By Bettie 25th Sep 10, 12:19 AM
    • 1,076 Posts
    • 1,234 Thanks
    Bettie
    • #8
    • 25th Sep 10, 12:19 AM
    • #8
    • 25th Sep 10, 12:19 AM
    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.
    Originally posted by pardal51
    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.
  • mustrum_ridcully
    • #9
    • 25th Sep 10, 8:13 AM
    • #9
    • 25th Sep 10, 8:13 AM
    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
  • poppysarah
    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.
    • pardal51
    • By pardal51 26th Sep 10, 10:53 AM
    • 424 Posts
    • 176 Thanks
    pardal51
    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.

    • natnhay
    • By natnhay 26th Sep 10, 11:08 AM
    • 382 Posts
    • 137 Thanks
    natnhay
    You can get problem families in a private housing estate ,because a lot are rented out anyway ,and the only type of families that can afford to rent them are families on housing benefit. I live on a council estate, and some of the houses are not very pleasing to look at ,but thats due to the councils not having money to spend on them ,not due to the tennants living in them.I actually own my house now,have lived here for 16 yrs,I have great neighbours and would'nt want to live anywhere else.Not all council estates are full of problem families.
    • chris_m
    • By chris_m 26th Sep 10, 11:33 AM
    • 7,332 Posts
    • 28,724 Thanks
    chris_m
    1) generally only the wavey roof tiles used on out buildings. No big deal and no need to have them removed just leave them be.
    Originally posted by the realist
    Indeed - asbestos is generally perfectly OK unless the material containing it deteriorates or it is disturbed. Appropriate precautions need to be taken if removing or working around asbestos but if it's just sitting on top of a garage (for example) and getting wet every time it rains, no problem.
    • olly300
    • By olly300 26th Sep 10, 11:43 AM
    • 14,312 Posts
    • 13,632 Thanks
    olly300
    Don't know where you are in the country but in London ex-council houses include properties built in the Georgian era, Victorian era, Edwardian era, 1930s and 1950s plus the more common concrete constructions of 1960s and 1970s. This means that unless you know the area properly you may not realise that your house is ex-council and that you could be surrounded by council tenants.

    However if you are depending on the council if they cause you problems i.e. noise, threatening behaviour they are easier to sort out then normal neighbours as you can get them threaten with eviction and actually evicted.

    One other thing you need to check is whether your house is in a conservation area and a tree preservation area, that one is being purposed or your estate is one of the first/well preserved example of a particular architect's style of social housing. I know ex-council and council properties built in the Victorian era, 1930s, 1950s and 1960s that are. In one area the proposal was floated around for 4 years before it became one. All this means that when you come to change something i.e. do the windows you have to spend thousands of pounds more doing it then if it wasn't. You can talk to the council planning department about this yourself - just phone them up.
    I'm not cynical I'm realistic

    (If a link I give opens pop ups I won't know I don't use windows)
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