Housing Update

Well, it was all going quite well until a week ago when we got the house valuation back.

They found a bit of damp, not really much of a problem, but they also decided that the property was worth £35,000 less than the agreed price.

As a result we’re now in a process of the estate agent finding “comparables”, similar properties in the area which have sold recently for the similar amounts.

These then get sent to the valuer for an appeal. If they won’t accept them, we will have to drop our offer for the house to a figure closer to the valuation.

It’s all getting a bit frantic as we have to move out in a month and won’t have time to find another property to buy if the vendor won’t accept a lower offer, so we’ll then have to find somewhere to rent.

We’re keeping our fingers crossed that either the appeal is successful or that the vendor will accept a lower offer, as we can’t really face traipsing around looking at flats to rent.

On top of all that, my laptop has developed “RSDs” (Random Shut Down) and has been sent for repair.

On a brighter note, we’re going to the Isle of Wight next Friday for the Bestival. Hoping that the weather perks up and the sun comes out…

Another House?

After the disappointment last week, we got back on the horse and started viewing again.

We saw two on Sunday, one on Tuesday and two on Wednesday.

Fortunately, we liked one of Wednesday houses enough to agree to pay asking price. So, pending surveys etc, we’ll be moving to Nunhead.

No one knows where Nunhead is, in fact I didn’t until this week, so I’ll explain that it’s between East Dulwich and Brockley.

The house is a short walk from Nunhead station (and backs on to the railway line), and is also close to Nunhead Cemetery.

Keeping our fingers crossed this time and hoping it all goes smoothly. The vendor has agreed to leave all furniture and appliances so we’ll be able to move in without too much additional expenditure.

Just when we thought we were getting sorted…

We got the survey for the house on Elmington Road, Camberwell through on Thursday and it recommended a structural engineers report due to evidence of subsidence.

Vic’s sister recommended an engineer who she deals with through work and we arranged to meet him at the house on Friday afternoon. We’d already arranged to have the afternoon off to go to the Beer Festival so we were able to get things moving quickly.

The engineer was great, gave us lots of information and his opinion of the property, and we decided that it was too much of a risk to continue with the purchase.

Not our new house...

Problems included subsidence, which could well have been historical but there was no guarantee, there was also no drainage at the front of the property, the rear extension had been built with un-rendered breeze blocks, the roof was bowing due to slates being replaced with concrete tiles, the floors of most rooms where sloping. We got much more information from him than we did from the Homebuyer Survey we got through the Alliance & Leicester.

After leaving the house, we went for a bite to eat and called the various parties, and then went and registered with some more estate agents in Camberwell.

After that it was on to Earls Court for the Great British Beer Festival. We arrived there at about 5:30pm and because we’re CAMRA members we didn’t have to queue and got discounted tickets.

The Great British Beer Festival, photo by CAMRA

We bought our pint glasses (which we exchanged for the commemorative glasses when we left the Festival) and headed to the Cider stall for our first half pints. Vic tried some Gobbledegook while I went for the Delvin End “Smiling Moose”.

After the ciders we moved on to a host of bitters of various descriptions. Those that I can remember include Summer Session, Tindall’s Summer Loving, Sharpes’ Doom Bar, Arkell’s 3B, Falstaff’s A Fist Full of Hops, Mauldon’s Black Adder and probably a few others that I don’t recall.

Lots of the beers had run out as the festival had been running since Tuesday, but there were still plenty to choose from. Being a Friday the festival was very busy, much busier than the photo above, so buying a beer often took a fair few minutes. Next year we’ll have to go earlier in the week.

The food was good, if a bit expensive compared to the beer, most pints were between £2 and £2.80. We had some hot pork rolls to soak up some of the beer before returning home.

So we’re now back on the house hunting regime, with a very urgent need to find somewhere if we’re not going to end up renting again. We’ve found a few places on the web so we’ll follow up on those this week. The good thing is that we’ve got a lot of the pieces in place already, so we can move to exchange of contracts as soon as we’ve surveyed etc.

So what have we been up to?

Well, we’ve been looking for a house to live in, and it looks like we’ve found one.

We looked around a few parts of South London, including Streatham, Earlsfield and Camberwell. The place we’re hoping to buy is in Camberwell. It’s a newly refurbished Victorian four-bedroom end-terrace. The mortgage has been approved and we’re waiting for our survey to come through. There’s no chain so we could complete the purchase within a couple of weeks or so.

Vic and I are both still working at East India, so the commute to and from work will get much longer but I’m sure we’ll be able to cope.

We’ve been looking at kitchen appliances (oh the excitement!) and furniture in preparation for the move, and it’s all looking very expensive. Then there’s the mortgage protection insurance, the income protection insurance, the house and contents insurance, does it ever end?

We’ve booked ourselves a weekend off at the Bestival on the Isle of Wight at the beginning of September, which we’re both looking forward to. Hoping that the weather stays good as we’ll be camping.

Lots of bits and pieces to post about so I’ll try to get some of those done over the next few days.