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Always Learning

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  1. Thank you Chris, and thank you Evolution Blogger - your responses are appreciated. The SSAS pension sounds brillaint!
  2. I'm a massive victim of analysis paralysis in all areas, was lumbered with custard creams or chocolate hobnobs decision yesterday.
  3. Thank you for your response Evolution Blogger. I suppose the benefit of the BMV properties (if they do exist) is that you make money immediately upon buying which can then be used to buy more (maybe BMV). It does seem like I'm chasing my own tail though. With a non property related full time job its also quite hard to get a viewing on a property, some come up listed on Rightmove as 'no longer on the market' as the agents have had so many people on their books show interest they know it will sell. Agree with you re West London. I need to learn more about commercial - are there any good threads?
  4. Thanks for this Chris - I've always thought the same.
  5. Thank you for your response Chris. Re paying over the odds for my home - I had a meeting with a local agent earlier about another matter and he knows my street and house I purchased and stated he would be confident to sell it for about 12% more today (only been here 9 months) but also I am planning on being here for a significant time which as you said then doesn't matter. Re companies securing blocks of apartments in bulk, I have come across that too, where it's allegedly '10k BMV' (for a 120k apartment) but they charge a 5k fee to sell to you 🤣 can't believe the number of people that go for that. Any further responses are also appreciated....ideally the elusive BMV deals....
  6. Hi Meyer, My wife is a leasehold property solicitor and was part of the body who looked at the Grenfell Tower fire. She always advises against anything with cladding this is due to: Usually the freeholder asks the leaseholder to correct the cladding issue (quite expensive) Mortgage is very difficult to obtain on it Resale is very difficult The above is very generic advice but she swears by it. Your solicitors however should be able to advise further as part of the work they will do. Can I ask if you are buying this flat at market rate? Also might be worth considering checking the sold prices of the other flats in the block and when they were sold - mouseprice.com has this information. AL
  7. Hi All, I have some BTL property and recently purchased my residential home and paid massively over the ‘offer over’ listed price. I felt like I simply had to in order to secure the property as I like many others I had been looking for so long and lost out on so many properties as my offers just weren’t high enough. This time I had to blow everyone out of the water to secure it. I’ve been told it was a crazy move and I’m mad mainly by people who say they only buy ‘Below Market Value’. I’ve heard a lot of BMV talk and read up about it a lot. I definitely know people who have bought BMV too, (400k/450k properties for 300k/350k) but the way they have done this is by bribing the estate agent who has then lied to sellers saying it’s the best offer they have had etc. I dislike this massively for a whole host of reasons (conning people out of their home/life savings being the key reason). BUT I can’t see how else BMV is done. I cant see anyone willing to sell their home, the most expensive thing they own and usually their plan for retirement at 20/25% discount). Unless there is the very rare situation of needing the money so desperately and doing a cash deal as its quick. I don't believe that is so common so many people can buy BMV. Also the people I know buy via a mortgage anyway so timewise its the same as a normal sale. Is there anyone who can walk me through a (non bribe) deal they are doing from end to end that is BMV? I don’t want the deal, just want to see how it works from start to finish. I am based in West London and Wiltshire if that helps. Thanks AL
  8. haf1963 - I agree, usually when they haven't seen something before they just refuse to believe it.
  9. Haf1963 and David - thank you for your responses. I have been onto the Valuations Office who determine council tax bandings and they have confirmed there are definitely 2 council tax bandings - one per flat. I queried the issue around the fact planning permission was not granted and was told they 'work on what is actually going on at the property' so if it looks like 2 flats then it will be taxed as 2 flats. I have also spoken to a very helpful estate agent who has confirmed the property is on one title deed and therefore should not have 2 council taxes - doing so would be illegal apparently. Sounds to me like the Valuations Office just aren't connected to the councils planning permission dept (or simply don't care). I will certainly look into the lawful development certificate - thank you for that information.
  10. Hi All, I hope you are all well, I am looking for some advice on a new property purchase - I'm at the beginning of a purchase of a house that has been split into 2 flats (both 2 bedrooms), there are 2 kitchens and 2 bathrooms. The current seller purchased this property already split which was done by the previous owner who was a builder. It looks in good condition and the work has been completed to a good standard (visual inspection only) one tenant in situ who wants to stay. It is 'officially' a 4 bed HMO (no permission required for under 5 bed HMO in this area) HOWEVER.....there was no permission granted to recognise the 2 separate flats. BUT there are 2 council taxes (flat 1 and flat 2 which I have seen). The property is currently mortgaged and my broker is using the same lender as it's one of few which will take on such a case. Questions: 1. How are there 2 separate council taxes but no recognition of 2 flats? (I am contacting the council to understand this) 2. What are the potential pitfalls with such a quirky set up that I need to be aware of? Any other advice from anyone else who has experience of this type of situation is appreciated. Thanks
  11. Hi Barry and Vineet, thank you very much for taking the time to reply. @barry I would be looking for a more straightforward conversion not a full refurbishment like you have taken on.
  12. Hi All, I am a long time lurker (may have posted a couple of time in the past but cant recall). I have 3 BTL properties in and around London from several years ago and am now in a position to start my investing journey again. My aim is to set up HMOs in Birmingham but before I do I have a few questions which I hope someone can assist with: I know certain areas have council restrictions to the number of HMO licences that will be granted: How do I confirm before purchase if the area I am interested in still have opportunity to set up a HMO? I have seen a number of HMOs for sale: Generally speaking how much is the cost of converting a 3/4 bedroom house to a 5 bed HMO? (I know this depends on a lot of factors but is it 10k/20/30k – I am after ball park figures) How much more in percentage does an already converted HMO sell for compared to if it was a residential house? How are utility bills managed in a HMO? Is there anyone here who is willing to mentor me on my journey? Thanks
  13. cheers Caroline - this approach is being tried currently. good to know there are ways of undoing the scheming ways of an underhand agent.
  14. Hi All, I hope you are all well, I have a scenario which I need opinions and expert advice on. · House almost purchased (value 800/900k – residential home not BTL) · 5 days before completion buyer received call from solicitor saying ‘the seller has pulled out’ no reason given · Buyer called Estate agent immediately who said ‘we contacted your solicitor to get an update and gave them 3 days to reply with an update of progress if no reply received seller will pull out’ apparently no reply received so seller pulled out · Buyer argued surely agent should have called the buyer, and argued this is highly unorthodox to pull out 5 days before completion. During the conversations back and forth between solicitor/agent/buyer the agent let slip the seller has received a higher offer by 15k from a cash buyer. · Buyer offered 25k more and explained if the seller switches to the cash buyer now it will still take longer than 5 days to complete which he is in a position to do within 5 days + is offering £25k more. Agent replied ‘the seller just doesn’t want to deal with you anymore, you could offer £1m they do not want to sell to you’ · Sellers are an elderly couple. This sale has not taken any longer than any usual house sale and there have been no issues, quite standard progress. · Theory: Someone (this cash buyer) has greased the agent who has then told the seller some cock and bull story which the seller has just believed as they know no better being inexperienced in the housing game and being elderly (no offence to any elderly readers). Whilst this unfortunately does happen doing it 5 days before completion is strange and on property of such value as buyers are going to be rare. · The agent is not a national chain but an independent small business. Seller has contacted business owner and complained to the Ombudsman, and also sent a letter to the seller explaining the situation as does not believe the agent. Ombudsman has said can take 8 weeks to process a complaint which is too long as the house will be long gone by then (I appreciate it may already be long gone). Questions: 1. What can be done to find out what has happened here as the story of solicitor not replying in 3 days sounds highly dubious. Surely it’s in the agents interest to encourage the seller to stay with the current buyer who is 5 days from completion? 2. Does anyone have any experience of being gazumped in this fashion and what did you do? 3. Thousands in the various surveys and fees have been spent – can this be clawed back from agent (I presume if it can be proven that a bribe was taken then yes)? 4. What can the ombudsman do? This is an effort to try to get the house back (appreciate could be unlikely) but more about a matter of principle to take action against the agent who it seems has vested interest. Many thanks in advance for your replies. Dil
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