Showing posts with label house hunting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label house hunting. Show all posts

Friday, 22 March 2013

I'm back!

I've been kind of awol on the blogging front, despite following my favourite blogs on a regular basis. Looking back, it has been two months since I last posted. During this time a few things have happened:

1. We had an offer accepted on a flat, with the condition the lease was extended in time for completion. 
2. The lease came back 5K more than expected, prompting the seller to want to pull out of the transaction.
3. We ended up paying an increased purchase price to cover the lease extension costs + an extra £1000 on top (to cover the loan the seller had to take out?) who knows.
4. Our mortgage lender was only prepared to lend us x amount, leaving us 10k short. Cue tears and my M&D coming to the rescue with the offer of lending us money. 
5. I joined the gym! Only a frugal £20 per month; so far I have been to spinning and zumba classes.
6. My car is back on the road and is now registered to my parents address (It was registered to a flat I had lived at two and a half years ago!) 
7. I got a £200 tax rebate and £200 interest payment on my ISAs which covered the cost of my annual insurance. 
8. The building survey & all searches are almost complete on our flat, and we have given our two months’ notice to break our rental contract. 
9. The glasses I bought plus car costs (MOT, repairs & tax) have all been paid for (hefty credit card bill last month).
10. Have been trying to save as much as possible, so lots of home cooking and cutting down on waste has been taking place. 

However, I have been carrying on with the packed lunches to work every day, and even at weekends if I go to the pub I have been driving so the cost is minimal. 

One thing I have discovered though is where if you have a nectar card you can earn points just for watching adverts and rating them. It’s been helping to build my nectar nest egg which pays for my diet coke habit at work. 

By the way, has anyone else been having a problem with what I think are spam comments? I keep getting them on one post. I'm not sure what to do with them, or even whether they are actually spam. 

Monday, 21 January 2013

Blue Monday

 The last time I blogged we had some last minute viewings booked in; the last one of the day we loved. A ground floor maisonette, private well kept garden and newly reburbished throughout with two huge bedrooms. W had an offer accepted, only for the initial happiness to last around a week when we found out through a friend of a friend the property had a £10,000 bill coming our way from the leaseholders which could be due in around three years time due to them re-doing the fire escapes (our property didn't even have a fire escape). At the top end of our budget there was no way we would be able to afford it. We put this to the estate agent who claimed ignorance, and the price was dropped and agreed at £5,000 lower than the original asking price.

We put our searches and survey on hold whilst waiting for more information, and the Friday before new years eve I had about ten calls from the estate agent who was trying to get us to book the survey to show some commitment to the seller. They had apparently mentioned re marketing the property if we didn't get things moving. After doing some digging for myself and speaking directly to the leaseholder I found out the work was due to start in the summer just a few months after we would be moving in and the money due by the time they had finished the work. I also discovered 47 awful reviews of the leasehold company online, describing them as a money grabbing nightmare!

We pulled out the first working day of the new year, however at the end of that same day the vendor dropped the price by a further £5000 to get us to buy. We spoke to the mortgage broker who advised us we could take a home improvement loan and use the equity in the house to pay it off. We thought things were settled when we received confirmation of the new asking/purchase price in writing and email. Then surfing the property sites to compare what we were getting for our money I found the property had come on with another estate agents and there was even an open day planned for that weekend with our estate agent. From that weekend I knew the property wouldn't be ours so as not to be too disappointed.

On the Monday I found out they had had a higher offer from someone who supposedly knew about all the work and additional costs. I just wish we had been told upfront as another buyer had pulled out before us, but we were told 'for financial reasons' so we knew exactly what we were getting ourselves into. After we lost it, I felt a kind of relief, like it was meant to be for a little while.

However, after seeing lots more properties nothing seems to compare and I'm worried the prices are going to go up before we've scrabbled onto the property ladder. So that seems to be taking up most of my time at the moment.

However our mortgage is almost through, just the survey needs doing now and our family bought us lots of nice home wear and vouchers for Christmas so we only need to pay for the big appliances once we finally find somewhere.

I also had a nice surprise last week; I found out we had hit our target at work and was in fact £55,000 over target! Because we did so well my colleague and myself are going to be given £505.000 worth of high street vouchers as part of a commission scheme. When I was first told about it I thought I would get about £50 so that will definitely make things easier! I decided to get £250 love to shop vouchers which covers lots of shops including Robert Dyas & Homebase, £100, £50 B&Q and £100 Arcadia vouchers (I'm treating myself to some new clothes after all this saving malarky!) I was also told we were getting a £750 annual payrise; I thought it would be performance related and thought it was kind of mean but its automatic which I think is pretty nice as it covers increases in peoples train fare/heating bills/food etc.

This year I bought my annual season ticket and opted for the overground option only- this was £600 cheaper and means it forces me to exercise every day too. I'm now walking around two miles per day at least. I'm going to get my car back on the road and use the money I saved to pay for my car; a much nicer luxury than a bus pass!

Finally, I sorted out my health care plan at work. I decided to take advantage and booked myself an eye test as I haven't had one for around three years and had self medicated my contact lens strength which I buy over the internet. It turns out I wear my lenses too much, starving my eyes of oxygen and causing blood vessels to grow into my corneas which if not sorted out can damage my eyesight! eek!!

I can claim £60 per year for optical costs, so I ordered a four month supply of contacts £50 and away the receipt for my eye test £22 and decided to buy some nice designer glasses. I bought a D&G smart half rim pair for work and a lighter plastic Karen Millen pair for home + insurance. Though this was pretty pricy I think my eyesight is one thing worth investing in.

Phew! Think its all out now, hope you're all staying toasty and warm- until next time!

Friday, 7 December 2012

Surprise flat viewings

I had resigned myself not to keep looking at flats, putting it off until after Christmas when we'd both been at our jobs longer, had a little more money and had a better credit rating. This week three flats have come onto the market which seem to tick most of our boxes and I've scheduled appointments for us to see all three for tomorrow afternoon- fingers crossed we find something! So far I think we've seen around ten and its getting a little tedious.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Silly season

Where to begin? I haven't posted yet again in a while, but things have been kind of emotional/hectic over here in my little corner of the globe. It all started when I found a property online at a good price and made the mistake of ringing the estate agent who roped us in to see about four flats half of which were out of our price range and booked in to see the mortgage broker.

We spent a busy few weeks viewing properties, most of which I would get attached to, could imagine living in but weren't quite right for one reason or another. And then I stumbled across one online, great price, iffy location but once we went to see it it was the best location we had seen. The flat was great, decent sized kitchen, fitted appliances, bathroom a decent size and we wouldn't have to do any work to it. The mortgage was affordable, as well as the ground rent/service charges.

We put in an offer, it was accepted and it seemed things were going our way. However, I was told different stories by each of the estate agents I went to see the property with, such as four people had pulled out previously and that was why it was such a good price. Immediately alarm bells started ringing, and I went to visit it with my mum who asked the seller all the practical questions I had overlooked such as how old the warm air heating system was, how old the flat roof was and which type of construction the building was. The seller clammed up, went pink and I couldn't help thinking she might be hiding something.

At my wits end we went to see the estate agents again to try to find out what was going on, only to find out no-one had put an offer in until a week before us which wasn't accepted. The property had been on the market since August 2011. Feeling rather uncomfortable, worried, stressed out and emotional I thought it was probably best not to even get a survey done as we were worried from the off it wouldn't be worth the cost only to find out what we expected and pull out anyway. The fact the estate agents couldn't get their stories straight worried me, and ultimately we didn't want to buy a flat that we couldn't sell in five-six years time.

After imagining living there, and starting to plan next year- holidays etc I couldn't help but feel disappointed and fed up for the whole weekend afterwards. As Christmas is approaching there is very little choice of property on the market but curiosity keeps me coming back to the property websites to check just in case.

There is one flat online in a great location, we went to see another flat in the same block previously, but this  isn't available to view until February which seems ages away. Hmph! I know I shouldn't but I cant help but feel sorry for myself and that we'll never have our own home.

Coupled with the fact I rushed in too quick before withdrawing the offer of pulling my money out of my two ISAs and fixed rate 5% saver, losing out on all the interest because I thought I would need access to the cash soon.

I also fell asleep on the train after a work night out in the city and ended up at the end of the line at 12am and had to fork out £40 for a cab home, and the student loans company has started taking my repayments after two years taking £60 this month. Queue not a happy bunny all round. Chin up and soldier on and keep saving, nothing else for it I guess.

Sorry for the essay! advice please?