Buying a house - first steps



Oh God I’m too much of a fanny to start playing the markets. Esp. given the money I’m needing to stash imminently is the returns from selling mine and my sister’s flat so I’m not risking a penny of it.


Help to buy isa give you a 25% bonus when you use it to buy a place, and the interest rates are better than most, lifetime isas are similar and let you save more


Yeah this is the key point. Hit up some funds/bonds etc. if you’ve got a sum you want to put away for your kids in later life or something.


Halifax one is 2.25% interest then the 25% bonus at the end hard to beat. At a housing policy level help to buy isa’s are probably a bad thing that prop up the market, but as an individual it makes sense to get one


Fair diddles. Just that viewings can be quite intoxicating (or shit!) so best to check yourself before you wreck yourself innit


I want to invest in


Guess it depends what your looking for, I knew the kind of place I wanted and that they only come up occasionally so I just went for it. May have made a huge mistake, too early to tell


I didn’t even view our current place! My wife went on her own. I had viewed others on the street so knew it was what we were after. I agree though - first time round we farted about for ages and in the meantime prices were climbing and climbing. If you know what you’re looking for just go for it. Victorian terrace, within a certain price bracket, in a particular area - we quickly realised that they were pretty much all the same.


Ironically, one of the best value ways to save is in a mortgage offset savings account. Or, similarly, to overpay on a mortgage.

Which is of no solace to anyone who doesn’t have a mortgage.

Which is a measure of how fucked up the bigger picture is.



Premium bonds? You might get nothing but as ISAs interest are so low you prob only need to win the minimum prize of £25 a couple of times a year to make the same you’d get in interest and you might get more.


Yep. We’ve got most of our savings in an offset account. We used to have a standard mortgage and overpay regularly, but the offset works so much better and means we can get the money when we need it.


Jesus fucking Christ this process…

The Housing Association can’t request an asking price change with the vendor without a copy of the valuation report from the lender who has down valued the property.

The broker can’t get hold of the valuation report from the lender but our solicitor “should be able to”

Our solicitor can’t get a copy of the valuation report without a mortgage offer in place but we don’t have a mortgage offer in place because the lender has down valued the property…

It’s like a fucking torture method…


Yeah I’ve read about the dangers of just settling for the first place you see so have tried viewing a couple of places since and will see a few more but am still planning to put a bid in for the first one, no other place has yet to surpass it for me with regards to location,value or just general cosiness.


If the valuation has been done a copy should be available to you even without an offer. This might not apply if the lender offered a free survey or automated report which amounts to a non disclosed valuation. Which lender are you going through?


Nationwide so a free survey I think…


As the survey is for the benefit of the lender rather than you it might be the case that they don’t make one available to you which isn’t very helpful. Not sure if there’s anything they can do (or will) in these circumstances. I’ve had clients who’ve had automated surveys done day one with no report being made available which has become a ball ache when it doesn’t value up and no one’s gone out to the property with a view to negotiation.


Thanks again for the London & Country recommendation, they’ve been brilliant so far. Dealing with them has been the first time I’ve not felt like


So I’ve looked at six places now. I think I’ve found the one. It’s as everyone said, you’ll know it when you see it. A 3 bed semi near the park in Blackpool.


  • a loft conversion which has been half done - quite a low ceiling but could maybe turn into a cool cinema room??.
  • brand new kitchen with all integrated appliances.
  • Blank canvas, decor-wise.
  • Nice summer house and a SW-facing garden.
  • Quiet cul-de-sac in a decent area.
  • Recent damp course and plastering done in living room.


  • In need of re-carpeting and decorating in nearly all rooms.
  • Damp course might have just been a plaster to distract from much more serious damp issues elsewhere.

So, my question is, what kind of cost have people paid for re-carpeting all rooms apart from kitchen and bathroom? How about decorating said rooms?

Any other hidden costs that people have been stung by?

It’s up for £115k. Would it be cheeky to test the vendor’s resolve with an offer of £100/105k? It’s up with three different agents so maybe they are after a quicker sale… and if the agents are competing for the sale they are more likely to push your offer, yeah? Maybe? Please?

This thread has been brilliantly helpful, cheers. :+1:


I wouldn’t consider the carpets and decorating a negative, almost a plus as being able to do it yourself is better than paying a higher price because someone’s already done it to your tastes. Carpets obviously completely depends on how nice you want your carpets to be. A living room, hallway and bedroom cost me about £250 to be laid (I went for fairly cheap but not the cheapest option). Remember you may need to factor in underlay.

It’s not a bad idea to offer lower than you want to pay as you can always negotiate upwards. The only time I wouldn’t do this is if it’d just come on the market and was likely to go quickly.


I just got my living room re carpeted, carpet was £20 per meter, cost about £700 for the carpet, £200 for the underlay, £70 to dispose of the old carpet, £30 for delivery, £147 on installation, got on 24 months interest free credit, about £50 a month. Room is 7m x 5m