Housing Disaster


There is a lot going on at the moment, and most of it at an imperfect time. Hannah is in hospital (planned) to have a course of steroid injections that quicken the development of the baby’s lungs. Whilst in she has also had a scan (the first I have not been to). I’ll update more on that at a later date. She gets out tomorrow.

Our buyers have pulled a fast one and withdrawn from their purchase. They have tried on the kind of trick you expect in London, gazundering. According to this old survey on the BBC as nearly a third of first time buyers attempt this. Well, having been hit by such an event, I would tell them to go fry their eyeballs in batter. On Friday our ever-so dithery buyers, having had two surveys, a damp inspector and a builder round, put in a letter to renegotiate the price, and drop it by £8000. Pah, we thought, they’re having a laugh, and our first response was a ‘no’. Their request was based on four things: building work (with quotes, all work obviously non-essential); woodworm treatment (previously no mention of this, no quote or evidence); contingency for the building work; two months rent as the house would be unliveable. Swear words were used. Come Monday they came back with a “we can’t afford the asking price, we’re pulling out” response. They gave no noises about where they would want to meet in negotiation over the £8000 difference, a must in any such situation. We came back with a conciliatory £1500 reduction on the price, to which they said “we’re pulling out, you’ve not come down to our price”. This is not pleasant when your wife is pregnant and currently in hospital and instead of working you are spending half an hour on the phone to agents or your wife.

Hannah and I discussed this a lot last night, and considered a bridging loan (horrifically expensive). We didn’t want to give in to such monstrous tactics, but in order to get the house sold we decided we should offer more. I did so this morning, but this afternoon the buyers came back saying they were pulling out because the boyfriend had got a job on the mainland. I believe that is called a ‘cock and bull story‘. The less said about their behaviour the better.

Anyway, we are fortunate that our short chain above us is willing to hang in there while we get a new buyer (at least that is what our agent says, and he is also selling the house at the top of the chain). Our house will shortly be back on the market and with luck could be sold quickly. It does mean we are not 100% sure where the baby will come ‘home’ to. We’ll make some decisions about that closer to when we know more about the likelihood of a quick resale or more about when the baby will make his appearance.

Good luck to anyone selling a house – don’t trust first time buyers. Advice to first time buyers – treat others as you would like to be treated yourself.

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