The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Avatar

Please consider registering
guest

sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —




— Match —





— Forum Options —





Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

No permission to create posts
sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
Buying a House in Britain - Your Opinion/Advice Please
Wed 27-Jun-12
7:44 pm
Avatar
Rob12
London, UK

Knowledegable
Members

New members
Forum Posts: 274
Member Since:
Sat 9-Jun-12
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

As some of you are aware, I have been in the very protracted and painful process of trying to buy a house since late March.  I found the house I wanted at the very end of March and had my offer accepted by the sellers by early April.  I submitted my mortgage application to Northern Rock over the Easter weekend through the services of a mortgage broker (I already had a pre-approval from Northern Rock).

 

This is pretty much where it all started to go wrong...I kept on being told that Northern Rock was behind on applications due to a last minute flood as the stamp duty holiday for first time buyers ended at the end of March.  That excuse was used twice a week every week for the following two months.  At the end of May, the very day I was due to go into hospital for surgery (this being the 30th May) I received a call from the agency representing the sellers as they were getting anxious and were not getting anywhere with my mortgage advisor.  To cut a long and stressful story short, I was left having to ring around and calm people down, both just before surgery and the days after when I was meant to be taking it easy and recovering (I did learn that morphine makes you brave though as I was far pushier than my normal self). 

 

I tried to speak to my mortgage advisor, no luck. I tried to speak with her boss, no luck.  I then rang their head office to log a complaint, was told I would be called back, and am to date still waiting on that call.

 

Eventually I managed to get hold of someone in Northern Rock to try and push things forward.  I also applied for a second mortgage through Halifax.  After a few days of negotiation the Northern Rock offer was pushed through, but for a lesser amount than I originally applied for.  I received this on the 12th June eventually.  The Halifax offer went through this Monday past.  Naturally I am going with Halifax as I have no confidence in Northern Rock now.

 

Now, to my questions - when I spoke to the sellers agent today to confirm that the mortgage offer was now in place and we were moving forward, I asked if I could now arrange for the structural/electrical survey to  be carried out.  I was informed that I had had 2 months to get that done and that he did not think the sellers would appreciate me having that done at this late stage.  I personally feel that this survey should only be carried out once you know you have a mortgage in place as otherwise you are potentially throwing away £800 for nothing.  Do you think I am being unreasonable in insisting on this survey being done if it can be carried out late this week or early next week?  After all, it is not my fault that the bank took over 2 months to come to a decision, nor that my mortgage advisor failed to do what she was paid to do (I have since found out part of the delay with the bank was her slow pace in passing requested information over to them).

 

Secondly, do you think I am within my rights, aside from lodging a complaint with the head office of the mortgage advisor (and whatever regulatory body they have) to also request at least a partial refund for services she has failed to deliver? 

 

The mortgage advisor was supposed to guide me through this process, schedule all the surveys as the time came right for this to be done, chase up on mortgage application as needed, etc, all of which I am now having to do myself.  To me, aside from the initial advice offered, she has not delivered on any of the services she was engaged for.  If her job was to make my life easier, she has failed dismally.  Even now she is not being proactive about bringing all the threads of this purchase together.

 

Any advice that you may have I would appreciate.  I am a first time buyer, not terribly familiar with how this is done in the UK, but am also not terribly familiar with the town I am buying in (another reason for engaging a local business to try and smooth things over).

Wed 27-Jun-12
7:55 pm
Avatar
Aly
Normandy France

Supreme Being
Members

New members
Forum Posts: 9421
Member Since:
Sun 2-Oct-11
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

You are entitled to have the survey done and don't let them talk you out of it. There are not that many buyers out there. I would also lodge a complaint against your mortgage advisor, as you said she failed to do what you paid for. It wouldn't hurt to mention such things as watchdog! I hope you get things sorted and move soon.

Trying to enjoy life as it is

http://www.letertregites.com

Wed 27-Jun-12
11:28 pm
Avatar
KateUK
uk

Councillor
Members
Forum Posts: 1829
Member Since:
Tue 22-Sep-09
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Never buy without a survey. You can have the survey done whenever- the vendors won't be buying without a survey (unless they are daft) and should understand that you need a survey. Quite why they are kicking off about it is a mystery-unless they know something that the surveyor will discover! Stick to your guns, have the survey, nothing to do with the vendors' agent, frankly,who should be trying to make the sale smooth and without a survey there will be no sale- might be worth reminding him/her of that. It is a buyers market currently.

Get together all the paperwork so far and document all the delays and cock-ups by the advisor. Make a calendar of what has/hasn't happened and when it has/hasn't happened. Compare and contrast this to what you were promised would happen.

Check your agreement, if you have one, with Northern Rock and see of they have adhered to it, if not, give 'em hell. If no agreement, go through any paperwork you have that says what service they will provide for you and give them chapter and verse of how they have failed to provide that service- in either case use your documented delays and cock-ups to make your point. If you have paid them for their services, ask for refund. If you get nowhere, write to the Guardian Money Expert ( on Saturdays in the Guardian, they sort stuff like this out), Watchdog, You and Yours on Radio 4 and anyone else you can think of and tell Northern Rock you are doing it. Should focus their minds especially if you send copies of everything to the absolute boss of Northern Rock.Won't hurt to point out to them that thanks to their ineptitude they have lost all that lovely interest on your mortgage loan for years to come...

Hope it goes more smoothly from now on!

Kateuk makes things at http://www.etsy.com/shop/finkstuff and sometimes she does this too http://www54paintings.blogspot.com/ and also this http://finkstuff.weebly.com/

Thu 28-Jun-12
2:05 pm
Avatar
Xahha
Suffolk

Supreme Being
Members

New members
Forum Posts: 4231
Member Since:
Mon 3-Oct-11
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

You should try selling one house in Scotland and buying one in England- the Scottish system is  I think the fairest as it follows a time limited process so you know when you are moving out, but the problem is neither system joins up any where, so we ended up having sold a house, but not having the money transfer done electronically as we expected, which meant we had to take out a short term loan for two weeks to complete the other house purchase. None of the house moves we have done have run smoothly (this is our 4th house), but I agree someone needs a stick of gelignite up their backside in your case

 Are we having fun yet? I am!

Thu 28-Jun-12
4:58 pm
Avatar
danast
Argyll, Scotland

Supreme Being
Members
Forum Posts: 10232
Member Since:
Thu 24-Sep-09
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

wave  I have always thought that buying a house in Scotland was fairer.  There is no such thing as gazumping here and at least you know that once your offer has been accepted you are legally bound to buy and you have an entry date  . Perhaps I am wrong as I don't know too much about house buying in England, but from what I have heard there is sometimes a lot of heartache.

Old teachers never die, they just lose their class

Fri 29-Jun-12
6:31 pm
Avatar
JoannaS
Latvia

Supreme Being
Members
Forum Posts: 4800
Member Since:
Mon 21-Sep-09
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Buying and selling in England is a nightmare. My experience goes back a little way really so is not so relevant. I have more experience of selling but a survey needs to be done for the building society mortgage anyway doesn't it?

Buying here in Latvia is a lot less stressful as far as I am concerned, although we have never used a mortgage to buy one and so maybe a little different. The house we were in was a friend's and so we arranged to go to the solicitor and sorted it all out in one day and then two weeks later we got the papers for it. The other flat we own we agreed a price, agreed on a day to visit the solicitor and then the same arrangements as before. Easy peasy!

Fri 29-Jun-12
9:37 pm
Avatar
Rob12
London, UK

Knowledegable
Members

New members
Forum Posts: 274
Member Since:
Sat 9-Jun-12
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Thanks everyone for your advice on this.  I have booked the full home buyers survey to take place early next week.  If the vendors/agent don't like it they can keep the house at this point as far as I am concerned.  I am wondering how ethical it is of those agents to have tried to force me to skip this survey.

 

The banks do carry out their own valuation survey – so there have been two on this house – but the home buyers survey is slightly more indepth.  Had time permitted it I would have preferred to have an electrical and plumbing survey done too but think that really will be pushing things a bit now.  We shall have that done after we exchange though purely for our own peace of mind.

 

I have conducted pretty much this entire process via email so have a solid audit trail of all the ins and outs so far.  Nearly every phone call was also followed up with an email to establish an audit trail (one thing my profession has taught me over the years is the need for hard evidence…) so I will collate this into two separate avenues of complaint once this sale is completed.  One directed at Northern Rock and the other at the Mortgage Advisor's Head Office (with any watchdogs I can line up copied in). 

 

It is not in my nature to complain or pursue a matter but given what I paid for a service that was not delivered in this instance, I am determined to see this through.

 

We have also learned that the landlord on this property, after ongoing works in this flat since early April to address a persistent damp problem (caused by a very leaky central heating system) is now launching another round of works in our flat.  The last round of works was not sufficient and now he wants to chop the walls right back to the original brickwork and start again…

Sat 30-Jun-12
6:28 am
Avatar
Aly
Normandy France

Supreme Being
Members

New members
Forum Posts: 9421
Member Since:
Sun 2-Oct-11
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

And I thought sorting out the drains for my tenants was major! Hope you are moved before that starts. Well done for sticking to your guns too.

Trying to enjoy life as it is

http://www.letertregites.com

Fri 13-Jul-12
8:15 pm
Avatar
JoannaS
Latvia

Supreme Being
Members
Forum Posts: 4800
Member Since:
Mon 21-Sep-09
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I agree solid audit trails are invaluable. That is why I won't talk to student finance over the phone about my son's grant. I want evidence of what I've said and what was said to mecheers

Thu 26-Jul-12
8:26 am
Avatar
Rob12
London, UK

Knowledegable
Members

New members
Forum Posts: 274
Member Since:
Sat 9-Jun-12
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hi everyone, am sorry to have been so quiet of late - I have been a little snowed under at work and at home.  I just wanted to give you all an update on this little saga.

 

We exchanged contracts on the house about two weeks ago and will complete on the 30th July.  The move is booked for the 3rd August.  At this point in time chaos reigns at home as we are sorting and packing and have to have that done by this coming Sunday.  We are also having to deal with the flat we live in right now being worked on yet again and have had the walls in the corridor and a few rooms stripped back to brick to be resealed and plastered.  They now apparently want to start in the living room as well - we are going to try and stall this to next week as mum works from home as a seamstress and has several urgent commissions to finish off this week.  We are moving her down to Crawley on Monday evening already so she can work in the relative peace and quiet of a mostly empty house before the move the following Friday.

 

I am glad we have finally reached this point, and relatively unscathed as well...my sister has decided she cannot bear to live outside London and is now urgently trying to find a place for herself in town.  That was expected.  Hopefully once this upheaval has passed we can all settle down and get on with our lives...

 

Hopefully I will be back visiting here more frequently once the dust of this move has settled a bit.

Thu 26-Jul-12
8:33 am
Avatar
Aly
Normandy France

Supreme Being
Members

New members
Forum Posts: 9421
Member Since:
Sun 2-Oct-11
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

That is great news Rob. Hope you and mum will be very happy in your new home. Crawley has the biggest pound shop in Britain! Lots of things to do and easy trip to either London or Brighton.

Trying to enjoy life as it is

http://www.letertregites.com

Thu 26-Jul-12
9:13 am
Avatar
Hattie
Bucks/Oxon Border

Supreme Being
Members

New members
Forum Posts: 6920
Member Since:
Mon 21-Sep-09
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Good to hear your news, Rob.  I hope the packing up & moving goes well....a lot to do in such a short time, especially with builders in your present home. Still once you get settled in the new one it will all be worth it.

Good luck !!  I hope it goes smoothly on moving day.

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

Thu 26-Jul-12
9:39 am
Avatar
danast
Argyll, Scotland

Supreme Being
Members
Forum Posts: 10232
Member Since:
Thu 24-Sep-09
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

wave  Good luck from me too Rob. We all  know how daunting the whole process of moving is and am glad that everything is going well for you and your mum.  It will soon be over!!!!

Old teachers never die, they just lose their class

Sat 28-Jul-12
12:43 pm
Avatar
KateUK
uk

Councillor
Members
Forum Posts: 1829
Member Since:
Tue 22-Sep-09
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hope it all goes smoothly from here on Rob.

Kateuk makes things at http://www.etsy.com/shop/finkstuff and sometimes she does this too http://www54paintings.blogspot.com/ and also this http://finkstuff.weebly.com/

Wed 15-Aug-12
8:55 pm
Avatar
Rob12
London, UK

Knowledegable
Members

New members
Forum Posts: 274
Member Since:
Sat 9-Jun-12
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Evening all,

 

I have been absent for the past few weeks however that is for good reason.  We have finally moved! I am loving the new house and very glad to be here.  We have been very busy in the first full week we have lived here (mum moved in on the 30th July and the rest of us moved on the 3rd August).  We have 95% of our stuff unpacked, replaced the boiler, bought and installed most of the new 'white goods' that we needed and generally settling in.

 

It has been a difficult juggling act as I have been working a later than normal shift to accommodate travel during the Olympics and am also getting used to the slightly longer commute (and so far have managed to get the wrong train/bus every morning this week).  Evening journeys home are fine but mornings are very much hit and miss...

 

I hope to be online more soon and look forward to catching up with news here on the forum.  Hope you are all well?

No permission to create posts
Forum Timezone: Europe/London

Most Users Ever Online: 262

Currently Online:
25 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Top Posters:

brightspark: 10485

danast: 10232

Aly: 9421

Sooliz: 7980

Hattie: 6920

Ambersparkle: 6665

JoannaS: 4800

Terrier: 4518

eileen54: 4396

Xahha: 4231

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 9

Members: 15365

Moderators: 2

Admins: 2

Forum Stats:

Groups: 6

Forums: 25

Topics: 2244

Posts: 122511

Newest Members:

breckjensen, Dennisreick, RobertTus, DonaldPhest, Aaronawasy, spetperslimogqui

Moderators: Toffeeapple: 16217, AdminTA: 10

Administrators: fn: 321, Danny: 5514


Copyright © 2006-2012 Cottage Smallholder      Our Privacy Policy      Advertise on Cottage Smallholder