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Topic: Anyone else house hunting?  (Read 986 times)

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Anyone else house hunting?
« on: August 12, 2021, 01:07:25 PM »
Hi everyone  :)

Now that my FLR(M) has been sorted, we've been on the hunt for a house! Just looking for a place to commiserate with anyone else doing the same. London housing is madness. We're looking for sub £300k for a two bedroom flat or maisonette in the NW area (both in and just outside London) that isn't a total gut job and it is shocking what small and unrenovated flats can go for, even in zone 6 or 7.

Anyone else looking atm? / any thoughts on if the end of stamp duty holiday could possibly be artificially inflating prices?
FLR(M) Timeline:
Application type: Spouse settlement visa extension (super priority)
BRP expiration: Late May 2021
Online application submitted: April 14, 2021
Biometrics appointment: April 25, 2021
Decision made: April 26, 2021 - emailed at 1:40 pm


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Re: Anyone else house hunting?
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2021, 02:56:25 PM »
While I'm not looking, I do keep my eye on the market.

There is no doubt that the stamp duty holiday artificially inflated properties.  I saw it with several friends who bought and sold.  HOWEVER, most people who were looking to move, did so during the holiday.  So it's actually been a pretty robust scheme as now there is less inventory, keeping housing prices strong.  I also recently spoke to my mortgage broker and she said that she's been really surprised that banks have approved some mortgages as she thought the houses were being sold for more than they were worth!

We can ALL commiserate with the process down here in England.  It's really hard.  I witnessed a friend's contract for her and her husband last night.  They aren't doing ANYTHING until the ink is dry, as they've already had two chains collapse.  It's been awful to watch.

If it hasn't been suggested, try to look into the shared ownership scheme through your local council.  Could give you a bit more buying power.


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Re: Anyone else house hunting?
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2021, 11:55:46 PM »
Not worrying about this yet, as we will be renting for 1-2 years first, but my best friend in the UK (Shrewsbury) put her house on the market and it sold RIGHT AWAY for above asking and now they are in the process of buying in a village in Wales.  I'm watching the whole thing closely and I'm her person she's venting to.

I'm excited that they will be in a bigger house (3 kids) and closer to where we are settling (1.5 hrs vs almost 3), but there is the CONSTANT threat of the whole thing collapsing.
4 December 2005--Met in ATL, Moved in together
July 2006--First visit to the UK, met his Mum
Feb 2007--Eloped and told everyone we were engaged ;)
May 2007--Wedding, Part 1 in Pine Mountain, GA;
Sept 2007--Wedding, Part 2 in Scarborough, UK
Nov ‘08–1st Child
May ‘10–2nd Child
June 2013--Decided to move to the UK!
July 2013-Jan 2016–family tragedies. Delayed move
April ‘15–3rd Child
2019...planning again
January 2022–applying for visa!
Goal: Get Eldest in UK school by year 9!
Hopefully moving to Malvern June 2022


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Re: Anyone else house hunting?
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2021, 01:37:15 PM »
I've just put my flat on the market, having lived here (SW London) for 10+ years. After seeing a few of my friends move during the stamp duty holiday, I somehow got the itch to do so, too -- albeit too late, it seems...

I've found that there's not that much supply where I'm looking (Surrey villages), though my own street has a lot of supply (a dozen places or so). I have seen a number of properties reduced in price as they weren't shifting, but equally have seen some lovely ones move to SSTC within a day. It's just weird!

I've resigned myself that if it doesn't happen and I stay put for now, it's fine. It'd be nice, but not a necessity. Besides, it wouldn't be that much more space than I have. I only realised recently that my (small!) one-bed condo in the US has the same -- or more! -- square footage than most of the two-beds I'm looking at here!


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Re: Anyone else house hunting?
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2021, 06:34:03 PM »
We moved four months ago. It was super stressful in the end (you can see my other posts about that!!!).

But four months in, it was SUCH a good decision. We love the new house, even though it’s not at all what we thought we wanted. It has no character, is an (almost) new build. Have only managed to paint one room (and it isn’t even finished). But the garden furniture arrived, the boxes are (pretty much) unpacked. The space is incredible though!

Zero regrets.

It’s crazy to me that we found out about the reason for our move just over a year ago!! Little man has croup :( the chaos never ends!


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2004-2008: Student Visa
2008-2010: Tier 1 PSW
2010-2011: Tier 4
2011-2014: Tier 2
2013-2016: New Tier 2 (changed jobs)
16/12/15: SET (LR) successful! - It's been a long road...
12/05/16: Citizenship ceremony!


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Re: Anyone else house hunting?
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2021, 02:27:32 PM »
Commiserating. We are waiting to exchange contracts on a house and the market is crazy. Our offer was accepted in June and at the time I thought we were crazy to pay what we are, and now I'm terrified that the sellers are going to pull out and relist to get more!

If you are looking in NW London, have you poked around a bit further out in Hertfordshire? £300k could get a very nice 2 BR flat in Hemel Hempstead for example (can be a very convenient commute if Euston is a good stop for you - less so if not). It's not everyone's cup of tea but we love going for bike rides along the canal...


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