Thursday, February 28, 2008

Details for auctioneer when sale agreed

When you reach an agreement on a price with the vendor (people selling - although you usually negotiate with the auctioneer and don't actually negotiate with the seller directly) you then need to provide the auctioneer with some details:

1. A cheque for the deposit (some take a bank transfer or bank draft but mostly it will be a cheque. You should send this by registered post, unless you can easily deliver it in person.

2. Give the auctioneer your full name(s) for contracts. This is important especially if you have an abbreviated first name (Joe = Joseph) or a hard to spell surname. I'm sure you get the idea! This can speed up the contracts.

3. Your current address.

4. Your solicitors details.

Then you should get an engineers report done and inform your bank or mortgage broker that you have agreed a sale.

Monday, February 25, 2008

View 'em all!

We took another trip down to the West, and were blessed with some excellent Sun for the 5 days. Over 4 days (no viewings on Sundays) we managed to squeeze in 14 viewings.

Phew! Bloody exhausting.

But I would recommend strongly doing the same, especially if you are buying in a different location to where you are based. For us, it was getting very tiring to go up and down from Dublin to Galway every weekend or two, to see one or two new places, so we build up a load and made a proper, trip out of it.

What should you do if you are viewing a load of places?
  • Print out everything you can get on each place. You may not be near a computer/printer while viewing.

  • Staple it together (you'd be surprised how many sheets of paper are now floating around the back of my car!).

  • Staple a list of questions and feedback space to each. We did a standard set and photocopied for each viewing.

  • Space the viewings so you have about half an hour to sit, think and discuss each one - but still allowing yourself enough time to drive the distance between viewings.

  • Draw a floor plan after the viewing and fill out your notes on each one before the next. It may seem fresh in your mind but after 5 in a day they soon start to merge together!

  • See them all. I can't emphasize this enough. We thought we had decided after the first two, but changed our minds on the last day when we saw an unexpected last house on the last morning and decided we loved that more than any of the others.

  • Don't rule the rest out if you decide on one. My next post will explain that one.

  • Stay calm and if you are a couple buying together then remember you are a couple and don't get mad with each other because you are tired etc., as it is very very exhausting.

  • Do spend the few quid to stay in a hotel as you need the rest and luxury to keep focused on the task at hand.

And best of luck with it!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Book early to view

We are planning a few days of looking at places to buy at the moment and one thing we have realised is that you can't turn around on a Wednesday and book to view that Saturday.

You'd think sellers would be falling over themselves to make it easy for you to view and possibly buy their houses, but in actual fact there are some places we have been trying to confirm bookings with for over a week now. So - if you want to make the most of your viewing time it is best to try to book well in advance.

For timing, we have also found the optimum timing is to make the bookings 1.5 hours apart (unless they are over 30 mins apart in distance). This allows an hour for viewing, which is a lot but you have to allow for the estate agent being late! Then it is good to have about 10 or 15 mins to write down your feelings and observations on the place, and answers you got for your questions. DO write this down immediately as there is nothing worse than spending a day viewing 3 or 4 places and finding that by the evening you can't remember which had that big bathroom or the smelly farmyard downwind.

Hope you find what you're looking for!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Make a wide search and close it down

If you are (for example) looking for a 3 bedroom detached house, 10 miles from Galway, then you would probably find about 10 to 30 houses fitting this criteria.

We have been trying to find an exact match to our criteria, and while we initially found it (one sale fell though) it is now proving harder.

To solve this issue what we have tried now is to widen the search - say for the above example, we would be going 5 to 15 miles and 2 to 4 bedrooms, and including semi detached and bungalows. This would instead bring a result of maybe 200 properties.

So, now you have 200 properties and still no match? Well, not exactly.

Going through all 200 will take time, but lets face it - this is our home we are talking about so a few hours or days is small potatoes.

What's the reason? Well, as you go through 200 properties you do a few things;

  1. Find out what you like in each house

  2. Find new things you like that you had not thought of

  3. Get a good idea of what is available for what price range (You'd be surprised how many 5 beds cost the same as 3 beds!)

  4. Maybe reconsider your options - maybe you can afford a bigger place, or will be happy in a smaller, and maybe 5 miles further out is worth the saving

While you go through the larger search you eliminate what is not to your liking, and eventually (many hours banging head against wall later) will have cut it down to a small enough number to be able to go see them. My bet is that the shortlist will have some that would not have been on your initial list.